IF you think the science of human-caused climate change is some sort of hoax and you might think too that the Apollo moon landings might have been faked or that Britain’s Royal family maybe, just maybe, conspired to assassinate Princess Diana because they didn’t like her very much?
Or that there really is this secret New World Order group with designs on global domination.
The study, titled The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science and published in the journal PLOS ONE, finds the strong predictor for the dismissal of the science of human-caused climate change.
The study indicates that climate change deniers often engage in what’s known as “motivated reasoning” – the tendency to accept without criticism any evidence that suits your belief while you ignore or reject the evidence that challenges what you think.
For example, climate science deniers might laser-in on the fact that last September, the amount of floating sea ice in the Arctic “recovered” from the previous year’s record low. Yet the same group ignores how 2013 still delivered the sixth lowest level on the satellite record and perhaps the sixth lowest in more than a thousand years.
Don’t mention the 275,000,000,000 tonnes of ice every year that’s “very likely” been melting from the world’s glaciers between 1993 and 2009.
This “motivated reasoning” might also cause some to view the latest United Nations climate report as yet more evidence that climate science is an elaborate cloaking device for lefty socialists to take over the world while they melt the world’s ice with a top secret invisible ray gun.
Sociologist Kari Norgaard claims there have been extremely well-organized, well-funded climate-skeptic campaigns. Those are backed by fossil fuel companies in particular, and the same PR firms who helped the tobacco industry deny the link between cancer and smoking are involved with magnifying doubt around climate change.
Norgaard says Climate change is disturbing. It’s something we don’t want to think about. So what we do in our everyday lives is create a world where it’s not there, and keep it distant.
For relatively privileged people, we don’t have to see the impact in everyday life. “I can read about different flood regimes in Bangladesh, or people in the Maldives losing their islands to sea level rise, or highways in Alaska that are altered as permafrost changes. But that’s not my life. We have a vast capacity for this.”