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Climate Change Is Here; Why Aren’t We Doing Anything About It?

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Posted on Mar 21, 2013
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Regarding the impending climate crisis, Yale scientist Anthony Leiserowitz tells Bill Moyers: “You almost couldn’t design a problem that is a worse fit with our underlying psychology.” The solution? Part of it involves turning the issue into talking points for conservatives.

How about describing global warming as a threat to Americans’ freedoms? “If you’re a rancher or a farmer in the Great Plains today,” Leiserowitz says, “your freedom is enormously constrained by the fact that you’re in the midst of a two-year severe drought, OK. You don’t get to choose what you’re going to plant. You don’t get to choose what cows you’re going to slaughter. In fact, we’ve just seen in Texas in the past year 2 million head of cow, cattle are no longer in Texas; they had to move them out because they couldn’t provide the food and forage and water for them because of that drought. That’s not freedom, OK. You are literally not able to do the thing that you were raised and that you believe in as part of your culture because the climate has changed.”

Another approach Leiserowitz recommends, however difficult it is to imagine gaining traction among the Republican Party’s entrenched corporate backers, is to cast support for climate change legislation as an opportunity to win more votes from the American public.

Read a transcript of their conversation here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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