UW Political Science Professor Aseem Prakash and his colleague Nives Dolšak from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs discuss the potential benefit of the issue of climate change being largely ignored during the presidential debates and the general election campaign overall.
They note that the issue is a highly polarizing one between the two parties, which should “make this a ripe topic for presidential debates.” However, the fact that it has only played a very minor role in the debates as well as the electoral campaign might actually help its cause “given the reality of how that conversation likely would have gone.”
“Trump could have framed climate change as a global conspiracy and taking action on it as pandering to China. […] Post-election, Trump supporters might continue with this mindset of ‘climate change mitigation equals China pandering.’ This framing will probably make it more difficult for some Republicans to arrive at a rational compromise with the Democrats on climate change.”
The article entitled “The Upside of Ignoring Climate Change” was published on October 31, 2016, on the Slate website. Founded in 1996, Slate is an online daily magazine that is “offering analysis and commentary about politics, news, business, technology, and culture.”