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Just saw this @ Raw Story

In a survey of more than 1,000 readers of websites related to climate change, people who agreed with free market economic principles and endorsed conspiracy theories were more likely to dispute that human-caused climate change was a reality.
In the past several months I have been moderately preoccupied with the sidebar ads I see around the net. You know the ones: "try this one weird trick to [whatever]" or "doctors hate her for [alleged homebased cosmetic or medical remedy costing fractions of what it takes a person with a science education to do].

It's like there has been an uptick in marketing directly to people who are going to respond to anti-scientific themes - tricks and old wives tales versus peer-reviewed scientific literature - for everything from bellyfat to teeth-whitening to making money to cutting car insurance costs.

What they found was remarkable. People who endorsed conspiracy theories such as “9/11 was an inside job” and “the moon landings were faked”, were also more likely to reject established scientific facts about climate change, such as “I believe that the burning of fossil fuels on the scale observed over the last 50 years has increased atmospheric temperatures to an appreciable degree.”
I was surprised by this little study- only a thousand people - because is seems to be confirming what I have already surmised: there is a real anti-science, anti-education subculture in this country and climate-change denial is just a large, vocal part of it.

The study goes further, though:

The findings provide yet more evidence that a rejection of climate science has more to with ideological views than scientific literacy, bolstering the well-supported finding that climate change scepticism is more likely to be found on the right, than on the left of politics. But they go a step further, adding an important layer of detail to the crude characterisation of climate change scepticism as a “conservative” issue.

The link between endorsing conspiracy theories and rejecting climate science facts suggests that it is the libertarian instinct to stick two fingers up at the mainstream – whatever the issue – that is important. Because a radical libertarian streak is the hallmark of free-market economics, and because free market views are popular on the political right, this is where climate change scepticism is most likely to be found.

I imagine many already figured this was the case, but here's a tidbit of scienciness to back it up.

Resistance to Climate Change is ideologically-based.

And a substantial sub-culture in America meets the criteria for a shared paranoid delusion.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 01:19:28 PM PDT

  •  Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean I'm not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    being watched.

    You're.

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 01:25:36 PM PDT

  •  I have long suspected (6+ / 0-)

    this, just in my interactions with wingnuts over climate change:

    The findings provide yet more evidence that a rejection of climate science has more to with ideological views than scientific literacy, bolstering the well-supported finding that climate change scepticism is more likely to be found on the right, than on the left of politics. But they go a step further, adding an important layer of detail to the crude characterisation of climate change scepticism as a “conservative” issue.
    because I have specifically asked my father in law which part of the science of climate change he disagrees with, and he hardly ever comes up with an answer.

    ***********

    Squidward: The noises! How are you two making those noises?

    Patrick: Well, that's easy. All you need is a box.

    SpongeBob: And...imagi~nation!

    by rexymeteorite on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 01:26:13 PM PDT

  •  This diary is crying out for a Venn diagram n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog
    •  unless you're a diagram-denier (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loquatrix, mightymouse

      I have such a wicked imagination.  If I had done this study, or any such study where a survey detected the respondent showed paranoia, it would be so hard to resist the temptation to send out a bot that would periodically send the person emails saying "we're watching you!"  

      Or, have little eyes floating up on their screen, that wouldn't come up if they tried to show it to anyone else (watching through the camera.)

      It's a good thing I'm a hardcore progressive, from a long Democratic Party tradition,  because, otherwise, I might have turned out to be a sociopath.  

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 02:02:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are real conspiracies. (0+ / 0-)

    Dismissing hypotheses of their existence as "conspiracy theory" hardly counts as an explanation.  Nor, in many instances (the Kennedy assassination and the tragedy of 9/11/01) does the official explanation of events hold water.  The fact that it's not entirely possible to separate fact from fantasy in discussions of each phenomenon simply means that we can't penetrate the veils of secrecy just yet.

    Moreover, human-caused global warming is also real.  There's no veil of secrecy about what people are doing to the planet.  It's a different case altogether.

    "It's just a ride." -Bill Hicks

    by Cassiodorus on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 02:12:15 PM PDT

    •  Nor do the conspiracies regarding... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phillies, kyril

      the Kennedy assassination or 9/11 hold any water.

      Its quite amazing how the conspiracies one chooses to believe in mesh so perfectly with their preexisting political beliefs.

    •  Study (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, btfsilence

      The study says that people who endorse conspiracy theories are "more likely" to dispute climate change theories.  You're a conspiracy theorist who also believes in climate change, but that doesn't mean the study is in error.

      History will be kind to us because we will write it.

      by Sky Net on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 02:52:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I beg to differ. (0+ / 0-)
        You're a conspiracy theorist
        Merely because I choose to disbelieve in the official theories (Oswald was a lone assassin etc.) does not make me a conspiracy theorist.

        "It's just a ride." -Bill Hicks

        by Cassiodorus on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 08:47:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're pretty much a CTer (0+ / 0-)

          In my experience, very few conspiracy theorists will actually cop to being one as they know it makes them seem loopy.  But if you push them hard enough they'll usually admit they believe there are conspiracies afoot in things like the Kennedy assassination and 9/11, even if they won't go all the way and agree with the standard conspiracy theories.

          The fact that you said we "can't penetrate the veils of secrecy just yet" makes it pretty clear that you believe something is being hidden from you that would dramatically alter the "official story" of various events.  That's a conspiracy.  Believing it makes you a conspiracy theorist.

          History will be kind to us because we will write it.

          by Sky Net on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 11:11:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I repeatedly see the emphasis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, kyril

    of reports on this study placed on the "CT" aspect, which I find far less interesting and substantive than the correlation with market fundamentalism.  I wonder why that "CT" aspect garners so much attention, when the connection to the dominant economic ideology of the entirety of 21st century globalized neoliberalism always gets mentioned below the fold?

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 02:40:21 PM PDT

  •  This scares me more than anything. (0+ / 0-)

    We have some very challenging issues coming on fast. The only way to meet them is with a sober assessment of the facts and a rational approach. As Darwin said, it is not the strongest that survives, it is the one most adaptable to change. Conservative would have us rely on our strength. And they are actively marginalizing anything close to intelligent conversation.

    Scares the living shit out of me.

  •  Free Market questions are a bit odd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sky Net, ballerina X, kyril

    If I wanted to ask if people believed in free market approaches, I would try to sort between people who believed in free markets versus, e.g., people who believed that restrictive tariffs were good.  The questions here do not seem to identify free market versus, e.g., social market believers.

    Also, one would like to see the actual numbers in a polling study and more on how the sample was generated.  Nate Silver would speak well to these questions once the data was there.

    Having said that, I found the conspiracy correlation to be totally unsurprising, and would not at all be surprised by a correlation between science rejectionism and, e.g., belief that the Federal Reserve is a banker conspiracy.

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 03:10:54 PM PDT

  •  CT is a CIA plot. (0+ / 0-)

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 03:35:43 PM PDT

  •  Though there are also some nutty folks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, btfsilence

    on the left  & errrr far far left ? that believe in Climate Change and a plethora of CT including vaccines & autism, chemtrails, Flouride CT etc... The internets are full of sites that promote this crazy with a lefty vaneer. I see it all the time on my FB page, It's so weird to see friends that are otherwise very smart get all caught up in some of this stuff.

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