CLIMATE FACTS VERSUS CLIMATE CULTURE
Are the people who refuse to accept climate change ill-informed? Survey shows they know just as much—if you ask the question right.
Scott K. Johnson, July 22, 2014 (Advances in Political Psychology via Ars Technica)
“…When large proportions of a population seem poorly informed about evolution, climate change, or genetically modified foods, the usual response is to bemoan the state of science literacy…and that opinions would change if only we could educate them…[ Yale Professor Dan Kahan’s research into what he calls ‘cultural cognition’] has shown, unfortunately, it's not that simple…[P]ublic opinion on these topics is fundamentally tied to cultural identities rather than assessment of scientific evidence…[P]eople form opinions based on what they think people with a similar background believe…[W]hen people respond to surveys asking whether they think Earth’s climate has warmed, for example, their answers tell you more about their cultural identity [and political party affiliation] than their factual knowledge…Kahan set out to design a set of test questions that would actually dig in…The average person who believes that humans are responsible for climate change answered half of the questions correctly—and so did the average person who believes humans have had no effect, or that the globe hasn't even warmed…Kahan’s work argues that a lack of knowledge isn’t what makes climate change contentious…The problem is that a culture war has infected the conversation.” click here for more