“Scientists and science journalists like to say that one of the best ways to tell that climate change is real is to take a look at the changes we can already see: This year is on track to be the hottest ever recorded, and glaciers, corn, and even grizzly bears are responding to the warming. But all those shifts won’t be enough to convince most conservative climate skeptics, a new study in Nature Climate Change finds.
A growing body of recent research suggests a person’s political ideology, economic philosophy, and religious beliefs tend to overwhelm observed facts about global warming. The new study, which was released Monday, put that hypothesis to the test by analyzing Gallup polls taken just after the unusually warm winter of 2012. It found that both Democrats’ and Republicans’ perceptions of the warmer weather in their state tracked fairly well with actual satellite temperature data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But “for people who said their local winter was warming, the observed temperature anomalies had no effect on the tendency to attribute that to global warming,” explains Aaron McCright, a sociologist at Michigan State University who authored the study.
In other words, the actual temperature had no bearing on whether people believed in climate change. Instead, McCright says, “one of the strongest predictors” is party affiliation: Republicans were far less likely to attribute the warming they felt to man-made climate change than were Democrats. Other variables—gender, age, and level of education—were far less reliable as predictors of a person’s global warming beliefs.”* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.
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Global Warming – Is it really happening, is it man made or simply a natural cycle of events?
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