Here in the United States, we have a two-party political system. There are minor parties, but it’s Democrats and Republicans who carry the vast majority of voters and seats in legislatures. In recent years, we’ve seen a definitive split between the two parties, such that it is almost impossible to see them agreeing on anything.
Until now. In the Intermountain West, concern about environmental issues, especially availability of water, has brought the two sides closer together. In a poll conducted by Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project, 3,400 registered votes from eight western states were surveyed by a bi-partisan team of pollsters. In 2022, 70% of respondents ranked inadequate water supplies as very or extremely serious. In 2011, only 40% did. In 2022, 52% of those polled were very or extremely concerned about climate change. In 2011, it was 27%.
In 2020, Pew Research found that more than half of Republicans and “overwhelming shares of Democrats” supported initiatives to make an impact on climate change. Democrats have been increasingly concerned with climate issues, but we are now seeing an increase in Republican support as well.
In 2016, Pew found a deep political divide on the issue of whether or not climate change actually exists, and what motivations scientists had to say that it did. Those divisions are changing with time, as droughts and storms worsen across the planet.