Chris Hayes emphasizes the difference between, in Grover Norquist’s terms, "intensity and preference" — issues that people vote on vs. ones they merely respond to favorably in polls. He thinks it’s dumb that many Dems still don’t seem to get the difference when it comes to deficit spending.

Which reminds me of something I’ve been meaning to say about climate. It’s often said that absent some sort of serious catastrophe — "another Katrina" — climate change will never become a vote-mover. I basically agree with that. I’d go further, though, and say that even if there’s another Katrina, climate still won’t become a vote-mover (much like it didn’t become one after the first Katrina). Vote movers will always be more proximate, and in this case people will demand to be better protected from severe weather. There will never be broad intensity around a threat so diffuse, the worst effects of which lie decades in the future — at least not in time to materially reduce that threat.

Given that fact, it’s incumbent on green campaigners to think about either a) how to make change without voter intensity or b) how to break the climate issue into constituent pieces that are vote-movers, like national security.

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