Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2018

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


John Van Buren


For much of the twenty-first century, there has been a debate in America over the existence of anthropogenic climate change. This debate is unnecessary and polarizing, as liberals often advocate for climate-change-mitigation policy while conservatives often declare anthropogenic climate change false or unimportant. Along with this, debate over climate change largely prevents effective policy from being passed in the US, which is a problem because as one of the most populous, polluting and powerful countries, we have a significant impact on how the fight to mitigate climate change proceeds.

The goal of this thesis is to work towards ending that debate by arguing that it would be best for conservatives to join or even lead the fight against climate change in the United States. I will do so by providing reasons why doing so would be in conservatives’ best interests, including the fact that severe weather and drought will harm the American economy, and that climate change will force more immigrants, legal and illegal, into the United States. After this, I will provide viable economic and political solutions to the problem that conservatives are likely to approve of. These include carbon taxes, shifting subsidies, technology transfer and cap-and-trade systems. Personal research in this thesis includes a survey taken by Republicans at Fordham University detailing their beliefs on the matter, in order to gauge whether they would be receptive to the solutions proposed. Along with this, I go into detail about certain conservative organizations and leaders who have already taken up this fight. This thesis proposes why it would benefit conservatives to take action against climate change and what policies, projects and actions should be taken in this fight.