Young Americans Are United Around a Green Future
Young people have been demanding a greener future for decades. But the point of view that was once closely associated with left-wing beliefs now spans across the political spectrum. In fact, new polling from the American Conservation Coalition (ACC) reveals that bipartisan young America is overwhelmingly supportive of a green future.
ACC’s poll surveyed more than 1,000 respondents spread across 15 key Congressional districts. Respondents ranged in age from 18 years old to 30 years old, and the sampled population was weighted to represent the national percentage on demographics such as gender, race, and education. Respondents also represented a wide array of political viewpoints.
The polling revealed that 53 percent of young Americans are frustrated with the path our country is on, and only 39 percent agree with President Joe Biden’s handling of climate change. Interestingly though, the respondents trusted Democrats to handle climate change better than Republicans by a two-to-one ratio. Only 39 percent of the respondents believe that Republicans do care about climate change, while 73 percent believe that they should care.
The data on environmental prescriptions and solutions is the most encouraging thing to come from this study. For so long, environmental action was thought to be hand-in-hand with government regulation. But this survey shows phenomenal support for natural and market-based solutions.
Renewable energy is viewed favorably, with 75 percent of respondents urging the growth of energy sources like solar and wind. The vast majority of those surveyed also say that planting more trees and restoring natural ecosystems are effective methods to combat climate change. The belief that environmental protection must be balanced with economic growth showed strong bipartisan support.
Despite climate policy remaining a divisive topic in Congress, our survey showed that some solutions are hugely popular among young people. For example, nature-based solutions, as well as wind and solar power, unite young Americans despite their other policy disagreements.
Why should free marketeers find these survey results encouraging? Because, while a section of respondents likely would still support increased environmental regulations, more and more people are turning toward natural and market-based solutions first. And, the power of the individual is shining through. Breaking down sentiment on environmental individualism, the survey results reveal that 78 percent of respondents think the individual plays an important role in combating climate change.
Those of us who believe in the power of the market and innovation already understand the importance of the individual. We recognize that even one person can make a mark on this world through ideas and effort. How can young America secure a green future? By continuing to believe in and uphold environmental individualism and innovation.