Q&A: Why Biden can’t tame the ‘radical flank’

By Scott Waldman | 03/05/2024 06:43 AM EST

A scholar examines the splintering of the climate movement following Trump’s loss in 2020.

Dana Fisher

Author Dana Fisher says President Joe Biden can't count on climate activists to support his reelection. Dana Fisher

President Joe Biden will likely need climate activists to win reelection in November, but he shouldn’t count on their support.

That view comes from a leading scholar of the activist movement, Dana Fisher, who has studied political protests for decades and has written three books on activism. Fisher was also a contributing author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment, writing a section on citizen engagement and civic activism.

Eight years ago, the climate advocacy movement was united more than it ever had been, driven by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s assertions that climate change was a myth. Today, the movement is fractured as Biden prepares to likely face Trump again on Election Day, according to Fisher, author of the new book “Saving Ourselves: From Climate Shocks to Climate Action.”


“He earned the trust of all these young people who are highly activated, highly motivated, and they helped him get the youth vote in a bunch of key swing states,” Fisher said of Biden’s victory in 2020 in a recent interview.