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

By Jo Nova

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.