Rouzy Vafaie of Charleston, South Carolina, has considered himself a Republican since childhood.
Vafaie: “I was born in Iran and my parents brought me to the U.S. during the Reagan administration. You know, Ronald Reagan was kind of my hero. I’m a Republican because I believe in fiscal responsibility and fiscal prudence.”
As a fiscal conservative, he says he’s concerned about the growing cost of flooding and extreme weather. They not only cause property damage, but interrupt lives and disrupt businesses.
Vafaie: “For four years in a row, Charleston’s been more or less evacuated because of hurricanes. It’s costing money.”
In the past, he brushed off those concerns, because he thought that reducing global warming would require burdensome government intervention.
Vafaie: “I always thought, if this is an issue, there’s going to be regulation, there’s going to be all these laws, and it’s just going to increase spending.”
But then Vafaie started learning about free-market solutions, such as ending subsidies for fossil fuels and charging companies for the carbon pollution they emit.
Vafaie: “That’s when I actually felt that I had ammunition to tackle the issue.”
Now, he’s working to engage other conservatives by talking about climate solutions that they, too, can rally behind.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Courtesy of Rouzy Vafaie.