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More people support regulating CO2 as a pollutant than believe human CO2 emissions cause climate change. 🤔 climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations…
Which is to say: public opinion on matters of any scientific or policy complexity is shallow, incoherent, variable, easily swayed, and far more indicative of identity signaling than any real understanding.
Another way of putting this: most people don't HAVE settled opinions on matters of any scientific or policy complexity. They form opinions in response to poll/survey prompts & the opinions are heavily influenced by wording, the current weather, mood, whatever.
People who DO have settled opinions on these things tend to have them because they are committed partisans & have adopted the partisan position, not because they've done independent research or investigation.
Dems are always chasing public opinion, as though public opinion is a set thing, a feature of the world to which they must adapt. The ideological warriors on the right set out to SHAPE public opinion, and over the decades, have succeeded wildly.
Most ordinary people, with busy lives & families & jobs, don't have time to investigate stuff like this & form independent opinions. They just want to know, "what do people like us think/support?" They're content to follow identity cues. This isn't an insult, just reality.
If Dems told them, "people like us view climate change as an urgent crisis, warranting dramatic, large-scale action," they would go along! But Dems never have that confidence. They're always keeping an eye on polls, as though a current snapshot of opinion = hard political limits.
I'll conclude this unplanned rant with an Unpopular Opinion. Remember that famous Karl Rove quote, "we create our own reality," that everyone spent years mocking? I've always thought it was wildly misinterpreted. Rove was capturing an important truth.
Rove said, "we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too." What he was getting at is that the right sets out to shape reality while the left reacts to it.
The left thinks this makes it "reality-based" & savvy, but just as often it makes Dem pols hesitant, backward-looking, and weak. If left leaders act & speak as though climate is a crisis, they will create that social reality. People respond to courage & conviction.
Whereas people do not respond all that well to, "please just tell me what you like and I'll say that, whatever it is!" Anyway. </fin>
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