Water Wars: Republicans Only Ones Who Don’t Link Drought And Climate Change

Republicans are the only ones who don't link California drought to climate change

The historic California megadrought has now dragged on into its fourth year and a new study shows Republicans are the only ones who think it has nothing to do with climate change.

Two-thirds of Californians think global warming helped caused the drought, but 62 percent of Republicans disagree with that, according to a new study by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute.

In fact, a third of Republicans, 31 percent, said the world would never see any effects from climate change.

“The threat of global warming to the state’s future is a shared belief among inland and coastal residents and Californians across racial and ethnic groups. But there are persistent partisan divisions on climate change.”

There is also an overwhelming agreement across racial groups that climate change caused California’s drought, but Republicans remain doubtful.

Again, two thirds of Democrats said they thought it was important for the state to pass regulations supported by Governor Jerry Brown to ease the effects of climate change and allow California to survive the drought. Only a minority of Republicans agreed.

Brown has called for the state of California to reduce its water usage by 25 percent and most Californians, 68 percent, agree with him. Central Valley residents are more likely to be concerned with dwindling water supplies.

The governor is backed by the Pope, who has called on Republican leaders to make climate change and alleviating poverty as important a campaign issue as gay marriage and abortion.

Pope Francis has called on political leaders to have “profound political courage,” but Republican leaders say the Vatican shouldn’t be involved in politics and the divide has threatened to alienate religious conservatives.

Their views may also alienate them from the majority of Californians, 70 percent, who think the state should pass laws to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Bill AB 32, which requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, enjoys substantial support.

Republicans don't believe in climate change

Maybe that’s why California poll numbers show Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton beating her Republican opponents by a clear margin.

Last week, Clinton released a plan outlining bold goals to fight climate change and make America the world’s leader in green energy.

“Those people on the other side, they will answer any question about climate change by saying, ‘I’m not a scientist.’ Well, I’m not a scientist either. I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain.”

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Duane Prokop/Getty Images]