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.”