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.

#ifeelnaked Is Just Another Social Media Fad

This is going to be an Alice-going-deep-down-the-rabbit-hole kind of post because there are many relatable tangents that I have about this style of “commentary” and “involvement”.

Let’s start with the basics: #ifeelnaked is a hashtag that individuals use to promote their disapproval of the NSA disclosure scandal that started with Edward Snowden’s leak of several classified programs in 2013. This week the Senate passed a bill to reform NSA programs aka putting a stop to several of the data collections that outraged so many Americans.

Here is a simplified list of the information the NSA collected:

  • A record of most calls made in the U.S.
  • Email, Facebook posts and instant messages
  • Massive amounts of raw Internet traffic
  • The contents of an unknown number of phone calls

Regardless of your opinion on if the NSA was within their rights of protecting the country or wildly infringing on American civil liberties, let’s clear one thing up right now: posting a photo of yourself nearly naked with the hashtag #ifeelnaked exposes you on a much more visible and applicable level than what the NSA had done. Additionally, in general – and brace yourself because this is tangent number 1 – the individuals who post this kind of social “commentary” (intentional use of quotes) are generally those who are not involved or have knowledge of legislature or measures that actually have a direct impact in their lives: education, homelessness, poverty, real honest-to-goodness security risks, human caused environmental damage, the list goes on and on. All of the above bullet points are data categories that already are collected by private businesses. Everything you do online is tracked. Everything. Is this news to you? And at least with the government, there are checks and balances… granted this strikes the most fear in people because who really knows.

I trust my government. Could it be better? Could we increase transparency and decrease corruption? YES. But how is posting a picture getting involved? Write to your congresswoman/man, write to your state legislature, write to the president! I guarantee you it’ll have a much more resolute impact on what you care about. This in comparison to a instagram picture holds a lot more influence.

Tangent no.2: if you’re so freaked out about surveillance you better get off the grid quick. Ditch the cell, social media, and any way that your internet search behavior can be traced back to you. Good luck with that.