A new poll was released on Tuesday by Public Policy Polling for the National Resources Defense Council indicating that Latinos largely believe climate change to be a serious problem and support the President using his power to address it. This poll doesn’t differ too much from previous polls about Latinos and environmental issues in that it affirms the Latino community’s support for the environment and clean energy initiatives.
This new poll of 1218 registered Latino voters was conducted after last week’s State of the Union address and GOP response from Senator Marco Rubio. Some of the key findings include:
- “74 percent of Latinos believe climate change is a serious or very serious problem, a higher level than the 65 percent among all American adults.
68 percent of Latinos support the president using his authority to reduce dangerous carbon pollution, including 60 percent of all American adults.
69 percent of Latinos agree with the president’s statement that “for the sake of our children” and our future, we must do more to combat climate change, compared to 62 percent of all American adults.”
Last week in his response to the President’s State of the Union, Senator Marco Rubio (R – Florida) asserted that the “government can’t change the weather.” The following day on Fox and Friends, Senator Rubio explained, “The government can’t change the weather. I said that in the speech. We can pass a bunch of laws that will destroy our economy, but it isn’t going to change the weather. Because, for example, there are other countries that are polluting in the atmosphere much greater than we are at this point — China, India, all these countries that are still growing. They’re not going to stop doing what they’re doing.”
Rubio’s statements put him at odds with the Latino community’s policy preferences when it comes to addressing climate change. The data that shows the extent of the Latino community’s concern about the environment and climate change is not surprising given the reality that minorities are more likely to live in “areas burdened by extreme pollution.”