October 8, 2019


Five Radical Climate Policies That Most Americans Actually Like: Most registered voters are in favor of spending trillions on weatherized buildings and renewable-energy infrastructure. (ROBINSON MEYER, OCT 7, 2019, The Atlantic)

Here are the five climate policies with the most support:

1. A national recycling program for commodities

During World War II, the federal government encouraged Americans to save and pool commodities--including paper, steel, and rubber--so that they could be recycled and turned into new ships, planes, and guns. Sanders proposes launching a similar program today for clean energy. It would seek to reduce the cost and blunt the environmental impact of the huge build-out of wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries that he proposes.

The idea is overwhelmingly popular, with 64 percent of registered voters in support and only 16 percent opposed. Americans of every race, age, and religion overwhelmingly support the idea. So do six in 10 white men, and a majority of self-described born-again Christians.

2. $1.3 trillion to weatherize every home and office building in the United States

At least three different Democratic climate plans--proposed by Senator Amy Klobuchar, Governor Jay Inslee (whose plan has been largely adopted by Warren), and Sanders--have promised to boost federal spending on weatherizing homes and buildings. Sanders's plan calls for more than $2 trillion in grants to help families improve their home's energy efficiency.

The idea is very popular. Six in 10 voters support spending more than $1 trillion "to weatherize homes and buildings to make them more energy-efficient and reduce energy bills." A smaller majority of voters older than 65 also support the proposal.

3. $1.5 trillion for a massive federal build-out of renewable energy

Sanders promises to build out enough wind, solar, and geothermal energy to power every home and business in the United States by 2030. Such a plan would cost $1.5 trillion, he says, and it would be possible to execute under the existing legal powers of the Energy Department.

While the poll didn't ask Americans if they would support that legal maneuver, a large majority of voters said they were ready to foot the bill for the plan. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they would strongly or somewhat support $1.5 trillion in federal spending to build out renewables. Among white voters without a college degree--a group that normally breaks Republican--the idea found 52 percent in support.

4. A climate adjustment fee on environmentally destructive imports

Warren has proposed imposing a "border carbon adjustment" on imports that require high levels of carbon emissions. This policy could help American climate policy from "offshoring" carbon pollution into China and India, supporters say, and it would encourage American cement- and steelmakers to invest in greener ways to make their products.

For now, at least, Americans love the idea. Sixty percent of respondents strongly or somewhat supported the idea, while only 23 percent opposed it. (About one in five Americans still aren't sure what to think.)

But among working-class voters, the idea was one of the most popular proposed. Fifty-five percent of people without a college degree liked the idea, a level of support that did not change across white and nonwhite respondents. Voters from families making less than $60,000 a year also supported the idea at about that level.

5. "Economic Nationalism for Climate Change"

This summer, Warren announced her plan for "economic patriotism," a policy agenda that actively aims to boost American jobs and industry. Its first plank is a green-manufacturing scheme that pledges $2 trillion over the next 10 years. In short, Warren seeks to revive industrial policy.

This poll asked about "economic nationalism," which it described as a plan to "aggressively encourage large American manufacturing firms to specialize in solar panels, wind turbines, and other climate-friendly technologies."

The proposal commanded majority support, with 53 percent overall in support and 30 percent in opposition.

Conservative politicians and media figures can be forgiven for being nervous about how being anti-Donald puts them out of step with some portion of the GOP and on the same side as liberal Democrats.  It is an uncomfortable position.

But there is a fundamentally dishonest two-step that they engage in to try to stifle the dissonance.  As Matt Lewis talked about on The Bulwark Podcast Monday, you attack AOC and company to compensate for attacking Donald.  The other one, which host Charlie Sykes indulges in, is to talk about how much you'd love to support a Democrat against Donald, but the party is just becoming so extreme you can't.  You pair this with talk about how they're blowing their chance to win because they're so far out of the mainstream.  Of course, this is simply false.  On issues from gun control to health care to the Electoral College to immigration to the Green New Deal, the voters agree with the "radical Left" anywhere from 60-40 to 80-20.  There are legitimate reasons to oppose the prospect of a President Warren or Harris, but the notion that they are unelectably radical is nonsense.

Posted by at October 8, 2019 6:55 PM