A New Front in the Biden-Trump Battle for the Suburbs: Wildfires

A New Front in the Biden-Trump Battle for the Suburbs: Wildfires

But Mr. Biden’s advisers, as well as environmentalists who have watched in frustration for years as their issues were relegated to the back of a drawer, believe that the sheer destruction of the fires has further elevated this into a powerful issue. That is especially true in a season of hurricanes, dramatic temperature fluctuations and wild weather in other parts of the country. As the fires raged, the Gulf Coast was preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sally and the torrential rains and flooding it would bring. Mr. Biden has notably framed climate change as one of four simultaneous crises facing the nation, along with the pandemic, the economic downturn and the reckoning over race and policing. “For the first time, the average American is likely to see climate change as a here, now, us problem,” said Mr. Maibach, who studies public opinion on the environment. “They saw it as a distant problem,” Mr. Maibach said of voters previously. “Distant in time — maybe 2100 but not today. Distant in space — maybe Bangladesh and not Boston. And distant in species — polar bears, for sure, but not people.” The climate change debate reflects what has been another critical difference between these two candidates: The value they placed on science-based data. Once again, as with the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr. Trump is denying the assertions of scientists as he seeks to minimize a threat to the nation’s well-being. That emphasis could face a backlash among suburban voters: 84 percent of suburbanites said in an NPR/PBS NewsHour ...
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