Global Warming: Red States’ New Hot Potato

The Christian Science Monitor is reporting that increased concern about global warming in many of the so-called “red” states, which ushered George W. Bush into the White House, will make it tougher for conservative politicians at all levels of government not to favor stronger reductions in carbon dioxide emissions in future elections.

Examples of the turning political tide on climate change abound. Just last week, a group of 86 influential Evangelical Christians, many from conservative Sun Belt states, called on the federal government to recognize the threat of global warming and take concrete action to stem carbon dioxide emissions accordingly. Another unlikely group of red state campaigners for stronger action against global warming are hunters and fishermen who rely on a healthy and stable environment to pursue their forms of recreation.

According to the Monitor, politicos are convinced that even by the next round of Congressional elections, support for emissions reduction will be on the majority of candidates’ platforms. Timothy Profeta of Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy, for instance, reports that “there is a much broader degree of support for action” in red states than previously. Meanwhile, Stephen Smith of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy says, “If you were to ask me how the tide will turn in red states, the religious, the business, and the agriculture communities are going to come together to change the dynamics.”