Environmental attitudes and political partisanship

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Objective: To explore the impact of political partisanship on environmental attitudes related to climate change in United States and its implications for public health. Study design: An integrative literature review. Methods: A literature review of English articles was performed from January 2013 to March 2013 using the following databases: CINAHL, PubMed, Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier, ERIC, psychINFO, and Wiley Online Library. Empirical and review articles and Internet sources were included. Results: Continued mass emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will exacerbate the consequences of global warming and climate change. As one of the key global contributors of carbon emissions, the lack of climate change policy and regulatory practices at the federal level in the United States is of great concern. Political partisanship in the US is largely to blame for this inaction, as efforts for drastic remediation action is met with rejection from conservative groups who do not believe that global warming and climate change are a problem, despite scientific evidence to the contrary. To promote the health of the entire population, there needs to be a paradigm shift from consumption driven economic growth as advocated by the Republicans to a realization of true prosperity beyond growth in order to create a sustainable world. Conclusion: This presents a critical challenge to public health professionals as political partisanship has the power to impact environmental attitudes and have serious implications for public health. Preserving the environment must take precedence over economic growth if we want a habitable planet low in carbon. © 2014 The Royal Society for Public Health.

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Public Health

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