The conventional explanation for controversy over climate change emphasizes impediments to public understanding: Limited popular knowledge of science, the inability of ordinary citizens to assess technical information, and the resulting widespread use of unreliable cognitive heuristics to assess risk. A large survey of U.S. adults (N = 1540) found little support for this account. On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones. More importantly, greater scientific literacy and numeracy were associated with greater cultural polarization: Respondents predisposed by their values to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as science literacy and numeracy increased. We suggest that this evidence reflects a conflict between two levels of rationality: The individual level, which is characterized by citizens’ effective use of their knowledge and reasoning capacities to form risk perceptions that express their cultural commitments; and the collective level, which is characterized by citizens’ failure to converge on the best available scientific evidence on how to promote their common welfare. Dispelling this, “tragedy of the risk-perception commons,” we argue, should be understood as the central aim of the science of science communication.
Mooney is a global warming alarmist extraordinaire and faux science journalist who has built his career on subservience to the global warming elite. He has been rewarded handsomely with access, awards, and lucrative fellowships. His first book was The Republican War on Science. He's been in bed with big climate 'science' for a long time.
For years Mooney has been pushing the trope that people who don't accept alarmist science are undereducated and Republican (which to him are the same thing). His third book was Unscientific America. That means you.
He must have needed CPR after he read this paper.
Once again, Dan Kahan and his colleagues at Yale are out with a paper that dramatically challenges–using scientific data–much of what we would like to believe about the relationship between knowing more about science, and accepting science on contested issues. (my emphasis)Mooney has been asserting for years that skepticism on controversial issues in science (AGW, evolution) is caused by, well, stupidity. Now a Yale paper finds that AGW skeptics are more knowledgeable about science and mathematics than AGW believers. Ouch.
The authors of the paper seemed to sense the subversive nature of their findings, and took steps to blunt the backlash. The last few sentences of the abstract...
More importantly, greater scientific literacy and numeracy were associated with greater cultural polarization: Respondents predisposed by their values to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as science literacy and numeracy increased....seem to be an claim that the more knowledgeable AGW skeptics are culturally polarized and unable to correctly apply their knowledge.
To acknowledge that skeptics of AGW are better informed than believers is professional suicide, and these fellows at Yale aren't dumb.
Mooney, whose chest must still hurt from the defibrillator, is deep-sixing this until he can spin it:
I plan to blog about several aspects of this paper, as its findings are so central to everything I’m trying to get across these days. For now, I’m just flagging it. I think it is an absolute must read.
The spin will be:
Front page headlines:
Global Warming Deniers are
Culturally Polarized, Research Shows!!!
Page 63, bottom:
Experts discredit preliminary finding that deniers may be more knowledgeable than alarmists.
Chris and the AGW fraudsters have a lot of work to do. Wouldn't you love to read the e-mails on this?