Domestic Policy

The Politics of Climate Change

Sep 15, 2021 By Will Hurd
Updated: Dec 27, 2023
Will Hurd - Climate Change, fire in the green forest

The World is getting weirder. Over one million people lost power in Louisiana recently because of its fourth natural disaster in twelve months. Texas was shut down for a week because of winter storms. People were dying in the Pacific Northwest because it was too hot in the summer and the West Coast seems like it’s perpetually on fire. I had the opportunity recently to meet someone who put all this stuff in context for me. Katherine Hayhoe, a climatologist and Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy, taught me that to care about climate change you don’t have to be a certain type of person, you just have to be human.

To care about climate change you don’t have to be a certain type of person, you just have to be human

She also shared public polling data from the Yale program on climate change communication. The information was obtained through Spring 2020 and was not what I expected:

Estimated % of U.S. adults who think global warming …

  • is happening – 72%
  • will harm plants and animals – 71%
  • will harm future generations – 71%
  • will harm people in developing countries – 65%
  • will harm people in the U.S. – 61%
  • will harm them personally – 43%

Until more people think climate change is impacting them personally then we won’t see the political will necessary to do something about it. Just like we need to change our strategy for dealing with our adversaries like China, we need to change our strategy on how we are dealing with the climate. We know what will happen if we stay on our current trajectory and continue to contribute to global temperatures increasing.

  • Storms will get worse. Hurricanes and floods will destroy homes, roads and critical infrastructure that took time to build and will take even longer to rebuild. While some places will see more rain, other places will experience worse drought. When air gets hotter, it sucks up more water from soil and plants.
  • Droughts will threaten water supplies, severely reducing drinking water and irrigation of crops responsible for feeding and hydrating tens of millions of Americans.
  • Drying plants and trees makes everything more prone to burning, so we will see more fires. While some places are getting drier and others are burning more, our coasts will witness rising sea levels.

Until more people think climate change is impacting them personally then we won’t see the political will necessary to do something about it.

The extra heat caused by increased CO2 will restrict the livable habitat of plants and animals, leading to a reduction in crop yields, and animals that produce less milk and live shorter lives, which ultimately drives up prices of food at the grocery store. We have seen in failed states like Afghanistan and Syria that an inability of a government to provide access to proper amounts of food and water are accelerants of instability and we know that failing states provide fertile breeding grounds for terrorists to grow.

Will Hurd - climate change protest and demonstration sign There is no Planet B

The point is that climate change is a threat multiplier. It’s affecting every aspect of our life whether we are conscious of it or not. Planet Earth doesn’t need us. We need Planet Earth. We know what we need to do at a thirty-thousand-foot level – stop putting carbon into the atmosphere and take some of the carbon that is already in the atmosphere out. The hard part is going to be deciding on what options we pursue to accomplish this feat. However, we won’t be able to get to this conversation quickly enough if more people don’t think climate change is going to affect them personally. So here is my first homework assignment for you. Think about how the weather has gotten weirder from the time when you were a kid to now and send me an email about it. I’ll read every single one –

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About Will

Will Hurd has spent the past 20 years on the front lines of the most pressing fights facing our nation, in the Middle East, Congress, and the highest levels of business and tech.

Will has spent his life fighting for our country, and he will take those decades of experience with him as he fights for all us.

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I dream of an America where we have the smartest kids in the world. Every child in the U.S., regardless of location or age, should have access to a safe, world-class education.


The choice we face

In every decision we make, we stand at a crossroads. The path of division and quick fixes is well-trodden, but it’s time we consider a different route – one paved with unity and foresight.

Imagine an America where common sense prevails, where policies are crafted with the people’s best interests at heart, and our collective strengths are the foundation of national progress.

This is more than a possibility. It’s a choice we can make right now. By coming together, we have the power to foster a nation that champions innovation, inclusivity, and integrity.

What do we agree on?

Believe it’s important to protect free speech
Believe college education is important for success
Support the development of alternative energy sources
Believe it is essential to maintain Social Security
Support background checks for all gun buyers
Believe that LGBTQ+ individuals should have equal rights
Say it is important for the country to do more regarding race inequality
Are unhappy with the current US economy
Believe the federal government doesn't share enough information
Are concerned about pollution of drinking water
Believe the nation's infrastructure is in need of major repairs
Believe that access to affordable housing is a problem
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What’s a modern republican look like?

We’re a nation full of people with these values. If this describes you, you might be a modern Republican.

Respectful and Polite

Strong old school manners. You respect others, and say "please" and "thank you"


You give someone a fair shot


You're ready to put yourself in the shoes of someone else.


No matter street smarts or book smarts, you understand an education is important

Family Values

You put your family above everything and do everything you can to succeed


You take responsibility for your actions and believe in personal responsibility


You help others and you're always quick to smile


You don't let a little hardship get in your way


You know that we're better together and you are ready to help
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