Climate Change Denial Fueled by Cultural Values, Not Ignorance

A Yale research study published recently in the online journal Nature Climate Change found that the division over climate change is not due to ignorance about climate change, but rather people’s cultural outlook, reports Targeted News Services.  Those who strongly value individual freedom and perceive the world as divided into distinct social classes, tend to discount the risks of climate change, concerned that the resulting needed regulation on industry would threaten their freedom. Those with more egalitarian, communitarian world views that favor less regimented social organization and greater collective attention to individual needs tend to be morally suspicious of industry, a source of perceived social inequality, and worthy of regulation. These people tend to be more concerned about climate change risks.  “In effect,” first author Dan Kahan said, “ordinary members of the public credit or dismiss scientific information on disputed issues based on whether the information strengthens or weakens their ties to others who share their values. At least among ordinary members of the public, individuals with higher science comprehension are even better at fitting the evidence to their group commitments.”

Source

Yale Study Concludes Public Apathy Over Climate Change Unrelated to Science Literacy http://www.power-eng.com/news/2012/05/30/yale-study-concludes-public-apathy-over-climate-change-unrelated-to-science-literacy.html .

actual study: The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1547.html

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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