A new study finds that one thing most influences people who deny climate change is real or manmade: politics.
As scientific consensus builds that climate change is both a real phenomenon and one caused by humans, scientists have been attempting to figure out why such a large portion of the public still denies it.
A new analysis of a number of surveys and studies on individuals’ beliefs about climate change has come to perhaps an obvious conclusion: the main reason is a person’s politics, according to a Washington Post report.
Researchers have published an analysis of the numerous studies out there int he journal Nature Climate Change. The analysis found that political affiliations, worldviews, and values were the most significant factors in a person’s views on climate change, and that a person’s belief in climate change doesn’t necessarily mean they support taking bold action to combat it.
The analysis is based on 200 previous polls and studies conducted in 57 countries, and takes into account a wide range of variables.
It explodes a couple of myths about climate change doubters. The first is that they’re less educated — there’s a small tendency for skeptics to have a lower level of education, but it’s not a very strong link. Also, the notion that climate change skeptics tend to be older white men is not entirely wrong, but it’s also not a very strong tendency. Ideology was a far bigger indicator, they found.
Ultimately, the belief that scientists were trustworthy was the main driver of whether a person would believe that climate change is a real problem.