Episode 75: Adrian Rafizadeh — Young conservative pursuing climate solutions

Adrian Rafizadeh is a young conservative; he’s also motivated to connect with fellow young conservatives about climate change. 

Polling from Frank Luntz found that 75% of Republicans under 40 support a carbon fee and dividend, which is really major,” Adrian explains in this episode of Citizens’ Climate Radio. “That 75% number is something that we’re really trying to laser in on and focus on within the Conservative Caucus because there’s so much potential there.” 

He also had advice for progressive, liberals, and moderates who want to connect with climate-concerned conservatives. When it came to U.S. climate policy, as a high school student, Adrian Rafizadeh strongly opposed one of the first major attempts by the Democrats. The Green New Deal was introduced in 2019 spearheaded by the progressive U.S. member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Green New Deal on the table got a lot of conservatives thinking, talking, and writing about climate change, including Adrian. Adrian presenting

While writing a paper for a class, Adrian sought to debunk the Green New Deal. In doing so, Adrian suddenly saw the issue of climate change differently. He recognized the seriousness of the problem the U.S. and the world face, and he decided he needed to do something about it. That set Adrian on a quest to find a way to address climate change that also fits into his world view and politics. Adrian is a member of the Republican party. 

The child of Iranian immigrants, Adrian shares his climate journey with us. He reveals how he found his way into a climate organization, and he tells what progressives who want to engage conservatives in climate conversations can do to open up a dialogue. He talks about one of his favorite climate solutions, the carbon fee and dividend. 

Adrian Rafizadeh is an incoming student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. You can learn more about conservatives engaged in climate work by visiting CCL Conservatives.  

If you want to hear more conservatives talking about climate, check out RepublicEN’s EcoRight Speaks Podcast.

The Art House

This month’s Art House focuses on children’s author Randi Hacker. Randi is the author of the children’s book, “Life on a Different Planet, A Climate Crisis Handbook,” which dramatically opens with words in large bold letters that spell out, Welcome to the End of the World. Turning the page reveals that someone edited the sign to say, Welcome to Beginning of the New World. 

Since the early 1990s, Randi has published books and magazines designed to help young people learn about environmental issues and climate change. In the Art House she explains how, with all her work, she seeks to be honest with young people about the problems we face while also giving them ideas for concrete actions they can take. 

“Life on a Different Planet, A Climate Crisis Handbook” is full of original artwork by Ron Barrett, the artist who illustrated the award winning book “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” The illustrations bring a sense of whimsy and playfulness to the book while also helping readers come close to hard realities. 

Here are some other CCL resources for children and parents:

Click here for a transcript of this episode. 

Good News Report

We have two Good News Reports. 

  • Nate Abercrombie, Conservative Outreach Coordinator for Citizens Climate Lobby, shares recent successes from CCL’s Conservative Caucus and tells us about a new campaign to reach out to Utah Conservatives. 
  • Dana Nuccitelli, a Research Coordinator at Citizens Climate Lobby, tells us about a very big piece of legislation. The Inflation Reduction Act recently passed in both houses of Congress, with President Joe Biden signing it into law earlier this month. Dana tells us why this bill is great news for the climate. He also talks about possible next steps. To read more about the bill and to read more of Dana’s analysis, check out The Nerd Corner

If you have good news to share, email radio @ citizensclimate.org We always welcome your thoughts, questions, suggestions, and recommendations for the show. Leave a message on our listener voicemail line: (619) 512-9646. +1 if calling from outside the U.S. 

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