Monday, April 25, 2011

Climate change understanding falls along political lines

Jeanna Brynner in Live Science: While public opinion on climate change might be polarized, it's a stark contrast to the scientific community's unified stance regarding the warming of our planet. The latest research finds public understanding of the issue falls along political party lines, with Republicans most often saying Earth's climate is either not changing or agreeing it is changing -- but that those changes are due to natural causes.

Democrats, on the other hand, most often agreed that the climate is changing now due mainly to human activities. The research is published in a report put out by the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute and announced this week.

"Although there remains active discussion among scientists on many details about the pace and effects of climate change, no leading science organization disagrees that human activities are now changing the Earth's climate," said study researcher Lawrence Hamilton, professor of sociology and senior fellow with the Carsey Institute. "The strong scientific agreement on this point contrasts with the partisan disagreement seen on all of our surveys."

The reason may have to do with where we get our information on climate change, which Hamilton suggests is not scientists, but instead through news media, political activists, friends and other nonscience sources.

….The take-home for all those involved: "There are things scientists could do better to communicate, using the new media; and journalists could do better if they gained science literacy," Hamilton told LiveScience. "But such improvements would still be arrayed against a political climate that rewards wedge-issue polarization."…

John Tenniel's illustration of "A Mad Tea Party" in a one chapter of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Here Alice meets the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the Dormouse. The ensuing discussion is not rewarding for Alice

1 comment:

snoring solution said...

t's a stark contrast to the scientific community's unified stance regarding the warming of our planet. Thanks for sharing.