Friday, January 31, 2014

Welcome to the 2014 elections

The Hill anticipates a climate change focus in the elections this year where both sides attempt to use it to their advantage. Their argument is anecdotal rather than data driven, but it seems logical enough. Per their anecdote, the first attack ad on a politician for being a climate denier happened last year, and maybe we'll see some more this time around.

Which side will benefit overall is another question, but it's all local. Yours truly will also be up for re-election this year, and if I drew an opponent who denied climate change then that would make things much easier for me. In the Alaska and Kentucky Senate races, climate reality has to overcome some people's self interest and world view.

There's a parallel between the demographic issues the old-guard Republican leadership faces and the climate issue. Young people accept climate science more than the older ones, and demographic replacement marches on. Economic issues may also be getting more complex. The old guard's right that coal jobs are disappearing although they ignore the long-term causes, while renewable energy jobs are growing everywhere and give people reasons to embrace reality. In contrast to that hope, non-presidential elections tend to be more conservative and older. This year will also see many more Democrats than Republicans up for election in the Senate, although the ratio reverses strongly in 2016.

Fun times ahead.