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NewsTalk

Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Energy & Environment / Environment / Manufacturing

Indiana and climate change

January 22, 2010

A report yesterday about Americans’ attitudes on environmental issues by an influential Republican pollster is getting attention in liberal circles, but conservatives have been largely silent. In any event, the findings could create ramifications for Indiana, a smokestack state if ever there was one.

Frank Luntz, who early in the past decade counseled Republicans to play up the lack of scientific consensus on global warming, now is telling the party to get on the green bandwagon—but by using pro-growth terminology.

Most Americans believe the climate is warming and that something needs to be done, even if the entire scientific community is not marching in lockstep on the issue, Luntz said. Republicans, by the way, are thinking along the same lines as Democrats, he said.

Americans are more concerned about lessening the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and cutting back on pollution than they are about polar bears and melting glaciers, his polling found. Americans also don’t want to see environmentally friendly industries migrate to other countries.

Predictably, Republican respondents were more worried about the economic and national security issue of ending dependence on foreign oil, and Democrats were more concerned about environmental considerations.

Still, Luntz reminded, the public wants action.

The report is here. Read a take from the political left here.

Luntz advised politicians to get out in front of the issue by appealing to economic benefits of an improved environment. Talk about cleaner air instead of climate change. Also about national security and sustainable jobs.

If the report helps nudge environmental legislation ahead, Indiana on the one hand could benefit from the wind turbine and lithium battery production that’s flocking here. On the other hand, the steelmakers who dominate Northwestern Indiana and the numerous manufacturers populating the state as a whole could easily be hurt.

What are your thoughts? Has Indiana done enough to take advantage of the green movement?
 

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