Conservatives aren’t exactly known for demanding action on climate change. But in one corner of the internet, there’s a seemingly alternate universe where they express their concern for the planet in stirring, freedom-loving terms.
“Climate change threatens our freedom,” the New Climate Voices site states right off the bat. In one video, a former Republican representative from South Carolina, Bob Inglis, argues that taking action doesn’t necessarily mean bigger government, it’s about creating a future “with lots of jobs and lots of wealth creation.” In another, an evangelical climate scientist, Katharine Hayhoe, says that switching to clean energy is about “protecting our way of life.”
Previous research has suggested that messages like these can heighten Republicans’ level of concern about climate change, especially if they’re delivered by conservative messengers. But most of these studies have taken place in a controlled lab setting, where the people being surveyed are paying close attention. It was an open question whether such messages would work in the real world.
A new study, one of the first to test this out, targeted moderate Republica... Read more