By J.D. Capelouto
12 April 2017
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Davidson College in North Carolina has fewer than 2,000 students – small enough that the presidents of the College Republican and College Democrats clubs count each other as friends.
They disagree on some political issues, but an unusual one unites them: they both believe climate change is a serious problem.
“Climate change is really real and really alarming to me personally,” said Grace Woodward, the College Republicans’ president. University students – and Republicans in particular – “need to do a better job of talking about climate change”, she said.
Woodward is well aware that her views differ from those of many older Republican leaders. But “we shouldn't just be blindly loyal to a party”, she said. “In 20 years maybe we’ll hold those positions and we can make changes to the party.” […]
The climate generation gap may herald the start of a party-wide shift among Republicans, with scepticism about the problem dissolving as global warming morphs into a generation-wide concern, experts, politicians and campus leaders said.
“I think that there will be a big change in the (Republican) Party,” said Kent Haeffner, president of the Harvard University Republican Club, whose members are firm believers in man-made climate change.
“Demographically, the ‘Trump coalition’ will not last. I think that the folks that are our age are going to have to reshape the party and take it in a different direction,” he said. [more]