Yale Climate Opinion Maps

Before I get started, I have to explain the immensity of fascination I have with maps and data. Also, by now you know that I am an avid climate activist. I am significantly involved with several groups including Citizen’s Climate Lobby and Sierra Club.

I wanted to feature the Yale Climate Opinion Maps of 2016 which break down by county, metro areas, congressional districts, states and nationally. You can get lost looking into each individual section… I sure did!

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Additionally, the same group at Yale recently came out with a poll overview of Trump voters and their opinions on global warming, the numbers may shock you and I have listed them below this chart:

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Key Findings:

  • About half of Trump voters (49%) think global warming is happening, while fewer than one in three (30%) think global warming is not happening.
  • Almost half of Trump voters (47%) also say the U.S. should participate in the international agreement to limit global warming. By contrast, only 28% say the U.S. should not participate.
  • More than six in ten Trump voters (62%) support taxing and/or regulating the pollution that causes global warming, with nearly one in three (31%) supporting both approaches. In contrast, only about one in five (21%) support doing neither.
  • More than three in four Trump voters (77%) support generating renewable energy (solar and wind) on public land in the U.S. 72% support more drilling and mining of fossil fuels on public land in the U.S.
  • Seven in ten Trump voters (71%) support funding more research into clean energy and providing tax rebates to people who purchase energy efficient vehicles and solar panels (69%).
  • Over half of Trump voters (52%) support eliminating all federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, nearly half (48%) support requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a carbon tax and using the money to reduce other taxes by an equal amount, and almost half (48%) support setting strict carbon dioxide emissions limits on existing coal-fired power plants to reduce global warming and improve public health, even if the cost of electricity to consumers and companies would likely increase.
  • Half of Trump voters say transitioning from fossil fuels toward clean energy will either improve economic growth (29%) or have no impact (21%).
  • Nearly three in four Trump voters (73%) say that, in the future, the U.S. should use more renewable energy (solar, wind, and geothermal). One in three (33%) say that the U.S. should use fossil fuels less in the future.
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Power Struggle

A look at how the market and governments regulate power and how the green energy industry is disrupting it via The Economist article Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems

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Key takeaways:

  • Solar and wind only provide 7% of global energy consumption
  • Solar and wind are growing faster than any other energy type and prices are falling to competitive levels with fossil fuels
  • Requires significant investment over the next 10 years ($20 trillion)
  • WE NEED TO RETHINK HOW CLEAN ENERGY IS PRICED
    • Government subsidies have distorted the market
    • Green power is intermittent
    • Renewable costs are negligible or zero… aka meaning that the more used, the more depressed the prices and revenues
    • Markets do not determine energy company success and failure; politicians do
    • Small, modular power plants can help with intermittent supply as well as moving network power around more efficiently

Recommendation: 

Markets should reward those willing to use less electricity to balance the grid, just as they reward those who generate more of it.

The Atlantic Bill Gates Interview “We need an energy miracle”

 

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It’s rare or near-impossible to find a story or interview without motives beyond sharing news and information. The Atlantic’s Bill Gates interview is no exception to that. Gates shares his opinions about climate change, environmentalists and the future of energy when he is largely invested in companies such as Shell, BP, etc. Despite this, the perspective this article shares is intriguing and sheds light on some interesting opinions on innovation in the energy market, and how government and private companies can get involved.

“People can always say, “Well, my country is such a small part of it—why should I make the sacrifice? Because I don’t know for sure that the other countries are going to do their part of it.” We don’t have a world government. Fortunately, we don’t have that many world problems—most problems can be solved locally—but this one is a world problem. Carbon is not a local pollutant. It mixes in the global atmosphere in a matter of days. So it doesn’t really matter whether it’s a coal plant in China or a coal plant in the U.S.—the heating effect for the entire globe is the same.”