The younger generation that has become known as millennials, described as being born between the 1980’s and 2000, tend to disagree with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump on a number of social and civil issues, including climate change, which has been called a great “hoax” for years by the two conservative extremists.
Regardless of the flood of recent studies that support climate change as a manmade phenomenon that will only increase anomalous weather, Republican politicians busy themselves with climate denial at every turn, with the help of the Fox News misinformation channel. They do so in order to appease their fossil fuel industry campaign donors and ultra-conservative constituents.
A recent poll mentioned in PoliticusUSA revealed that nearly 80 percent of Americans recognize the reality of climate change, but Republicans have chosen to throw their poker chips into the tiny hat of denial, because their political preservation depends on it, not the preservation of the planet millennials stand to inherit.
Popularity of the Republican Party has hit an all-time low, yet they are disrespecting an important segment of society, because millennials are unlikely to vote for candidates who insult their intelligence by ignoring established scientific data on climate change.
Jon Stewart skewered climate change skeptics on his first show in 2014, based on the ignorance expressed by their responses to the cold weather that enveloped Mid-Atlantic and eastern states called the polar vortex.
“There you have it. War on Christmas is over, the War on Carbon begins. Global warming, just one more liberal conspiracy. Because even though there is a great deal of scientific data establishing climate trends, even though many of the models of global warming predict more extremes of weather — not just warming — apparently decades of peer-reviewed scientific study can be, like a ficus plant, destroyed in one cold weekend,” panned Stewart.
While Republicans see climate change as a “liberal conspiracy” to be scoffed at, millennials see reversing it as a moral imperative for their generation and the next. But they also recognize the need for replacing coal-mining and oil-drilling jobs with options for workers and communities in regions dependent on a carbon economy. The transition could be eased with various grants according to Zachary Kolodin, the Director of the Future Preparedness Initiative at the Roosevelt Institute.
Often millennials have been unfairly characterized as unengaged slackers, who prefer a grassroots approach to the environment, rather than a political top-down approach.
“So, are millennials driving the technological innovation we need to finally address climate change or are we slacking our way through another global crisis?” asked Duke University graduate Natalie Smith in her recent policymic article.
Smith admits that millennials should follow the warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and take a more effective approach than anything currently on the table.
“Before Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers take another cheap shot at millennials for being lazy, selfie-taking narcissists they should make an effort to acknowledge and encourage the work that is being done, even if it looks different from what they’re used to. And perhaps while they’re at it, take a step back and remember which generations got us into this mess in the first place.”
Nevertheless, if conservatives continue to shun the scientific community and the majority belief of Americans on climate change, including millennials, they do so at their political peril.