Environment & Climate Change: Can Young Americans Bridge the Gap?

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They agree the government should take action on climate change. Can young voters lead the way to common ground?

Young Americans, aged 18-29, believe that the threat from climate change is real regardless of their ideological leanings, compared to older Americans. Recent polling shows that Republican voters, born after 1980, are much more likely than older Republicans to think that government efforts to reduce climate change have been insufficient (52% vs. 31%).

In this episode, we ask: can the youngest generation of voters put aside partisan differences and agree on policies needed to protect climate and the environment as well as address the needs of business and the economy? We discuss the roles of government and business, and how to find common ground.

Our guests are Danielle Butcher, a conservative political executive and a leader of the American Conservation Coalition; and a liberal, Andrew Brennen, who is a National Geographic Explorer and Education Fellow, who co-founded the Kentucky Student Voice Team.

Andrew Brennen

Andrew Brennen is a National Geographic Explorer and Education Fellow supporting youth led movements and organizations around the globe. As a junior in high school he co-founded the Kentucky Student Voice Team, which helps to amplify and elevate students as partners in improving Kentucky schools.

Today, the Kentucky Student Voice Team consists of over 150 young people from across the Commonwealth and serves as a national model for how young people can hold educational institutions accountable. Andrew graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in political science and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Danielle Butcher

Danielle Butcher is a conservative political executive who aids organizations in developing and implementing their national strategies. Danielle currently serves as Executive Vice President of the American Conservation Coalition and on the Advisory Board of the British Conservation Alliance, where she merges her love of leadership with her passions for free-market capitalism and the environment. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) working on environmental and energy issues. Danielle was recently named to 2020’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

She has spoken at several prominent conservative events including CPAC, appeared as a frequent guest on Fox News Radio and NPR, and has had her work featured in publications such as The Times, The Hill, The Washington Examiner, VOX, and more. With her work prior to ACC, she served in leadership roles at various conservative nonprofits and organizations. Danielle attended Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she studied Political Science and Rhetoric Communications.