As the last ballots are counted and the 2018 midterm elections come to an end, it is important to reflect on the many issues which candidates used to differentiate themselves and their visions of good government. Climate change and environmental policy more broadly form a policy question over which there is increasing polarization of opinion, and as such, those running for office have used such topics to propel themselves into the spotlight as well as to disparage their opponent’s views. Senate hopefuls in particular will need to address the scientific concerns of entire states, which can have highly variable weather patterns and sources of economic activity, presenting the need for a broader and more comprehensive approach to climate policy. To explore the role of climate change on this year’s senate race, let’s look at some of the states with the most competitive races and the expected climate impacts in those regions.
Senator-elect: Joe Manchin III (D)
Senator-elect: Rick Scott (R) or Bill Nelson (D)*
Senator-elect: Josh Hawley (R)
Senator-elect: Ted Cruz (R)
Senator-elect: Jacky Rosen (D)
The intersection of climate science and politics forms an illustrative relationship, given the role of elected officials in supporting the interests of their constituencies as well as the highly region-specific consequences global change will have on the various ecosystems of the United States. Climate change will affect all Americans, but the localized impacts on different communities form the basis upon which the members of those groups will assess the relative benefits and risk of government action and corporate regulation. When these new and returning Senators enter the 116th United States Congress next year, we will have the chance to witness how exactly they will address (or ignore) the impending threats climate change represents to each of their communities.
*As of the time of this writing, a recount is likely to be triggered in Florida’s Senate election.
Region-specific climate risks were adapted from information in the 2014 National Climate Assessment (U.S. Global Change Research Program).
26/11/2018 01:12:02 am
Unlike other people I believe this is a very important subject that needs to be reviewed and assessed properly. This could be very troubling and rather than be ignored, things can change for the better and can help benefit everyone on Earth.
27/11/2018 03:21:44 pm
I think that this article is a very beneficial way to look at the delegates stand points on this topic and all topics. When people vote they should be looking at the individuals motivations on troubling issues in our society and not just the party they stand with. The side by side comparisons of these peoples ideas on climate change and what the issues are that some states are facing is a easy view on why or why not these people should be voted into office.
1/12/2018 09:44:44 am
The article reviews the elects position on climate change, making an insightful position to both politics and to the climate, both of which are important to our society. With voting, any viewers should take into account the elects motivations and investments. This way it can be accounted more thoughtfully. Climate change in itself its a large motive for society today, as more often than not it is ignored within politics, or blamed on something with little relevance. So it is an overall refreshing article to view since the elects support the climate.
3/12/2018 04:24:39 pm
This article shows a great deal of the different views of the politicians on climate change. I think it's important for voters to see this because then they won't just judge the delegates on past news or information, but on how they feel about certain topics.
6/12/2018 09:49:18 am
I appreciate that the general views (and prior actions) of the varying senators are put on display in contrast to regional-specific climate information. Though not always the case, it is certainly disappointing to see how many of the Republican senators oppose measures aimed at attacking the climate change quagmire, despite the troves of information neigh-confirming the reality of the issue. After the recount, it is slightly worrying to see Rick Scott take a position in the Senate, especially considering his apparent distaste for measures against climate change. Though I have concerns, I am hopeful that things will not be as bad as they seem. Kudos to Lucas for the quality and objectivity of this blog post.
6/12/2018 06:23:20 pm
I think this is a good topic that people who are voted into office needs to be more concerned about. I think climate change is a topic that needs more attention. I think its important for voters to see the different views on climate change by all sides. Good, informative article
10/12/2018 11:52:00 am
Being able to see the different views of our politions on the serious subject of climate change is very interesting. As one can see, every state in America is dealing with different threats that are casued by climate change. By politions addressing the issues of each state and contributing to the solution is an amazing thing for voters and the public in general to see and undertsand. By them being open about their opinions and ideas, it will only lead to action on the problem at hand and help America as a whole on how to prevent these major issues that climate change is doing of occuring.
11/12/2018 04:20:41 pm
This article truly shows that it's the size of the checkbook that matters. All of these states are going to be drastically effected by the coming disasters associated with climate change, yet the Senators would prefer their pockets being stuffed with "big oil" money. Elected officials should have the state's people in mind, not their escape plan to their private cabins in the woods when their homes are destroyed by a hurricane as well as those millions they represent.
13/12/2018 05:39:57 pm
As someone who has worked directly with Environmental Sustainability in my career, I know the severity of the issue of global climate change. The fact that many politicians dispute scientific fact is appalling. This is an issue that should be handled with more care. It is an issue that is increasingly becoming a non partisan issue. We need more politicians who are willing to make the hard choices our country needs
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