Why is climate change political?

Episode 9 of KSAT Explains explores the science an implications of climate change.


SAN ANTONIOEditor’s note: This content was created exclusively for KSAT Explains, a new, weekly streaming show that dives deep into the biggest issues facing San Antonio and South Texas. Watch past episodes here and download the free KSAT-TV app to stay up on the latest.

At its core, climate change is a scientific topic. But over the years the conversation around the issue has become increasingly polarizing. But has it always been political?

Dr. Neil Debbage, an assistant professor of political science and geography at UTSA, says to answer that question, you have to look at two things: what climate change is and how that’s separate from what we do about it.

While the science of climate change isn’t inherently political, what we do about it is.


“We have to think about what politics are and what they’re trying to accomplish,” Debbage said. “They’re basically just a way for groups of people to achieve collective action.”

Over the years the conversation has grown more heated similar to many trends we’ve seen elsewhere in politics.

Watch the video above to learn more about what has caused a scientific issue to also become a hot-button one.

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