The link between Birthers and Climate Change denial

by Richard on April 28, 2011

Stephan Lewandowsky, The Drum

Indeed, tragically and paradoxically, among Republicans acceptance of the science decreases with their level of education as well as with their self-reported knowledge: Whereas Democrats who believe they understand global warming better also are more likely to believe that it poses a threat in their lifetimes, among Republicans increased belief in understanding global warming is associated with decreased perception of its severity. The more they think they know, the more ignorant they reveal themselves to be.


What motivates people to reject trivially simple facts - such as the President’s place of birth - as well as more complex facts - such as insights from geophysics and atmospheric science?

The peer-reviewed psychological literature provides some insight into this question. Numerous studies converge onto the conclusion that there is a strong correlation between a person’s endorsement of unregulated free markets as the solution to society’s needs on the one hand, and rejection of climate science on the other. The more “fundamentalist” a person is disposed towards the free market, the more likely they are to be in denial of global warming.

via Only in it for the Gold

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }


Kim 04.28.11 at 10:07 am

A couple of proof-cases in point here at Connexions.

BTW - I’ll come out and say it - and I’m quite sure plenty of folk here think it - it’s the village idiocy of DH and the sinister intelligence and Dalek delivery of Earl that account, e.g., for PamBG’s pre-emptive strike on the Rowan letter thread, with which I am totally sympathetic. On most posts, you just know that these guys are going to intervene with some idiotic or unconscionable comment, so you either anticipate it, or subsequently get drawn into a futile fire-fight, or you stay shtum and hope that any visitors don’t take silence as consent.

It’s the same old same old quandary: what do you do when schmucks pitch their tents on your blogsite? You either evict them or learn to live with their mess. With impressive patience and good-will, Richard does the latter. You can’t not admire the man (though one may be fogiven for secretly hoping he changes his mind!).


klem 04.28.11 at 4:54 pm

“The more “fundamentalist” a person is disposed towards the free market, the more likely they are to be in denial of global warming”

That pretty much describes me to a tee. Does this also suggest that the less ‘fundamentalist’ a person is disposed towards the free market, the more likely they are to be accepting of global warming? In other words, those who do not beleive in free markets tend to be global warmists. Perhaps they need to leave the USA and go back to Russia.


Kim 04.28.11 at 7:34 pm

That last sentence is as good a non sequitur as I’ve come across in some time And “Russia”?


Paul F. 04.28.11 at 7:42 pm


I know you’ve tried this before, but about a week ago I realized I waste way too much time arguing with those two. So I’m trying to abstain from responding. I’ll be without excuse before the throne of God someday as to why I thought starting online pissing matches was a proper way to spend my time…and my faith.


Richard 04.28.11 at 10:12 pm

Fwiw, I’ve started writing a new comments policy.


Earl 05.01.11 at 11:17 pm

“Indeed…” etc. Hum… unimpressed. The exact same line of thought would be found in a discussion as to how demokrats always to line up to support failed left-wing liberal social policies as well as their knee jerk opposition to any efforts to out of control spending at the federal or state level.

What motivates rejection of the gospel of global warming is that Americans are not willing to pay the bill so that the rest of the “world community” can have a free ride to the green life. And the more people are made aware of just how much that little ride will cost, the more people refuse to pay for it. Those with a thought process formed by a social welfare mentality will find this difficult if not impossible to understand. Those with some grasp of reality will not find it hard to understand. As well, American are used to electing their own government. Scientist, shoe clerks, teachers, ditch diggers, etc., why just about anyone who is a legitimate citizen may run for office. If elected, they have the opportunity to act in office to address legitimate concerns of their constituents. If scientist, shoe clerks, teachers or ditch diggers want to see the nation get on the greenway, let them run for office and get elected by voters. If they can’t or won’t run for and get elected to office, then they will have to be content with simply trying to influence the decisions of elected officials. They cannot expect any sort of privileged position in shaping policy.

Widespread doubt of about the current occupant of the white house stems from his own failure of integrity. Running on a platform of transparency, he and his administration can only be described as opaque. The extremes to which records, writings, dates, etc. have been shrouded in secrecy is blunt testimony to an administration which much prefers dealing in dark corners and back rooms to open meetings. Fortunately the majority of Americans have still managed to see through the empty suit. Aesop must have been a prophet. His little story about an emperor is all to up to date.


Richard 05.02.11 at 7:55 am

The USA, and the rest of the industrially-developed nations, have already had a free ride. We can’t afford for the Chinese and Indians to take the route we took. We have to shift to less carbon-intensive, more sustainable models otherwise there is no hope that others will.

The science of climate change is broadly settled. There’s always understanding to be gained, but there’s no doubt that putting extra greenhouse gases into the atmosphere leads to warming. It’s a question of some pretty basic physics and i’m not going to debate that: it’s pointless. What should be done about that is largely political, but the fundamentals of the science remain the same and political responses to climate change shouldn’t ignore those fundamentals.

In your last paragraph you seem to be saying that because some folk don’t like or trust Obama, it’s OK for them to spread falsehood about him. This isn’t the first time that you’ve given approval to lying for political purposes, Earl. You need to repent.


Earl 05.02.11 at 10:51 pm

“This isn’t the first time that you’ve given approval to lying for political purposes, Earl. You need to repent.” That this is a baseless allegation unsupported by the content of the paragraph referenced is obvious to even a first grader. In the future careful attention in reading is recommended to avoid such error.


Richard 05.02.11 at 11:18 pm

The post was about the link between “birthers” — those who propagate the (racist?) lie that Obama isn’t really American — and the climate change deniers. You chimed in with sympathy for the Obama doubters which, given the context, I took as sympathy for the birthers. If I was wrong to make that link, I apologize.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>