- JoNova - https://joannenova.com.au -

Old GOP voters are skeptics, so it takes 20 years to recover from education and wise up to the media

From Jo: Bookings close this Sunday.
Jo Nova

Hope to see you in Sydney the weekend after next!

I’ll be speaking with Ian Plimer at the ATA Friedman18 conference.

It’s a great line up of speakers on May 25-27, or come for the Gala dinner.

Get a 10% discount with the code Nova18.

On Climate, There’s A Sharp Generational Divide Within GOP

USNews, Alan Neuhauser

A Pew survey exposed a stark gap between younger and older Republican voters on global warming and energy policy.


Neuhauser doesn’t mention it but the implications are pretty dire — look how long it takes to recover from school:

Republican millennials – people roughly ages 22 to 37 – are far less likely than older generations to support the use of coal, oil and other fossil fuel sources. By one count, while three-quarters of Republican baby boomers and older generations supported more offshore oil and gas drilling, fewer than half of millennial Republicans felt the same way.

At least most Republicans grow up:

Among [young and old] Democrats, by contrast, there was only a small divide.

If half the population is shifting in the same direction as they age, this suggests…  something…   what could it be?

There can be a tendency for younger voters to become more conservative as they age. The divide on energy and climate is so broad, however, that experts expect it’s one that will not significantly narrow.

So young believers will not grow up to be old skeptics?

This must be why the numbers of believers in global warming has grown cumulatively since 1990 as young believers grew into old believers, and old believers died… except, that didn’t happen. Over the last quarter century, the only group that has grown in Gallup polls on climate issues  are the skeptics.

Young believers become old skeptics, climate poll, Gallup, 1990 - 2015, Graph.


But let’s ask the experts:

I’m not aware of any evidence that they’ll become more like the 65-plus types now and adopt their worldview,” says Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

It’s research like that that gets you to Yale.

For a democrat journalist there is always hope:

But even with a president occupying the White House who has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax,” the findings may also be a sign of a shift to come within the party: Millennials are set to overtake baby boomers as the largest generation of Americans eligible to vote.

Good luck with that theory.

Here come the excuses.  I mean reasons:

As with those other policy areas, the results in the Pew survey may reflect the different experiences and far greater access to information that younger voters have enjoyed, experts say.

Yup. Young people have more info because old people live in shoeboxes.

And when it comes to experiences —  old people just built companies, raised kids, and paid off houses, but young people have built entire civilizations in MineCraft TM.

Hear them roar:

“I am a millennial – we grew up at a time when the air has been relatively clean and Earth Day existed and the general idea that the planet as a resource that should be preserved is not uncommon,” says Joseph Majkut, director of climate policy at the Niskanen Center, a libertarian think tank. “Millennials also didn’t directly experience things like the fuel crisis in the 1970s, so there’s no hangover from there being fuel controls and other issues like there were for boomers and other folks.”

Old folk are obviously hungover because they’ve been through tough times. But since the real world is a fluffy buttercup, young naive people are so much better placed to understand it.

Note how the experiences of millenials that help them are the experiences they didn’t experience.

This process of growing up and getting wise is now a “fault line”:

The results are the latest to highlight fault lines within the Republican Party, which – even with control of the White House, both houses of Congress and a majority of state legislatures – has struggled to find common ground amid what can seem an ever more fractious caucus.

The fault line in the GOP is that the representatives keep lining up with the young and gullible instead of the old and wise.

The fault line in the Democrats is just between them and the real world.

With more access to gigabyte libraries of information, world tours, and years of study,  it is amazing that yet again, another generation thinks it’s the first smart one born in human history.


Gallup 2015 poll press release plus Gallop poll questions and results.

9.5 out of 10 based on 69 ratings