Who are the climate change deniers?

It seems that every 6 months, we see the news light up with reporters quoting the latest public opinion poll results on global climate change.

“Climate change denial is up 7 percentage points this year.”

“1 in 5 Americans now deny that climate change is occurring.”

I’ve always wondered: Wouldn’t it be much more helpful to provide a historical perspective on the issue? To accomplish just that, I took data from the renowned UT Energy Poll and plotted it below.

climate_change_over_time

The result? Despite the continuous raging debate, the average American’s acceptance of global climate change hasn’t really budged in the past 2 years. Acceptance of climate change in America has hovered around 70% since at least March 2012.

Why is that? 97% of climate scientists agree that global climate change is occurring. The news was abuzz about climate change and global warming earlier this year. Even President Obama made an official statement on the topic in June.

So why do these Americans refuse to budge on the issue? In a provocative article earlier this year, Chris Mooney suggested a simple answer: “Conservatives don’t deny climate science because they’re ignorant. They deny it because of who they are.”

Could this be true? Do climate change deniers know all there is to know about climate change and global warming, but they still refuse to accept it because of their beliefs? To get at this question, I dug further into the UT Energy Poll’s most recent poll results.

Household income and educational attainment

First, I wanted to know if a person’s income or educational attainment had anything to do with whether they accept that climate change is occurring or not. Thankfully, one of the demographic variables the poll collects is each person’s household income. Due to the strong correlation between educational attainment and income, the graph below doubles as a measure of education.

climate_change_income

Surprisingly, income and educational attainment have no effect whatsoever on whether someone accepts that climate change is occurring or not: The “Yes” answers float around 70% regardless of whether the poll respondent brings in $20,000 or $200,000 a year. This finding seems to hint that knowledge has very little to do with whether someone accepts climate change nowadays.

Political affiliation

If knowledge has little to do with climate change acceptance, what does? American conservatives are well-known to be climate change deniers, so what do the poll results look like when we break the answers down by political affiliation?

climate_change_political_affiliation

That’s not an error with my plotting software. 86% of Democrats accept climate change, whereas half of all Republicans are still in denial on the issue. While there are still some Democrats in denial about climate change, it’s fair to say that the majority of climate change deniers today are Republican.

Religiosity

Oddly enough, climate change has also become a religious issue in the past decade. Could a person’s religiosity affect whether they accept that global climate change is occurring?

climate_change_religiosity

Sure enough, we see the same trend as with political affiliation: The more religious a person is, the more likely they are to deny climate change. Whereas 80% of atheists accept climate change, only 56% of all very religious Americans agree.

It’s fairly clear from these graphs that religious, Republican American conservatives are the majority of climate change deniers today. If income, education, and knowledge has little to do with climate change acceptance, then could it be that climate change acceptance has become a cultural rather than factual issue in America? Do conservative Americans deny climate change simply because it conflicts with their identity as a conservative?

If that’s the case, then throwing facts at climate change deniers isn’t going to make them budge on the issue. As Prof. Dan Kahan writes:

“Everyone has gotten the memo on what ‘climate scientists believe,'”

and Mooney explains:

If Kahan is right, the implication is that we need to talk about climate science in a way that is entirely devoid of cultural meanings that will antagonize the right.

So what can we do to convince that last 30% of Americans? First off, we should stop talking about “what scientists believe” and instead actually take into consideration who we’re trying to communicate with. Then we need to figure out: How can we discuss climate change without alienating the average American conservative?

Dr. Randy Olson is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. As a member of Prof. Jason H. Moore's research lab, he studies biologically-inspired AI and its applications to biomedical problems.

Posted in data visualization Tagged with: , , , ,
  • Interesting post, and especially the charts that you’ve put in it.

    You’re begging the question though, in the sense of presuming your position to be the correct one.

    It could well be those on the other side of the issue are similarly coming to realize that “throwing facts at climate change [affirmers] isn’t going to make them budge on the issue.”

    • John

      Or perhaps the issue is that we’re trying to reason with unreasonable people.

      Climate change denial isn’t about facts, logic, evidence, or reason. It’s about identity.

      Special interests tied climate change denial to being a Republican and a Christian, and they tied climate change acceptance to being a Liberal and an atheist. By doing so, they made it so that people feel their entire identity is threatened if they admit that 7 billion people’s actions have the ability to change the world.

      We need new frames for the discussion. Special interests setup the bullshit of science versus religion, even though there’s nothing anti-religious about wanting to care for the Earth, and wanting to ensure that humanity can continue to thrive. We need to tear down that frame, and create a saner frame.

      If we don’t, then assholes like Jonathan will continue to spew their bullshit, and will continue in their attempts to kill billions of people.

      • David Wagle

        I agree with you that the issue has become identity politics. But I do think the right question is to ask “who are we trying to convince?”

        The average republican responds to economic and national interest arguments. The average Christian will respond to ethical conservancy arguments. Both of these are good means for attacking the issues that drive climate change.

        See, here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter if someone accepts climate change or not. What matters is if they back policies that have the direct or indirect effect of fighting climate change. I don’t know if the owners of Walmart, for example, who are known to be right wing religious conservatives accept climate change or not. I do know that their economic and personal self-interst in reducing operating costs have driven them to adopt corporate policies that reduce energy consumption greaw6tly.

        So use that as a model: what would be the better outcome: the Walmart corporation adopting energy conserving policies and the ownership and majority shareholders not believing in climate change or the Walmart corporation not adopting energy conserving policies regardless of what the ownership and shareholders believe about climate science?

        Instead of caring about winning rhetorical arguments that don’t really matter to anyone who isn’t pursuing a career as s climate scientist, we should be focusing on what does matter: do our policies and collective behaviors drive climate change or retard climate change?

        The arguments to get to those policies and behaviors do not have to have anything to do with climate. They can focus on energy independence, international competative advantage, personal economics, sanctity of creation or any of dozens of other conversational focuses that completely avoid the climate science debate altogether.

        Given that unless someone is a climate scientist, they almost certainly don’t understand the science well enough to argue for or against it; it’s the wrong discussion to have anyway.

        • helena

          On the issue of climate change alone, I agree that behavior is more important than belief.

          The trouble is that the belief is used by special interests already to affect behavior of climate d’nihilists. Many of those “very religious” people cited do not believe in God more deeply than others, they believe in a particular kind of Christianity – an apocalyptic and xenophobic one that is well-suited for manipulation by unscrupulous religious leaders and the causes they ally themselves with.

          Where “less religious” people may believe that non-“saved” coreligionists and sometimes – shocker! – non-Christians may go somewhere other than Hell, these extremists are preparing for a Rapture that will only include a small number of people, all of their own faith. Many expect this to happen within their own lifetimes once Jerusalem is unified and cleansed of all non-Jews, which makes for a bizarre dovetailing of interests among ultra-right-wing Israeli groups, American Christian fundamentalists and climate change d’nihilists. Why the latter? Because in the final battle between good and evil, they believe it to be their duty to expend the bounty given them by God to bring about the conditions for the Second Coming. This is not an ignorant or unscientific one, it is in active opposition to the survival of the planet.

          For one example, the ideology of Doug Coe and “The Family” (aka “The Fellowship” – the people who do the National Prayer Breakfast and similar events in many states) is covered extensively in the book “The Family” by Jeff Sharlet.

          Someone who is convinced they have the word of God and everyone outside his sect is damned will not be unduly burdened by the reasoning of scientists. Even if he acknowledges the utility of it before the Apocalypse, science is not a part of the future he sees.

          Better to spend time educating the vast majority of Christians that the extremists hold very different beliefs than they do. It is the myth that these people are the standard that is the root of the problem, as everyone else is implicitly judged to be “less Christian.” The truth is that it is the extremists who violate the vast majority of Biblical teaching in favor of a self-serving interpretation of a few sentences in the Books of Leviticus and Thessalonians.

          tl;dr: Time spent trying to “convince” those whose religion and interests tell them otherwise is wasted.

    • Sami

      He’s not begging the question; he clearly states that almost all SCIENTISTS (97%) who actually study and research this subject agree that global warming is happening. You can’t say that those who deny it might actually be correct over the freaking scientists who actually know what they’re talking about. Scientific evidence proves global warming true. Ignorance and stubborn belief in something you have no idea what you’re talking about does NOT trump scientific evidence.

      • @Sami, the scientists I speak to personally, generally do believe in a warming trend since about the mid-1800s. After that, there’s a lot of disagreement over whether the cause is all on humans, partially on humans, whether our contribution is too small to matter, and on what the consequences will be and whether they are necessarily all bad.

        Here’s a recent video clip that highlights the level of intolerance on this issue:

        http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000292301

        Here you have a Princeton University scientist who is speaking calmly and making his view known carefully as any good scientist would tend to do, and he’s shut down and over-talked by the news commentators who suddenly realize they do not like this scientist’s position.

        Frankly, I would like to have had the opportunity to listen carefully and thoughtfully to what the Princeton scientist had to say on the matter. That opportunity was denied me.

        • John

          Wait, did you just say… I mean it looks like it but… yea… You watch TV…. and believe anything you saw on it? Well, at least you know where the source of your problem is.

          • David

            Wow. Television is a communications medium. Something being said in print, rather than spoken on TV, does not magically increase its veracity.

        • Mike

          In one of your other posts, you pointed out the fallacy of begging the question. Well, you might be overlooking your appeal to authority fallacy. Just because a Princeton University professor is making a statement, it does not make it factual or credible. He is decorated for his previous work in optics, not because of his statements on climate change. You have the opportunity to find out his stance by using google if you are so sore that CNBC didn’t give you what you wanted. And the CNBC reporters don’t just suddenly don’t like what he is saying, it’s easy to know Dr. Happer’s view on this subject before inviting him to talk.

          In addition, you can search google scholar and see that William Happer has not submitted a paper to an environment journal on the subject of climate change. It’s much easier to publish opinion pieces in newspapers than academic papers that pass the evaluation of other scientists.

        • helena

          If you really want to know Happer’s position – I really echo John here – you can’t possibly get anything on such a complex issue in a sound bite on a chat show. Try reading the peer-reviewed source material; it is what serious people do. What’s that? There wasn’t any? Then that makes it an op-ed, not science.

          Dr. Michael McCracken, an actual climate scientist, debunks Happer’s little fantasy in a paper you can read here:

          http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2011/09/21/maccracken-v-happer-the-real-truth-about-greenhouse-gases-and-climate-change/

          Of course, you could also follow the money. Dr. Happer has been Director of the Heartland Institute (sponsored by the carbon industries) and Chairman of the Marshall Institute, funded by Charles and David Koch.

      • David Wagle

        First, I’m not a climate scientist, my background is in another scientific field. However, anytime anyone claims that “Scientific evidence proves true.” My “bad science” radar goes off.

        Science proceeds by inference and inductive logic centered on falsifiable claims. We never prove anything true. We can only postively demonstrate something to be false. When we can only come up with a limited number of explanations, it may seem that whatever is left standing must therefore be true. But that isn’t the same thing. “Not able to be proven false currently” isn’t always “therefore true.” Those are not necessarily the same thing. The history of science is filled with ideas the public (and even many scientists) accepted as having been true later being shown to be insufficiently nuanced to be fully correct, if not to be outrightly falsifiable under particular conditions.

        Which is not to say I’m saying that the climate scientists consensus about what is happening is wrong. I am merely making a pedantic point that good science is nuanced about what is claimed to be “proven true,” because good scientists are aware of how often we’ve collectively been quite wrong about that.

        • While your point is valid, David, at some point scientific theories become scientific truths. At some point in history, scientists didn’t believe gravity existed, or that the Earth is round, or that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Those were “just” theories. But really, would any sane, educated person deny either of those facts today? Once a broad enough consensus has been reached in a scientific community (say, 97% of all scientists), it’s quite fair to say that scientific truth has been discovered.

          • LexingtonGreen

            No, science has never been about concensus. It was not that long ago that you were a fringe loon if you believed in glaciation. Only when facts support the theory will rational people join on. There has been too much in the way of scare tactics, climate history denial, and questionable temperature data manipulation. Only time will make up for the outrageous claims of the James Hansens, etc. of the climate alarmism community and an 18 year pause is only going to add more time. Don’t expect acceptance for another 2000 years in my humble opinion.

        • Jeremy B

          This is true when speaking about the mechanism by which climate change is driven. But in general it is a scientific truth that climate change is occurring. The same way it is a scientific truth that the earth orbits the sun. But it is true that it is likely our explanation of climate change will indeed undergo revision because of small scientific inaccuracies; or at a larger scale, due to false assumptions. However, climate change is indeed occurring regardless of the “how”.

      • LexingtonGreen

        Throwing out a bogus 97 percent study is just going to turn people off. They want facts. Why does NASA show on their page of the evidence for global warming things that are not evidence of global warming? Until you give them facts rather than the opinions of people paid to say there is catastrophic global warming, rational people will not get on board. Atheist Libertarian.

  • ben

    has anyone come to the conclusion that climate denial Christian republicans are doing so because they simply don’t care? they will continue to seek out their private fortunes by whatever means possible and claim any interference from govt. as an infringement on their right to do so. so that their children might continue in this and have the means to adapt and even thrive during the inevitable destruction of the natural world per god’s will. that’s their thinking. they are sons and daughters of the imperialists that originally came to this country and slaughtered a good portion of its inhabitants. they were mad when we took their slaves so they set up industry. they were mad when we told them they couldn’t work children to death. they were mad when they had to politically accept the opinions of different races and women. they were sooo mad when we made them pay us a minimum wage that they outsourced manufacturing overseas. no amount of chart. fact. death or natural/human-caused disaster is ever going to illicit any amount of empathy.

    • This figure seems to contradict that idea, in that household income doesn’t seem to have an effect on climate change acceptance.

      If it were indeed the rich trying to profit off of climate change denial, we’d expect to see acceptance decline as income increases.

      • Liam Harders

        while the “yes”s might not change, notice the “No”s and “Not Sure”s, suddenly at $200k almost everyone who said “Not Sure” suddenly switches to “No”.
        It’s as if once you hit that boundary, the number of people who could **potentially** stand to lose something **or** gain profits start to increase.
        Of course, I could just be spouting crap.

      • helena

        It is an interesting side note that uncertainty goes to zero as income tops out. I don’t know if that infers anything specifically about climate change but it does seem to imply that the wealthier a person is, the more convinced he or she is of his or her opinion.

        Are you familiar with any data on that question?

  • Chuck

    He is a physicist. Doesn’t work in the climate science fields. To invoke Godwin’s Law over CO2 is not very rational.Anyone who claims that there hasn’t been any warming in the last 10 -15 years isn’t paying attention. Most of the top ten hottest years have occurred in the 21st century. A single high temp doesn’t prove global warming but the trend does. Does any single home run of Barry Bonds prove he took steroids? No but the trend of his increased hr did. Also the increase of his head size and muscle growth. Climate varies year to year, that’s called weather. But the trend of the weather patterns is climate, and that has been changing. An increase of CO2 of 40% in about 100 years is very abnormal. Higher CO2 in the past doesn’t mean that it’s ok for today. Life adapts to it’s environment. An ecosystem during very high CO2 levels would perish in today’s lower levels of CO2 and vice versa. And the effect of higher CO2 shows up in more than outside temperature. Plants may need CO2 but more isn’t better. Is it better for people to eat more than they need? Plants do grow faster but are less efficient in their growth. This leads to more susceptibility to weather damage and such creating more dead brush and trees. This leads to increases in forest fires. Migration patterns are changing. Blooming of seasonal plants are changing. Acidification of the oceans is increasing.

  • Jo

    David Wagle makes a very good point– “Instead of caring about winning rhetorical arguments that don’t really matter to anyone who isn’t pursuing a career as s climate scientist, we should be focusing on what does matter: do our policies and collective behaviors drive climate change or retard climate change?”

    The only problem is that policies and collective behaviors will not change if there is no understand of WHY they should change. A good majority of people only change their behaviors–or push for policy changes in their governments–if they believe it is their own self-interest. How can we help them to understand it is in their own self-interest to change if they don’t believe that what is causing that need to change exists?

  • Tom G

    We came off a mini ice age in the 1800’s that lasted about 600 years, so naturally there is going to be a warming trend. Warming hadn’t occurred in 17 years in spite of rising C02. Magnetic fields, sun cycles, earth orbits and tilting all plays a role. Humans may play a small role, but the earth is now back in a cooling phase.

    • David

      I ***KNEW*** someone here would cite the “17 year” statistic (the only problem is, you forgot to adjust it for time passing, it’s almost 18 years now lol).

      For those not familiar with this tactic, what is being done here is very carefully picking a specific year of climate data as the starting point: 1998. That year was an aberration, way WAY hotter than ANY year before it, and most of the years that have followed it (only 2-3 years were hotter, and those only slightly). So if plot a trend line using normal agreed mathematical methods to smooth the line that have existed for hundreds or thousands of years, you see the trend. But if you very carefully, very conciously, very deliberately pick 1998 as your start date, and ONLY compare 1998 to ONLY the current year, voila! No climate change!

      The problem is, as I pointed out, you have to keep sliding this window of time to keep that statement true. Because this method of calculation actually shows a LARGE warming trend if you say “over 16 years” (because 1999 was much cooler than 1998.

      For anyone who sincerely believes this claim “Warming hasn’t occurred in 17 years,” doesn’t it strike you there is something wrong with this statement when using the EXACT SAME method of calculation allows you to say “There HAS been a lot of warming over 16 years though.” How can there be no warming over 17 years, but a lot of warming over 16? Doesn’t both of these facts being “true” because of how you determine the fact, lead you to doubt at all the method being used??? A sincere question, I would like to hear Tom G or anyone else with same POV explain how they can reconcile this.

      More info:
      http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/mar/17/patrick-moore/climate-change-skeptic-patrick-moore-says-earth-ha/

  • Jo

    Tom, please look up your question on this site for an answer to that incorrect piece of information (because a full answer is far too long to put here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm

    Also-whether or not climate change EXISTS is NOT the focus of this essay–that is covered very well at sites such as I just linked to and many others–in ways that can be understood by the layman. We are discussing what part of the population makes up “climate deniers” and how can they be convinced that climate change/warming is REAL? Let’s stick to that.

  • Pingback: Yes, Americans do understand that climate change is real()

  • Pingback: Does it even matter what the public thinks about climate change? - The Washington Post()

  • Kevin

    Scientists aren’t very good at convincing anyone of anything. We like to just point at data and say “it’s true, because of science.” People are more easily persuaded with emotions. Public health departments are starting to realize this, so they are hiring folks trained in marketing to consult with their public education/outreach programs. The most famous example of this is the Truth campaign against tobacco. Climate scientists should take note. After we realized that smoking is harmful, most people quit and not many people picked up the habit. Unfortunately, the number of smoker has hovered around 20% ever since. No anti-smoking campaign ever has budged that number more than a few percentage points and never for a sustained period of time. What gives? The Truth campaign (funded by the tobacco settlements in the 90s) formed focus groups and actually talked to teenagers to learn their values. They found out that teenagers hate to be controlled and told what to do (duh). A certain proportion of teenagers pick up smoking just because their parents and teachers are telling them not to! Instead of ignoring this reality, the Truth campaign used it to their advantage. The Truth ads don’t tell you that smoking kills (everyone knows that). Instead, Truth tells us that tobacco executives want to make you addicted to their product so that they can take your money. They specifically targeted the ads at young people, telling them that tobacco executives are marketing at them. It was the most successful anti-smoking campaign in history. It was brilliant marketing that borrowed from some simple psychology concepts, like reactance theory (popularly known as reverse psychology). Hiring a marketing consultant is expensive, which is why public health campaigns don’t do it. But wasting money on an ineffective campaign is ultimately worse. Climate scientists should dig deep and spend a little money on figuring out how to tailor their message in a way that will be emotionally convincing to religious conservatives and Republicans. Pointing at data just does not work. Climate denial is a perfect candidate for a marketing campaign that uses reactance theory, because it seems that people are clinging harder to their beliefs the more someone tells them that they are wrong.

    • David

      Yes Kevin, very good points. I have often wondered if the percentages could be budged by a campaign targeting faith leaders — ideally led by other faith leaders, there are some prominent ones that accept climate change — to emphasize POVs such as the idea from the Bible that God made us the Earth’s stewards, that we were given responsibility by God to take care of it. Over time that 20-30% denial rate among moderate-strongly religious might drop (and rates across the board for the other graphs).

  • David

    I think what might be missing in this analysis is that some deniers secretly aren’t as sure about their denial — or in fact actually do believe climate change is happening — but simply don’t care, they feel compelled to feign strong denial because the consequences of larger consensus to their personal situation. Put more bluntly, it’s not so much that they disagree as that they don’t care enough, they feel no obligation to put the world left to future generations ahead of their current personal lifestyles or affluence.

    The image I have in my head is all those very educated tobacco company employees lined up before congress 25 years ago, swearing under oath that they do not believe smoking had any link to cancer. These people are/will be regarded by future generations as nothing more than intellectual prostitutes. But … I think they knew that, and THEY DIDN’T CARE as long as they kept getting their big fat paychecks.

    • Charles Nolan

      That’s amazing. afaik
      You’ve just described that Big Tobacco guy Al Gore and family to a “T” including the prostitutes thingy. (That little “Sex Poodle”)
      Although, you did leave out his religious training and his addiction to Big Oil ownership.

  • Stuart

    “Do you think that climate change is occurring?” is a loaded question, the answer to which says nothing about ones beliefs. Another word for climate change is “time”. The climate has changed throughout history. So, do I believe that time is occurring? Yes. The real question is “Do you believe that the actions of man are affecting the climate in a negative way?” No. The bottom line is that there is no empirical evidence to to suggest that man is causing a change in the climate. There isn’t even any evidence to suggest that the Earth is warming in any kind of unprecedented way. After all, the rate of CO2 has skyrocketed and the Earth hasn’t gotten any warmer at all in the last 2 decades. Its all about money and power. This climate bologna is just another way for those in power to get more power. Governments fund the scientists that give them a reason to make more laws, giving them more power. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Anyone who doesn’t see this is just naive. “Climategate” anyone? The debate is over, the hoax is officially busted.

    • Ephelant

      “The evolution of the Earth’s climate has been extensively studied1, 2, and a strong link between increases in surface temperatures and greenhouse gases has been established3, 4. But this relationship is complicated by several feedback processes—most importantly the hydrological cycle—that are not well understood5, 6, 7. Changes in the Earth’s greenhouse effect can be detected from variations in the spectrum of outgoing longwave radiation8, 9, 10, which is a measure of how the Earth cools to space and carries the imprint of the gases that are responsible for the greenhouse effect11, 12, 13. Here we analyse the difference between the spectra of the outgoing longwave radiation of the Earth as measured by orbiting spacecraft in 1970 and 1997. We find differences in the spectra that point to long-term changes in atmospheric CH4, CO2 and O3 as well as CFC-11 and CFC-12. Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect that is consistent with concerns over radiative forcing of climate.”

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html

    • big KRIT

      Ok so just a quick logical check here.

      Scientists want money for their research, so they misconstrue the conclusions of their data to support human-based climate change, is basically what you’re positing.

      On the other side, wouldn’t petroleum and other energy companies who use fossil fuels lobby to deny the theory of human-caused climate change? This allows them to keep their massive government subsidies and low marginal tax rate.

      Who wins in this conflict of interests, the scientists who rely on money from the government with limited alternative income, or the multi-billion dollar companies who can pay government officials?

      Something doesn’t add up in your argument. You might want to try again.

      • The Great One

        Me thinks logic is not really a climate change denier’s strong suite.

  • Pingback: Roundup: The World of Data This Week | Roundup: The World of Data This Week | Social Dashboard()

  • frishy

    The ones who own 40% of everything, you know, the .0001 percent…they know, and are hoarding and hiding all they can, have reworked laws to favor tax breaks, are buying debt so tax payers will give them tax free income forever…they know. What they don’t realize is you can’t eat currency, and we’re destroying the planet’s ability to maintain our existence, so, their strategy, while it has time honored traditions, won’t work this time.

  • Randall S. Olson goes up on my facebook global warming hoaxers page
    Jct: Big analysis on an non-existant opposition. Though I and many real scientists deny global warming, I bet you $100 you can’t name one real scientist who denies that climate changes. Lucky for you you changed from meaningful “global warming” to undeniable “climate change” though you can’t name one person who is stupid enough to deny what you changed your stance to, though, can you? No one can deny climate changes, so why did you change your stance from something I could deny to something I could not deny and then claim my denial versus warming is now against the undeniable change? Your sleaze is exposed when you can’t name one person in the group of deniers you are writing about. Har har har har har har,

    • Zach Toundas

      Yes, this is the FB page in which you and I bet against historic temperatures, and all data shows you have lost. Yet you fail to pay up on your bet, or acknowledge the result of said bet.

      Then you record how you also failed to read a thermometer during 2005, 2007, and 2010. Those were the years hotter than 1998 (according to HadCrut data) that you conveniently deny on your page.

    • Copper

      Democrats are just Godless heathens. It isn’t their fault. They are just brainless sheep being led to slaughter.

      http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/03/religious-nones-achieve-dominancy-democrat-party/

  • RM
  • An important stat left out: Only 12% of Americans are climate deniers (Highest is Australia with 17%). So it’s obviously not the 12% that are leading us to extinction, but rather the ruling 1%. Which means it doesn’t do any good wasting your time arguing climate change with idiots; the battle for public opinion has been won a long time ago.

  • Chris Mannering

    It’s possible that partisan affiliation is the intuitive candidate ‘dominant’ influence, but not the actual or true major influence.
    I haven’t much material support for this, It’s just me in play around the specific schema. I could be mistaken and it hardly matters very much if I am.
    The reason I think you might be interested to hear what I have to say is probably that you are drawn to the partisan metric.
    So I’m English there is not anywhere near the sort of threshold intensities for partisan politics here.
    But there’s plenty of denialism that’s a class of villainy little different from one place to another.
    I happened to know a lot of people with verified extreme-end IQ’s , as well as sufficient numbers through the middle spectrum.
    it was shocking and upsetting to me that some of these very smart, very educated, very science identifying, individuals not only were deniers, but aped the same rubbish apparently little aware of all the fallacious distort.
    I just could not identify any reliable pattern save the one, andof that, I’ve barely found an exception, though they do exist.
    It’s like this. The stance you take on climate now, correlates strongly with the stance you were exposed to first.
    the partisanship correlation very plausible bundles a large amount of influence in which stance you are exposed to first
    But the possibility is just that it could be that human psychological arrchiteturele leaves us a lot more vulnerable thah we wold have thought, to stance altering signals

  • Ted LeMoine

    Frankly it really doesn’t matter what the public believes. Factual claims and beliefs are 2 different things. Data isn’t open for interpretation. It simply is what it is. Could you imagine your blood pressure was 170/110 ( rising sea level) and the doc prescribed meds. (reduced carbon emissions). It’s the same as telling the doctor he’s lying after years of 2nd opinions. The machine that reads your BP contains no bias. It’s the person reading the number that does. That person also is usually receiving major compensation from a huge corporation that would benefit from him believing he didn’t have high blood pressure as well. Put it all together and there you have it

  • Ted LeMoine

    What other topic did we begin with I’m not a scientist but……..and when else do we question their findings so much?

  • Copper

    The reason conservatives don’t buy the AGW fraud is because we are independent thinkers and we aren’t socialists who want to redistribute wealth and tax more. Climate change is of course happening, but it has very little to do with CO2. This is nothing but big money trying to scam the world into more taxes and more government control.

  • Jon B Smooth

    Define global climate change? Anyone who knows a lick about environmental science is fully aware that there is no such thing as global climate. Climate is a regional phenomenon. Meaning that what happens to the weather in Iqualit, Nunavut over a 50 year span has little to no correlation to the weather in Brisbane, Australia over that same period. A much clearer question would be “Do you believe that the primary driver of Earth’s climate change is due to man made greenhouse gas emissions?” If that question was asked my guess is probably 50% of respondents would say either no or don’t know. And the majority of those respondents would be to the right on the political spectrum.

  • Justmy02cents2

    I think there is a way for climate change imaginists to convince the conservative climate pragmatists that man-made causes are a statistically significant factor in climate change. But even if they do, that would not and should not be enough. Before our world governments take drastic actions to raise the cost of energy far beyond what the poor in the inner-city can afford to survive the winter, there needs to be a clear correlation between the two. The climate change imaginists also need in fact to make accurate predictions about the weather. London was supposed to be underwater by now. Last time I was there, it was not. It also does not help that so many climate change imaginists live a lifestyle that indicates they truly do not believe what they’re saying. They need to stop buying expensive houses on the beaches, flying private jets around the world, and engaging in similar behavior. No rational person would buy a house if he or she, in his or her heart of hearts, truly truly believes the house will be underwater in 10 years. And don’t lie and say you want to enjoy it while it is still there. No person who truly truly believes that private jets will destroy the world will take private jets. Lead with actions, not words. Until the climate imaginists do so, it will be difficult for the climate pragmatists to accept radical changes that will seriously damage the poor.

  • Howard Chinn

    I am a conservative and I guess I would be in climate change denial. However, it is not because of the science. I agree with the science. What I don’t like is the solutions. Which I think in time will lead to oppression, poverty and even mass murder. For the left it seems like an excuse for more power?

  • Christal Keel

    I personally think we should all say f#ck the “American Conservative”… let
    them wait for their ‘gubment and church to rescue them when their houses are
    underwater and their crops fail. I’m all out of sympathy for these
    self-destructive loudmouths who have deliberately snarled every attempt at
    useful change in a never-ending web of conspiracy theories and dissembling.

    It’s like the parable of the flood: a man is trapped in his house during a
    flood, praying that God will save him. A neighbor comes with a truck,
    the fire department comes with a boat and the National Guard comes with a
    helicopter, but he refuses to go because he’s waiting for God to save him.
    Finally, he drowns and goes to heaven and asks God “Why didn’t you
    save me?” and God replies “I sent a pickup truck, a boat and a
    helicopter. What else was I supposed to do?”

    Enough resources have been expended trying to beat reality through their heads.
    Maybe a few object lessons in loss will change their minds.

    • David Wilson

      Yes, by all means. Let’s all hope the town burn down so we can feel smug about being right about needing a fire department. Now THAT sounds like a good plan!

About this blog

This blog is my labor of love, and I've spent hundreds of hours working on the projects that you'll read about here. Generally, I write about data visualization and machine learning, and sometimes explore out-of-the-box projects at the intersection of the two. I hope you enjoy my projects as much as I have.

If you would like to use one of my graphs on your website or in a publication, please feel free to do so with appropriate attribution, but I would appreciate it if you email me first to let me know.

Archives

Subscribe

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.