Climate change is a serious issue — in case you weren’t sure. This semester, it was made personal at the University of Connecticut as groups such as Fridays for Future made waves with their strike and subsequent sit-ins pressuring the university to take more concrete action against climate change.
There is an idea currently popular in liberal media that a large portion of the country denies climate change and uses its electoral influence to prevent environmentally friendly politicians from coming to office. This line of thinking is both ignorant and unproductive. By pointing the finger at an imaginary group of uneducated working class people, we both ignore systemic causes of these issues and the real sources of power in this country.
Nationalism is always borne out of disruption. This disruption can take many forms, but it most commonly arrives alongside waves of immigration. America’s most xenophobic moments — like the immigrant Know-Nothing party of the 1850s, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 or Trump’s current authoritarian border regime — have come in response to large influxes of immigrants.