Younger Americans Vote Pro-Environment… When They Actually Vote

Young people love voting green – and that doesn’t mean the Green Party, necessarily. In large numbers, Americans under the age of 35 say they intend to vote for eco-friendly politicians… if they bother to show up at the polls at all, that is.

According to a new poll conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, 68% of younger Americans would be more likely to vote for a candidate that supports cutting carbon emissions. Comparatively, only half of senior citizens would be motivated similarly at the ballot box.

Unfortunately, we can’t count on these under 35-year-olds to actually show up to vote for pro-green candidates. As the same poll reveals, the younger voters anticipated voting at a 20% lower rate than senior citizens. As such, that leaves a lot of room for politicians who aren’t concerned with climate change to get into office.

Regardless, it’s not just voting for candidates who focus on global warming that younger Americans care about: nearly every category imaginable related to the environment shows a serious discrepancy between generations. While 55% of older voters prefer candidates who like the Keystone XL pipeline, only 38% of younger voters would support such a candidate.

Even if they aren’t voting, at least the young people are living out their green ideals in other ways. 56% of younger Americans say they’re willing pay much higher prices for consumer goods in order to safeguard the environment, which is three times the rate that seniors say they would be willing to do that. Additionally, 62% of under 35-year-olds prefer to obtain energy through renewable resources, also significantly higher than interest for seniors.

The fact that Americans under 35 are concerned about the environment but skip the polls anyway may speak to an issue we’ve discussed previously: it’s not that young Americans are uninformed, it’s that they’re disenchanted. If having Democrats in power still is not producing meaningful eco-reform, it seems foolish to some to think voting will get us out of this global predicament.

Maybe part of the discrepancy for younger voters is that they haven’t found the kind of candidates that will stand up for the environment that seem worth going out to the polls for. I’d wager that if a politician made environmentalism a major campaign issue, that would spike turnout amongst young voters. Until politicians start addressing the issues that matter the most, however, support from twenty-somethings will remain simply theoretical.

53 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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Alexandra G.
Alexandra G2 years ago

thanks for sharing

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Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Rhonda B.
Rhonda B2 years ago

Yes. My 18 year old daughter is going vote for the very first time.

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jan b.
jan b2 years ago

TARA ---Obama made the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks a National Monument back in May and could generate over $7 million in new economic activity each year. The outdoor recreation industry is 6.1 million jobs nationwide $50 billion $$ was added to the economy---from visits to public lands just in 2012.



“If Barack Obama had not been president of the United States we would not have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Period,” she said. “I’m completely convinced of that " ? said Eliz Warren.

There are TOO many items where against ALL odds Obama has been able to pass on his own steam without the obstructionists GOP party.....-if you drink the FOX kookoo-laid then there is no hope.

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Darren Woolsey
Darren W2 years ago

Perhaps some of these young Americans are tuning in to the fact that their forefathers neglected preservation and conservation at the expense of greed and exploitation.

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ERIKA SOMLAI
ERIKA S2 years ago

noted

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Dave C.
David C2 years ago

VOTE!

our college freshman daughter voted already and has worked to "get out the vote" on her campus and local surrounding neighborhood.

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Tara B.
Tara B2 years ago

Dan B.,

Yes I know about that law, but it doesn't make defeating proposals 1 & 2 any less important.

If either of them PASSES it will allow hunting of wolves EVEN IF the very misleadingly named "Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act" passed by the legislature earlier this year IS defeated in court. Also, the best chance of getting the courts to rule against that law will be if voters have already rejected the hunting of wolves at the polls.

I don't think the fight will ever be truly over - even if the first two laws are defeated at the polls and the third in court, our legislature has gone so rogue it will probably just try a fourth time - but we need to do everything we can to defeat each one as it comes.

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Jp Jp
Jp Jp2 years ago

interesting

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