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Is Understanding Climate Change An Economic Luxury?

New research says that the state of the economy has a big impact on our opinions about climate change

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“The media is obsessed with saying, ‘Republicans are more likely to deny climate change than Democrats are, and this must be partisan polarization that’s driving this,’” Scruggs said. “The implication of this is ‘how terrible partisan politics is’ and this plays into that narrative. That may be the wrong way to go about it. Really, this is something that’s more cyclical.”

The other implication here is a more practical one: the height of the recession was probably the absolute worst time for Congress and the White House to attempt to pass climate legislation.

“On the other hand, you could say the policies that we want to put in place when the economy is good, we should start working on now,” Scruggs said. “Because they need to be ready to go when the [opinion] environment changes.”

Miller-McCune's Washington correspondent Emily Badger follows the ideas informing, explaining and influencing government, from the local think tank circuit to academic research that shapes D.C. policy from afar.

 
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