Domestic Politics and Climate Change

Last week we discussed the role of domestic politics–institutions, electoral systems, partisanship, etc.,–on national political leaders’ attitudes towards and policies on climate change. We noted that the Canadian federal governments stance toward mitigation and adaptation changed dramatically upon the ascension of the Conservatives to power in 2006 (a minority government). The majority government that Harper was able to win in 2011 signalled the death knell for Canada’s involvement in the Kyoto process as Harper’s government reneged on Canada’s obligations quickly thereafter.

The United States, meanwhile, enters the final week of the biennial “midterm elections”, with most candidates (and the public) focused on issues other than climate change. When climate change is mentioned, however, the candidates responses are not reassuring. Have a look at this video for an impressive compilation of candidates’ responses to whether they believe in the existence of anthropogenic climate change. Incidentally, for a comprehensive debunking of Representative Steve Pearce’s claim that 31,000 scientists signed a petition claiming that there was no global warming, click here.

One thought on “Domestic Politics and Climate Change”

  1. It is of no surprise that there are so many US politicians that deny climate change given the fact that corporatist lobbies posses all the legal, financial and intellectual power and know how to make politicians highly concern with their own interests. At this point it’s hard to identify if such politicians deny climate change for their own conviction and ideological mindset or they just follow their party agenda hoping to benefit from economic gains. This makes the issue of climate change more complicated since it is difficult to know if there is something uncertain with the evidence of climate change. This partly because it is challenging to be certain of the number of politicians who truly believe the evidence of climate change or they are just hiding their true believes to be congruent with their partie’s agenda.

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