agate_: It was never just about climate change.
The Republican party has represented business interests for a very long time, and has a long history of opposing government intervention and regulation.
A large number of environmental issues have typically been solved by telling big businesses they have to spend more money cleaning up, or limiting what they can sell. From DDT to acid rain to chlorofluorocarbons to nitrous oxide to carbon dioxide, environmentalists have been restricting the ability of businesses to dump whatever they like into the atmospere, and/or sell whatever they like to others.
It’s not so much that climate change gradually *became* a partisan issue: it was born into a partisan issue which was already ongoing.
atohitotsu: Because climate change is caused by humans doing things on a large scale for a long time. And if you want to stop humans from doing things they’ve been doing on a large scale for a long time, they’re not going to be happy about it and will fight about it.
davidildo: I am 49 years old. I saw climate panic many times, too many people, no landfill space, holes in the ozone, coming ice age, DDT, genetically modified food, not enough food, certain animal extinctions, mad cow disease, and I am sure a dozen more if I thought about it. Keep calm, carry on; we work towards a solution.
Global Warming came with massive claims, a prominent liberal spearheaded and made over a billion dollars pushing global warming, many of the early claims were quickly debunked and the level of rhetoric was higher than anything I have ever seen before. That alienated many people.
Later, as more evidence came in, computer models were created and heavier research was done, it seems that global warming is actually climate change and has a ton of support for it. But the damage was already done, enough was wrong in the beginning to turn off one side and fear and anger was stoked to harden the other side.
Many on the right were on board if it meant a gradual reduction in carbon over a few years, the left ratcheted up scare tactics and demanded immediate and costly changes. That creates what politicians call a wedge issue, and whenever they find a wedge issue, they exploit it. Obama gave some climate change/Obama supporters a ton of money, and whether justified or not, the Republicans use it as evidence of collusion.
Now, look at this thread, find how many people dismiss or down vote the “other side” without merit or cause and draw your own conclusion.
GreyDenorian: The fossil fuel industry would be endangered by a shift to alternative energy. So they lobbied the government and news sources to combat the theory of antropogenic global warming. The Republican party took the money and picked the side of denial which left the Democrats on the other side. In other countries it’s different. Pro-fossil fuel industry politicians don’t deny global warming, but instead don’t consider it as a primary issue or just make false promises to combat climate change.
corpusapostata: Climate change became a political issue when money became involved. Climate change, on it’s own, is an interesting phenomenon that would make a good documentary that few would watch, but what a happened was a call for *economic* change, and with it, blame. People become resistant when a finger points and someone says “You are responsible for this,” Followed closely by “You have to pay for this.” Voila! Political issue.
ProlificPolymath: Climate change research shows something which members of the private sector don’t like as addressing the issue will cost them a lot of money. They pay politicians a smaller amount of money to claim climate change is not real and obstruct any efforts to address it then the opposing side simply try to follow the science and address the problem.
Obviously you then have two sides and to a voter lacking scientific ability, you have a political issue rather than a scientific one that politicians are being paid to undermine.
The short answer is that it’s not really a partisan or even political issue, the shorter answer is: money.
(Edit: It is of course perfectly possible some politicians or political commentators doubt the science but I doubt their sincerity. It’s also worth pointing out that once it becomes a political issue, most people will tow the party line without being directly paid for).
popsickle_in_one: Only in America.
Every other Government in every other nation on Earth acknowledges Global warming.
The Republican party in the US is the only mainstream political party anywhere that does not.
The reason? Their voter base is anti-science. They can claim things like government regulation bad, more tax bad, but the real reason is they simply don’t want to believe they have any responsibility in saving the planet, entrusting its safekeeping to God.
If the Democrats say one thing they say the other, even if its demonstrably false.
kouhoutek: It is pretty simple, corporations are going to bear a lot of the short term costs of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. If I am a coal executive, my choices are to fight new regulations or go out of business. The most effective way is to deny there is a problem in the first place. This isn’t necessarily malicious, a even completely unselfish executive is going to want to protect the company their predecessors built and the thousands of employees who work for it. Humans regularly engage in motivated reasoning, there is nothing special when a CEO does it.
It just so happens Republicans tend to be pro-corporation, and Democrats against, and fall on different sides of something that shouldn’t even be an issue. Almost the reverse happens with GMOs, that’s just how politics works.
TheWrongFusebox: To tackle climate change requires regulation of industry.
One side is against regulation in general, the other is for regulation in general.
^edit: ^2 ^fors ^do ^not ^make ^sense
RexxNebular: Oil. Dinosaurs in government want dinosaurs in our gas tanks and they make a lot of money ensuring it by pretending climate change, due in part to fossil fuels, isn’t real.
ursois: Everything is now a partisan issue. If one side is for it, the other side has to be against it.
madathedestroyer: Money. The problem is endemic on both sides. Don’t preach about carbon emissions to me when you own two or three houses and fly around on your private jet. Furthermore, go F yourself and take a look outside America where the real violators are. Yeah, I’m talking to you China and India.
Im_open_dak: It’s all about taxation/money, for both sides. Everyone knows that the earths climate changes…some people actually believe that humans can stop that (lol). We’re well past peak oil and it will run out in your lifetime. Climate change will still be happening after it does.
Footwarrior: Climate change denial propaganda was mostly targeted at conservative audiences. A demographic that was already distrustful of government, academics and scientists easily bought into the idea that climate change was a hoax.
ShankKunt42: That’s easy. Conservatives value money and religion over everything. If they acknowledge climate change it means that they’re God is powerless/meaningless and they can no longer pillage the Earth without repercussion. Much easier to sleep at night when you commit to ignorance.
minion531: It’s because of religion. No one wants to say it, but that is the reason. Christianity will not accept that humans could change something that is clearly under God’s control. If the planet is warming up, it’s not because of man, it’s because God wants it to. Republicans support Christianity in the US and promote it and try to get it established into law. So to them, any law dealing with climate change would be going against the wishes of god. So they deny that humans are causing it.
Shachar2like: science is about proving
while the ‘sun revolve around the earth’ or ‘climate change’ sounds reasonable, science can’t prove it.
hence partisan issue.