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Despite rising concerns, climate change is still a partisan issue

Amid a sizzling hot summer, President Joe Biden announced new actions to combat extreme heat and drought.
Despite rising concerns, climate change is still a partisan issue
Posted at 4:02 PM, Jul 31, 2023

Climate change has been an important issue for President Joe Biden since the beginning of his administration. And while a majority of Americans agree that we need to work to reduce global warming, the partisan divide surrounding climate change is growing.

"I don't think anybody can deny the impact of climate change anymore," Biden said during a press conference on extreme heat.

Amid a sizzling hot summer, Biden announced new actions to combat extreme heat and drought. It comes as Americans across the country are feeling first-hand evidence of the changing climate.

"All of these kinds of events are really starting to literally hit home. And many Americans are starting to go, 'Oh my God, this isn't distant in time and space. This is happening right now. And we need to act,'" said Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

SEE MORE: Extreme heat expected to be costly, especially in Texas

According to polling from the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans, 54%, think climate change is a major threat, but there's also a stark partisan divide. Over last 15 years, the percent of Democrats who say climate change is a major threat has gone up, while that answer went down among Republicans.

That partisan impact means politicians aren't the best messengers for climate change. But experts say new voices are stepping up to raise alarm about the warming planet in an impactful way.

"We're now seeing doctors and nurses talking about how climate change is showing up in their emergency room and in the waiting room. We're hearing from faith leaders saying our religion, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, all of these major leaders have said climate change is a fundamental moral issue that we must address as religious people," said Leiserowitz.

Local meteorologists can be some of the most effective messengers for climate change, and the White House appears to recognize that. The vice president's office has reached out to local weather forecasters to start a discussion on best practices for talking about climate change and its impact.


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