Conservative white men more literate in the physical sciences?

Not the way they put it, of course. The assertion is this demographic tops “climate-change denial”

Conservative white men are almost twice as likely as other U.S. adults to say that man is not the primary cause of global warming, according to an analysis of Gallup polling data by sociologists Riley E. Dunlap and Aaron M. McCright called,“Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States.”

I came across the 2011 study while researching my story,“Ideology, not facts, often drives political beliefs,” It explores how voters from both major parties arrive at their positions not based on science so much as predilections.

The “cool dudes” analysis found that 59 percent of conservative white males said humans are not the primary cause of global warming, while 32 percent of the remaining adults polled held that view.

When asked if they understand global warming “very well,” 30 percent of conservative white males said they did while 18 percent of the rest of adults said they did.

McCright and Dunlap explain the “cool dudes” phenomenon by pointing at several factors.

  • “Conservative white males in the general public likely perceive conservative white males elites to be in their in-group. … “The most prominent denialists are conservative white males. This is true for contrarian scientists (e.g., Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer), media pundits (e.g., Rush Limbaughand Glenn Beck), think tank representatives (e.g., Joseph Bast and William O’Keefe), and politicians (e.g., Sen. James Inhofe and Rep. Joe Barton).”
  • “Conservatives strongly display tendencies to justify and defend the current social and economic system. Conservatives dislike change and uncertainty and attempt to simplify complexity.”
  • “Conservative white males have disproportionately occupied positions of power within our economic system. Given the expansive challenge that climate change poses to the industrial capitalist economic syustem, it should not be surprising that conservative white males’ strong system-justifying attitudes would be triggered to deny climate change.”
  • “The positive correlation between self-reported understanding of global warming and climate change
    denial among conservative white males is compelling evidence that climate change denial is a form of identity-protective cognition, reflecting a system-justifying tendency.”

As I wrote in my political beliefs story:

“A Pew poll found that 84 percent of scientists believe there’s manmade global warming, compared to 49 percent of the general public. The journal of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences looked at the writings of 1,372 climate scientists and found that 97 percent thought there was manmade climate change.”

See the NAS study.

OCRegister

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One response to “Conservative white men more literate in the physical sciences?

  1. It always amazes me how these sort of claims are thrown out as fact without the disseminator ever checking on the background of the claims, (I think its called skepticism..). We are told “The journal of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences looked at the writings of 1,372 climate scientists and found that 97 percent thought there was manmade climate change.” The proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, (PNAS), is something of a joke, as the person submitting the paper can self-peer review if they are NAS members, which the late Stephen Schneider was. He used this ploy repeatedly to give his propaganda the impratur of the National Academy. This is the supporting evidence from their web site.

    “We compiled these “convinced by the evidence researchers” comprehensively (i.e., all names listed) from the following lists: IPCC AR4 Working Group I Contributors (coordinating lead authors, lead authors, and contributing authors; 619 names listed), 2007 Bali Declaration (212 signers listed), Canadian Meteorological
    and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) 2006 statement (120 names listed), CMOS 2008 statement (130 names listed), and 37 signers of open letter protesting The Great Global Warming Swindle film
    errors. After removing duplicate names across these lists, we had a total of 903 names.”

    So they choose from a group of scientists who have invested their careers in this and who are virtually all involved in the IPCC, and they say:

    “we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” Wow, big surprise. Only it was wasn’t 1376 climate researchers, it was 903. ” After removing duplicate names across these lists, we had a total of 903 names.”

    “We define “unconvinced by the evidence” researchers as those who have signed reputable statements strongly dissenting from the views of the IPCC”. Using the same process of removing duplicate names, they came up with a total of names across these lists, of 472.

    It is difficult to find their methodology for making these numbers into “97% agree with IPCC and only 3% don’t” but then I’m not a scientist.

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