Pew Survey: ‘Climate skeptics aren’t generally more science illiterate than everyone else’

These were all findings of the Pew Research Center’s 1,100-person poll of Americans on their feelings not just about climate change but on the whole bundle of climate and energy issues. The poll’s headline number is that 48 percent of Americans correctly understand the Earth to be warming due to human activity. This number has recovered to 2006 levels, when it stood at 50 percent. It fell below 40 percent following the election of Barack Obama.

The report also confirms that Republicans and Democrats—especially on the parties’ respective right and left wings—hold differing views on climate change. But it finds that, especially on the left, these views are modestly moderated by someone’s understanding of general science. In other words, a Democrat with a high amount of science knowledge (including on health and biological concepts) is more likely to correctly state that humans are causing climate change than a Democrat with low science knowledge. Whereas being highly educated or having a high amount of science knowledge doesn’t make Republicans any more likely to say the same.…

Almost everything the media tells you about skeptics is wrong: they’re engineers and hard scientists. They like physics too.

Almost everything the media tells you about skeptics is wrong: they’re engineers and hard scientists. They like physics too.

In the mainstream media, skeptics are called Flat-Earthers, Deniers, and ideologues who deny basic physics. So it’s no surprise that they are exactly the opposite. A recent survey of 5,286 readers of leading skeptical blogs shows that the people driving the skeptical debate are predominantly engineers and hard scientists with backgrounds like maths, physics and chemistry. Which group in the population are least likely to deny basic physics?  Skeptics. I asked Mike Haseler for more details: around half of respondents had worked in engineering and a quarter in science around 80% had degrees of which about 40% were “post graduate” qualified. Respondents were asked which areas they had formal “post-school qualification”. A third said “physics/chemistry. One third said maths. Just under 40% said engineering. 40% said they had post school training in computer programming. Furthermore, the media “debate” is nothing like the real debate. Four out of five skeptics agree our emissions cause CO2 levels to rise, that Co2 causes warming, and that global temperatures have increased. In other words, the mainstream media journalists have somehow entirely missed both the nature of the skeptics and the nature of the debate. The so called “experts” (say like Stephan Lewandowsky, and John […]Rating: 9.8/10 (6 votes cast)

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