Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why Climate Change Deniers and Creationists Have Joined Forces

The creationist crowd continues to fight a rear guard action against science and modernity because both threaten their belief system that is based on the anything but inerrant Bible.  Anything that threatens this house of cards construct must be opposed and strenuous efforts continue to sabotage science based school curriculum which might make it clear to little Johnny and Susie that their parents have been teaching them a pile of horse shit based on the ignorant myths composed by Bronze Age herders.  Now these Neanderthals have joined forces with the climate change denier crowd.  While their agendas are not the same, both groups are motivated by their desire to resist scientific knowledge.  Mother Jones looks at the unholy alliance.  Here are excerpts:

All across the country—most recently, in the state of Texas—local battles over the teaching of evolution are taking on a new complexion. More and more, it isn't just evolution under attack, it's also the teaching of climate science. The National Center for Science Education, the leading group defending the teaching of evolution across the country, has even broadened its portfolio: Now, it protects climate education too.

How did these issues get wrapped up together? On its face, there isn't a clear reason—other than a marriage of convenience—why attacks on evolution and attacks on climate change ought to travel side by side.
And yet clearly there's a relationship between the two issue stances. . . . . Indeed, recent research suggests that Christian "end times" believers are less likely to see a need for action on global warming.

And now new research by Yale's Dan Kahan further reaffirms that there's something going on here. More specifically, Kahan showed that there is a correlation (.25, which is weak to modest, but significant) between a person's religiosity and his or her tendency to think that global warming isn't much of a risk.
The researcher went on to say that he isn't sure why greater religiosity predicts greater denial of climate change. But in his data—with a representative sample of over 2,000 Americans—it clearly does.

There are two major possibilities. And there is probably some truth to both of them.  There is the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" theory. In other words, anti-evolutionists and climate deniers were both getting dumped on so much by the scientific community that they sort of naturally joined forces.

But there's also the "declining trust in science" theory, according to which political conservatives have, in general, become distrustful of the scientific community (we have data showing this is the case), and this has infected how they think about several different politicized scientific issues. And who knows: Perhaps the distrust started with the evolution issue. It is easy to imagine how a Christian conservative who thinks liberal scientists are full of it on evolution would naturally distrust said scientists on other issues as well.

Whatever the cause for this alliance, it does not bode well for science based solutions on a national level.  Meanwhile, cities like Norfolk will be forced to go it largely alone as they contend with rising sea levels and idiocy from Republicans in legislatures across America.

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