How climate change deniers think
Climate change deniers ‘are either extreme free marketeers or conspiracy theorists’ An Australian study says avid climate change deniers tend to be either extreme free marketeers or conspiracy theorists who believe the moon landing was faked or Princess Diana was murdered. Telegraph, By Jonathan Pearlman in Sydney 28 Aug 2012 The study, to be published in the journal Psychological Science, also found that those who reject the scientific consensus on the human contribution to climate change are more likely to to reject other scientific findings such as the linkage between tobacco and lung cancer or between HIV and Aids.
The paper, titled “NASA faked the moon landing – Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”, was based on a survey of more than 1000 visitors to blogs dedicated to discussion of climate change.
“We find that endorsement of a laissez-faire conception of free-market economics predicts rejection of climate science,” the paper says. “We additionally show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the CIA killed Martin Luther King or that NASA faked the moon landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientific findings.”
The paper says that a staunch belief in free markets was an overwhelmingly strong factor in the rejection of climate science and was a stronger factor than conspiratorial thinking.
It surveyed people on attitudes to a range of conspiracy theories, including that the United States allowed the September 11 attacks to occur and that SARS was produced in a laboratory as a biological weapon.
The lead researcher, Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, from the University of Western Australia, said conspiracy theories are the “antithesis to scientific thinking” and those who believe them are more likely to reject the scientific consensus that humans contribute to climate change.
“Science is about weeding out bad ideas,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “With conspiracy theories, you start out with a theory and stick to it no matter what the evidence. So it is not that surprising that conspiracy theorists would not accept scientific propositions … If the scientific evidence is overwhelming and you don’t like the conclusion, you have to find a way to reject those findings.”…. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/9503044/Climate-change-deniers-are-either-extreme-free-marketeers-or-conspiracy-theorists.html
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