Climate Inaction and the Midterm Elections

There was a paucity of serious talk about climate change during America’s 2014 midterm elections. Amid rising sea levels, landmark climate reports, and the hottest June, August, and September on record, the most common sentiment coming from Republican politicians was, “I’m not a scientist.” This refrain is used to deflect tough questions on climate and avoid the politically-charged subject of climate denial.

According to an article from the New York Times, environment and energy issues were the “third-most mentioned issue in political advertisements” during this campaign season. Through these ads, many Republicans, often backed by right-wing billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries, attacked climate action such as the Environmental Protection Agency regulation of coal-fired power plants, funding for climate science, and political momentum moving toward the climate talks in Paris that are scheduled for late 2015.

Even though a plurality of American voters believe that climate change is occurring and that the government should curb greenhouse gas emissions, with Congress now solidly Republican, many believe that any hopes of a federal effort to address climate change are dashed.

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