These numbers prove Americans did not vote for dirty air and water

both

We know that 47 percent of voters supported Donald Trump and, by virtue of our Electoral College system, he was duly elected president. But that doesn’t tell you a lot about what the American people think about specific issues.

Does it mean, for instance, that they want to dismantle our system of environmental protection or go backwards on climate change?

Common sense says that Trump voters don’t want dirty air and water or more asthma attacks for their kids, and a look at the recent polling tells what Americans really value on these issues. After Tuesday, I wouldn’t rely on polls if the spread is close – I think we’ve learned that – but when it comes to climate and clean energy issues, we see significant margins.  

Broad support for climate and clean energy action

Let’s start in the ultimate battleground state of Florida. An Election Day exit poll from NBC News said that 66 percent of Florida voters consider climate change to be a severe problem.

Prior to the election, one survey found that 68 percent of voters favor the federal government “taking steps to reduce emissions of gases like carbon dioxide that cause global climate change.”

That’s a strong endorsement for limiting the pollution that causes climate change. Clearly, Trump voters were not offering a mandate for going backwards on the progress we’ve made.

That level of support isn’t new. A University of Texas poll showed that two-thirds of Americans want reducing carbon pollution to be a priority. That obviously includes a lot of Trump voters.

This year, in fact, concern about climate change reached an eight-year high, according to Gallup

The problem, of course, is that not only has Trump made no proposals to reduce climate pollution; he’s said he’s “not a big believer” in global warming. He’s even promised to try to kill the biggest step America’s ever taken to limit dangerous carbon pollution, the Clean Power Plan.

Far from ‘draining the swamp’ as he promised during the campaign, he’s polluting it.

Trump already seems to be moving to install industry lobbyists in key positions to get this done.

He’s appointed Myron Ebell to run his environmental transition team, an outspoken climate denier and former tobacco industry lobbyist who makes his living as, essentially, a PR man for the oil and coal industry. (Trump is also reportedly considering Wall Street insiders to oversee Wall Street.)

In other words, far from “draining the swamp” as he promised during the campaign, he’s poisoning it.

We can still make our voices heard

So what happens when the people overwhelmingly want to cut pollution and elected officials promise the opposite? Well, that depends on us.

If we’re willing to make our voices heard and tell Congress we want clean energy and clean air, we have a chance to stop these dangerous plans.

Keith Gaby

Keith Gaby

Explores the intersection of politics and climate change.

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Comments

My dad always said, "Don't complain without a solution." Now, I voted for the conservative...GOP candidate, but actually for the basic platform of changes. However, I agree with a lot what you are saying here. And it’s going to take a lot of money, jobs and effort to create these changes.

I'm probably one of the most conservative liberals out there, but the word "conserve" itself is what it's all about. Liberals act like they all about conserving the environment [but] I am all about coming up with solutions, [rather than] just complaining.

My son, a bio-systems engineer from Clemson, has his heart and mind set on helping create renewable energy. He is disheartened by the election, but I encourage him to pursue his dream [without] basing it on government support.

We all need to turn to private industry and self-reliance to manage and solve problems and stop leaning on the backs of taxpayers and government miss-management.

We have to stop whining and present realistic valid solutions to the political elite to help create support for development of the methods, machines, products and system management to help improve and preserve the environment.

I may be 71, but I've still got reasons to live another 30 years. Hey, nobody wants to drink ditch water or suck in smog!

Thanks guys. Trudge on, tote the load – together – and we'll make it over the ridge.

Hi Del,

Glad to see that there are still liberal conservatives out there when it comes to the environment, s there were many in the 60's and 70's. In fact as you know, the entire conservation movement was a bad political spectrum coalition,staring with the creation of our national parks. The majority of Americans today believe that climate change is real and went to see real solutions. As you might know, the business community is increasingly supportive of clean energy because they know that climate change will disrupt then destroy our economy. So what went wrong? Money dominating politics, I think, with the current GOP captured by the fossil fuel industry (it too a while for the DEM party to get there too). So please keep up the excellent work, and proposing your solutions to this existential issue.

Time to clean the world!!! Just say no to dirty air, water, oceans and lives! No pipelines! No selling our lands to oil! No more investing in oil! Just say NO!

Common sense tells us that people don't want dirty air. Unfortunately, there are many [climate] deniers out there – Trump for one. And many [people] who are uninformed. We need to figure out how to motivate them to come on board.

We do not know how the electoral vote really went down, yet...I was interested in this page but I do not like the way you are rolling over for this and right off the bat a GOP'er claims this issue is important. You need not reply, I am working with real people regarding election fraud and the environment. (PS. I noticed a bombardment of aforesaid virtue in Mr. Trump. LOL)