As aforementioned, the public supports the Paris agreement by a margin of as high as 3-to-1. Despite what certain sections of the media may tell you, support for scientists among the public is considerably high – and it’s certainly a lot higher than the trust people have in their politicians.
That means the Alliance, by default, has a lot of support on the ground, something that Inslee recognizes.
“The public is already scientifically informed. They show a strong support for the consensus on climate change, to restrain carbon pollution. We are winning this battle, we are winning hearts and minds on this issue,” he tells us.
“The problem is that there has been a narrow subset of politicians who have harkened to the requests of the fossil fuel industry and not the requests of the public. It’s been more of a political problem in my view, and this is the $64,000 question: Why is the GOP the only conservative party in the world that has not brought a positive voice to this discussion?”
It is no coincidence that the Republicans that refuse to act on climate change are often those who are heavily lobbied by the fossil fuel industry or come from states that rely more on coal and oil drilling than others.
Inslee suggests that many of the GOP lawmakers that deny climate change aren’t ignorant at all, and they actually know what they’re saying publically isn’t backed up by the evidence.
“It’s not a problem of scientific literacy,” he tells us. “It’s a problem of political identity or ideology – and we’ve got to help them get over that.”
When we suggest that a certain subset of Republican politicians will never stop denying the basic science of climate change, Inslee speaks of the upcoming midterms in 2018 and suggests that the public, as ever, hold the power.
“You can either change the minds of the members or you can change who’s sitting in the seats,” he says. “Both of those work.”
Seems to us it’s a good time for scientists to run for office.