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The Carbon-Climate Cleavage and American Politics

Eggers Hall, 220

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A talk with Thomas Oatley about America's dual economy and the climate crisis intersecting to shape American politics. Carbon-intensive industries in the interior are exposed to the short-run costs of decarbonization but insulated from the climate crisis. In contrast, knowledge-intensive industries along the coasts are directly exposed to the climate crisis but largely immune to the costs of decarbonization. This interaction between the dual economy and the climate crisis has generated a new axis of political conflict in which climate change policy is a focal point. Using data on economic geography, political attitudes on climate change policy, and support for Trump in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, Oatley describes the dual economy and climate crisis intersection and show the extent to which this cleavage aligns with support Trump and opposition to climate change policy.

Thomas Oatley holds the Corasaniti-Zondorak Chair of International Relations at Tulane University. 


Social Science and Public Policy





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MAX-Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs


Nicholas Feeley


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Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

We’re Turning 100!

To mark our centennial in the fall of 2024, the Maxwell School will hold special events and engagement opportunities to celebrate the many ways—across disciplines and borders—our community ever strives to, as the Oath says, “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.