Democrats are moving forward on their promise to make global climate change one of their top issues now that they control the House of Representatives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has created a House Standing Committee on the Climate Crisis chaired by Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, one of the states being hit hard by sea level rise.
Rep. Frank Pallone, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has created a subcommittee on climate change. And newly seated Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she is working to flesh out a proposal to create a Green New Deal that would accelerate America’s economy-wide transition to net-zero-carbon energy.
Democrats should feel motivated by new research showing that the American people are taking climate change more seriously, in part because of personal experiences with extreme weather. The Yale Project on Climate Change Communications and its partner, the George Mason University Center for Climate Change, have become the most frequent pollsters tracking what Americans think about climate change.
Their latest research finds a continued upward trend in Americans’ concerns, including substantial increases in certainty that global warming is happening and harming people in the United States now. The proportion of Americans who are very worried about global warming has more than tripled since its lowest point in 2011, the pollsters say. Increasing numbers of Americans say they have personally experienced global warming and that the issue is personally important to them. For details, scroll through the graphs above.
What does this mean for the new House of Representatives? Full steam ahead!