Midwesterners are being forced to face up to climate change

The Economist - 01-11


HOW MUCH do Midwesterners care about climate change? “The back of the envelope political calculation is that this region is the least interested of any in the subject”, says an official at Chicago’s city hall. He notes how the last coal-fired power station inside Chicago’s city limits was closed only in 2012. The further you are from America’s coasts, say pollsters, the weaker the concern. According to Pew Research, two-thirds of coastal dwellers report seeing local effects of climate change; only half of those who are 300 miles or more inland do so. Pollsters also say that younger respondents, those likelier to move to cities and the coasts, and those who lean Democratic, are especially worried. America’s Midwest is more rural and Republican than average, with a higher median age, and is trying to hang on to heavy industry.