OP-ED (Vox): Young conservatives like me care about climate change. The GOP needs to take notice.

As a young conservative woman in my early 20s, I’m often met with surprise when people learn that environmentalism is a top political concern for me. 

Conservatives have been slow to address environmental challenges, even though many environmental solutions fit well within a belief in free market solutions. The economic and national security benefits of prioritizing climate change are issues that the GOP can and should embrace; they’re consistent with their ideology. While the left and right may have different reasons behind prioritizing eco-friendly reforms, such reforms are in our collective best interest. 

I am not alone in this thinking. It’s no secret that young voters, including young conservative voters, are increasingly concerned about environmental issues. A new poll from Pew Researchconfirms it, finding that along with holding opinions on climate change that differ from previous generations’, upward of 80 percent of millennial voters favor increasing alternative forms of energy like wind and solar. The same study found that just 44 percent of millennial Republicans favor an increase in offshore drilling, vastly fewer than the 75 percent of baby boomers and older generations who support it.

Danielle Butcher