“Everything everywhere all at once” became more than an Oscar-sweeping movie title recently as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described what it will take to halt and reverse the disastrous effects of climate change in the last piece of its sixth report. We’ve already reached the 1.1 degree Celsius of warming some scientists call a point of no return, and ecosystems we depend on for survival will soon be deeply, and in many cases irreparably, changed.

As the spring hunting season approaches, millions of families will experience the effects of climate change as they harvest a turkey or walleye for dinner. But, like most Americans, they’re likely not to talk about it. What will come up is how the land was drier, water was lower, temperatures were warmer, “green up” came sooner and bears woke up earlier because everything sprouted earlier, or how fish that are usually in a favorite fishing spot no longer are.

Hunters and anglers have long been sensitive to climate change effects, whether so named or not. We have a deep connection with our environments, spending days or weeks becoming one with a space, absorbing the stillness and movement, exploring and examining the landscape and how it all works together—or doesn’t. Perhaps surprising to some, opinion research published by my organization, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, shows 72 percent of hunters and anglers say that climate change is happening, and within that segment, 74 percent agree that human activity is affecting our climate. This overall acceptance was true across political party affiliations.

However, because climate change has become a political issue, hunters and anglers—and the elected officials who represent them—have been silent, or worse, encouraged to actively oppose data and science-based policy solutions and espouse instead anti-climate political rhetoric designed to get votes. This tactic has worked, creating a negative feedback loop and making it harder for us to talk about the hard facts that need conservative support to move policy solutions in Congress.

This is especially important because tens of millions of American hunters and anglers are fundamentally affected by climate change. Given how rural and conservative decisionmakers rely on us, this community can be critical in advancing climate solutions. Without our support, climate change proposals are less likely to pass, and this will squander precious opportunities to address the greatest existing threat to our natural environment.

Our poll also shows that conservation strategies, or nature-based climate solutions, are widely embraced by both conservative and liberals who hunt and fish as a way to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Restoring wetlands, coastal areas, forests, prairies and grasslands; conserving and restoring 30 percent of our land and water; and encouraging farmers to adopt regenerative practices are all policy solutions that deliver clear benefits for wildlife, habitat, water quantity and quality and soil health. They are also expected to mitigate at least one fifth, and more than one third, of carbon emissions. Long-standing conservationists, hunters and anglers fervently believe our natural resources must be conserved and held in trust for all citizens. Conservation is climate action.

Political progress on climate change has to be the next step. With more than $25 billion for conservation and forest management, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law last summer. Widely considered the biggest climate bill of our lifetime by making a $369 billion investment in climate solutions, it landed on the president’s desk without a single Republican in Congress supporting it.

While the 117th Congress was marred by a violent insurrection and debunked election conspiracies, it was far from dysfunctional. With slightly more than one-third of Senate Republicans voting for two significant bipartisan bills, CHIPS and Science Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, hundreds of billions of dollars were invested in research, technology, clean water, resilience and weatherization, and natural infrastructure. These bills were arguably climate bills but they weren’t called that, demonstrating how our future could become a politically motivated, high-stakes game of Taboo.

Given the difficulties of achieving action, it’s not surprising that the Congressional approval rating hovers around 20 percent while over three quarters of Americans think most members of Congress do not deserve to be reelected. Young adults—known to be more active in addressing climate change—are split on whether Republicans in Congress even care about climate change. What they’re not split on? That Republicans should care.

I’m willing to bet that Republicans do care about climate change; they just don’t feel safe acting on it. Legislators are pressed to prioritize reelection over ideology or policy results when faced with primary voters that would rather have elected officials fight the other party than help their own state and billions spent by fossil fuel interests on ads, lobbying and political contributions to influence legislation. But we should expect better and be better; bipartisan action is key to reaching our climate goals. If Republicans take anything away from the midterm’s thwarted red wave, it should be that they must engage authentically about climate and take action.

A coalition of conservationists representing millions of hunters, anglers, outdoor enthusiasts, scientists and land stewards, is working to help Congress pass bipartisan legislation that addresses climate change. We’re often the first to witness many of the climate impacts to our nation’s fish and wildlife resources. We’ve seen blue waters turn green and toxic from algal blooms; freshwater become turbid with drought-induced low water levels; cheatgrass and conifer march across the iconic sagebrush biome; river, lake and stream beds parched and empty; verdant woodlands and farms poisoned by saltwater intrusion from rising seas; moose calves miscarried by anemic, tick-coated mothers; and time-honored trips scuttled by elevated temperatures or unseasonal weather.

Hunters and anglers are a key part of a larger group that’s actively involved in nature; the Census Bureau has stated that “In 2016, more than 103 million Americans—a staggering 40 percent of the U.S. population 16 years and older—participated in some form of fishing, hunting, or other wildlife-associated recreation such as birdwatching or outdoor photography.” That’s a lot of current and prospective voters. We must help legislators see they have constituency support to support healthy ecosystems. And while the hunter and angler polling shows over one third optimistically think they have up to 20 years before climate change really affects their way of life, we can’t afford to wait 20 years. We need everything everywhere all at once—right now.

This is an opinion and analysis article, and the views expressed by the author or authors are not necessarily those of Scientific American.