Millennials Confront Climate Change – Part II
November 24, 2014
As more words in this debate become buzz words associated with specific political parties, we progress further from the chance of collaboration and towards a language of polarization.
Editor’s Note: The Millennial Voices series is written by and for Millennials to foster nonpartisan discussion. Ben Link is a junior at American University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
In Part I of this blog series, we examined the reasons why millennials choose not to identify as “environmentalists.” As one millennial explained to NPR, the term “environmentalist” has been “sort of corrupted…politicized.”
This statement illustrates a shift happening to the overall language used in the American climate change debate. In recent years, phrases such as “climate change” and “global warming” have become laced with political connotations.
As more words in this debate become buzz words used to signal which party one sides with, we progress further from the chance of collaboration and move more towards a language of polarization. The debate will move away from one rooted in fact and evidence and instead become an argument about political identity.
If we wish to make movement on climate legislation, we must reframe the way in which we talk about environmental issues.
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