General Question

Harp's avatar

Is the US the only country where concern over global warming is identified with the political left?

Asked by Harp (19152points) May 22nd, 2008

I’ve never quite understood how climate change came to be a politically polarized issue; just wondering if the same has happened elsewhere.

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8 Answers

reed's avatar

Well two countries come to mind, China and India, both of which were exempt in the Kyoto protocol which is what made it the farce that it is. That fact resulted in the right, in this country at least, being against it which began the polarization. Obviously there is no organized left in China, being a communist country, but now that they surpassed the U.S. in CO2 emissions, there are people there that are greatly concerned about global warming but they certainly can’t criticize the government.

wildflower's avatar

No it’s not. In all the countries I’m familiar with (Faroe Islands, Denmark, UK and Ireland), the Green Party tends to be a left-winged party and often teams up with the Socialist Democrats or other ‘lefties’.
I think environmental concerns as a core value is typically associated with the more humane and socialistic value-sets.

Although, it is a bit of a puzzle why it doesn’t figure more highly with the conservatives and their family values and such.

Harp's avatar

@reed
I can see why a specific policy action, such as Kyoto, would be polarizing, but the American right wing goes beyond that to downplaying the seriousness, or even the reality, of global warming. To them, it seems to be just something liberals have dreamed up. Is it just because Al Gore is the global warming front man?

reed's avatar

@harp – I don’t think everyone on the right is claiming that global warming is a myth, even John McCain believes it is real. But you do make a fair point about Al Gore, him being the front man does help polarize the issue for some on the right.

paulc's avatar

In Canada, the right are trying desperately to downplay the effects of it so they can sell off more of our resources down south without objection. Unfortunately for them, we’ve got a bunch of people that live, you know, in the arctic who are telling them quite clearly to get bent. They’ve been forced only because of the popularity of the problem to acknowledge it. All they’ve done though is to announce a bunch of “initiatives” which in political terms translates to “sweet fuck-all”.

Harp's avatar

@reed
No, overall the Right’s position has shifted from “Global warming myth” to “Global warming is not caused by human activity”. But then you still have stuff like this from Ann Coulter: “No matter how much liberals try to dress up their nutty superstitions about global warming as ‘science,’ which only six-fingered lunatics could doubt, scratch a global warming “scientist” and you get a religious fanatic”.

marinelife's avatar

@Harp With Ann Coulter, you just have to shake your head and say consider the source. After all, this is the same woman who has said:

“We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.”

“If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.”

“If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”

“I was going to have a few comments about John Edwards but you have to go into rehab if you use the word faggot.”—at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference

Speaking of the 9/11 widows: “These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies.”

“Liberals love America like O.J. loved Nicole.”

“We need to execute people like (John Walker Lindh) in order to physically intimidate liberals.”

About Muslim countries: “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.”

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.”

“The swing voters—I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don’t have set philosophical principles. You’re either a liberal or you’re a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster.”

marissa's avatar

I think the reason the issue of ‘global warming’, like any issue, has become political, is because politicians have gotten involved. I realize that seems like an obvious statement, however, it is pretty much the core of it. Politicians on both sides have taken information and theories from scientists that help support and promote their own claims and agenda. If it is a politician on the left, they are selecting all the data they feel proves that global warming an immediate crisis caused by man and ‘big business’. If it is a politician on the right, they are selecting all the data they feel shows the opposite, for the most part. However, I imagine the truth of the matter lies somewhere in between. The earth has gone through cycles of warming and cooling through out the ages, even before man’s existance and yet, man has played a part in the current warming.

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