If you’re like me, you are probably not surprised to hear that a majority of Americans are now against off-shore drilling for oil. If the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico has taught us anything, its not to listen to the assurances and platitudes of corporations that place profits at the top of the list above the environment, local economies and even the long-term health of the planet.
A recently released poll shows that many Americans – including hard-nosed Republicans have moved to the left when it comes to renewable energy. The poll, by Rasmussen, which has been published at Enviroknow, indicates that even Republicans are part of the nation’s shift against off-shore oil drilling.
Since the BP environmental disaster in the Gulf began 3 months ago, more than 50% of Republicans are concerned about off-shore drilling (that’s up from 31% before the crisis). Overall, well more than half of all people in the U.S. are opposed to drilling for oil off-shore.
So, what is so significant about the Republican concern about the oil spill?
Perhaps we are shocked that so many of them (93%) are very interested in news about the oil in the Gulf. It may be particularly surprising in light of the fact that Republicans tend to scoff at climate change reports and scientific studies regarding global warming.
But the barrage of images and video streaming from the Gulf over the past three months can apparently soften even the hardest hearts. The unprecedented catastrophe and endless news coverage leaves one little place to hide. As one post noted:
But as a result of the ‘bleeds must lead’ coverage, even Republican voters are now getting the real news on an environmental ill effect of fossil energy. And it is changing them. They are not so different from Democrats after all on this issue. Only two months into just one environmental catastrophe (that we’ll see many more of as we scrape even further the bottom of the barrel for oil) they are now, after just two months of the scales being lifted, able to see environmental risk.
Now that we’ve been witnessing “Spill, baby, spill” since April, the cries of “Drill, baby, drill” have diminished. What Republican wants to have another BP oil disaster on their watch?
What happens next is anyone’s guess. If BP manages to successfully cap the oil spill this week, concern may die down a bit. Yet, as in the Alaskan oil spill 20 year ago, the final accounting is probably months, if not years away.
Will we stick with our opposition to fossil fuels by then?