Sunday, May 1, 2011

How can the Conservative Republicans deny the science behind Climate Change?

There was an interesting article in Mother Jones last week called The science of why we don't believe science.  They mention a 2008 Pew Research Poll which I remember reading and disbelieving when it came it out.   The poll showed that college educated republicans were more likely to not believe in man made climate change than  non-college graduate  republicans.  The only way I could explain that was: pew did a bad poll.  But in a new paper analyzing 10 years of Gallup
data they found the same strong correlation.
we find that the effects of educational attainment and self-reported understanding on beliefs about climate science and personal concern about global warming are positive for liberals and Democrats, but are weaker or negative for conservatives and Republicans. 
The data isn't changing  but Democrats and Republicans see two very different conclusions from the same data.  How are we going to address the energy crisis and global warming if only one side sees a problem?  Democrats see our resources racing overseas to pay for our national oil appetite and Republicans see very large contributions to their campaigns from the oil companies.  Democrats see a warming climate with unknown consequences for the future and Republicans see large checks from coal and gas companies.  Democrats see a polluted gulf of Mexico, devastated tourism, ecosystems and wildlife while Republicans  see a poor oil company getting the shakedown.   Chris Mooney in the Mother Jones article thinks:  

Conservatives are more likely to embrace climate science if it comes to them via a business or religious leader, who can set the issue in the context of different values than those from which environmentalists or scientists often argue. 

That is exactly the point-we don't share the same values.  And the concept of conservative business or religious leaders advocating for climate change is almost laughable.  Pat Robertson and the Koch Brothers present: Climate Change?  Last year Donald Trump, wanted Al Gore stripped of his Nobel Prize after record snowfalls hit Washington DC.  Political leaders?  Imagine Speaker of the house John Bohner advocating for climate change?  The same John Bohner who said of the birthers:  "Its not my job to tell people what to think."  I've come to realize the only values we Democrats share with the Republicans are dollars, and their not sharing.

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