Apathy and the climate change divide – it isn't about science literacy

From Yale University,  it seems the climate debate has become completely tribal. On the plus side, this study blows the “if only we could communicate to the public better” meme out of the water. The great climate divide deepens even further.

Yale study concludes public apathy over climate change unrelated to science literacy

Are members of the public divided about climate change because they don’t understand the science behind it? If Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning, would public consensus match scientific consensus?

A study published today online in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that the answer to both questions is no. Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School and involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults.

“The aim of the study was to test two hypotheses,” said Dan Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School and a member of the study team. “The first attributes political controversy over climate change to the public’s limited ability to comprehend science, and the second, to opposing sets of cultural values. The findings supported the second hypothesis and not the first,” he said.

“Cultural cognition” is the term used to describe the process by which individuals’ group values shape their perceptions of societal risks. It refers to the unconscious tendency of people to fit evidence of risk to positions that predominate in groups to which they belong. The results of the study were consistent with previous studies that show that individuals with more egalitarian values disagree sharply with individuals who have more individualistic ones on the risks associated with nuclear power, gun possession, and the HPV vaccine for school girls.

In this study, researchers measured “science literacy” with test items developed by the National Science Foundation. They also measured their subjects’ “numeracy”—that is, their ability and disposition to understand quantitative information.

“In effect,” Kahan said, “ordinary members of the public credit or dismiss scientific information on disputed issues based on whether the information strengthens or weakens their ties to others who share their values. At least among ordinary members of the public, individuals with higher science comprehension are even better at fitting the evidence to their group commitments.”

Kahan said that the study supports no inferences about the reasoning of scientific experts in climate change.

Researcher Ellen Peters of Ohio State University said that people who are higher in numeracy and science literacy usually make better decisions in complex technical situations, but the study clearly casts doubt on the notion that the more you understand science and math, the better decisions you’ll make in complex and technical situations. “What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”

According to Kahan, the study suggests the need for science communication strategies that reflect a more sophisticated understanding of cultural values.

“More information can help solve the climate change conflict,” Kahan said, “but that information has to do more than communicate the scientific evidence. It also has to create a climate of deliberations in which no group perceives that accepting any piece of evidence is akin to betrayal of their cultural group.”

###

In addition to Dan Kahan and Ellen Peters, other study researchers were Maggie Wittlin of the Cultural Cognition Project, Paul Slovic of Decision Research, Lisa Larrimore Ouellette of the Cultural Cognition Project, Donald Braman of George Washington University, and Gregory Mandel of Temple University.

Citation: The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks, Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1547.

The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School is an interdisciplinary group of scholars interested in studying how cultural values shape public risk perceptions and related policy beliefs. Previous studies, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund at Yale Law School, have looked at perceptions of environmental and public health risks and of expert scientific consensus on such issues. For more information, visit www.culturalcognition.net.

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

The divide is a reflection of people’s position on the burden of proof. If you believe the burden is on the alarmists to prove that CO2 is causing terrible climate effects, you’re a skeptic. If you believe the burden of proof is on the skeptics to explain why it got hotter since the 70s, then you’re an alarmist.
It isn’t about science. It isn’t about consensus. It’s about who you believe has the burden of proof.

polistra

Not surprising. Since this dispute came into the public eye, it’s been about status. Those who already have high status and want to keep it, and those who want to join the popular crowd, favor the high-status side. Those who don’t have high status and don’t want to be anywhere near it, favor the low-status side.
As Monckton has been saying: money, power and glory.
In other words, it’s always been about cool, not warm.

Nerd

It is turning out to be a war between liberals vs conservative/libertarians over everything.

michaeljmcfadden

“Researcher Ellen Peters of Ohio State University said that people who are higher in numeracy and science literacy usually make better decisions in complex technical situations, but the study clearly casts doubt on the notion that the more you understand science and math, the better decisions you’ll make in complex and technical situations. ”
Note the bias inherent in the phrasing: it assumes that AGW is indeed “the better decision.”
I run across the same thing in the antismoking battles all the time: “All the cognizant scientific authorities agree that secondhand (or THIRDhand!) smoke is the deadliest thing since Bubonic Plague.” with the advocate then using that claim to push their agenda.
In both cases you have a similar mechanism at work: many “authorities” who figure it’s “better to err on the side of the angels” and figure “The harm caused by taking these ‘precautions’ is far less than the potential harm of not taking them.”
A secondary mechanism, playing on people’s immediate fears for their own personal welfare and that of their children in order to achieve a political goal, is also common to both: remember the TV commercial of the little girl standing on the train track and the far off train of Global Warming suddenly rushing to a few inches away? How about the one where the little girl can be heard repeatedly screaming and pleading for her father to (evidently) stop beating her… only to have the camera eventually zoom into the living room where the whole family is happily enjoying a TV show but the father, sitting off in an easy chair, is smoking?
Improving people’s scientific knowledge is part of the solution, but you also have to fight the emotional propaganda tricks the scare-mongers use.
– MJM

Phil Cartier

“More information can help solve the climate change conflict,” Kahan said, “but that information has to do more than communicate the scientific evidence. It also has to create a climate of deliberations in which no group perceives that accepting any piece of evidence is akin to betrayal of their cultural group.”
In other words, don’t consider the evidence of the science, but use social engineering to get people to agree with your point of view, regardless of the evidence. The evidence for AGW is not strong. In fact, much of it is contradictory and in some cases fabricated, while ignoring counter evidence. All in all a pretty self-serving policy.

Camburn

The results of this study do not surprise me. Strong AGW advocates will ignore emperical evidence that shows their position to be wrong, yet they maintain said position. The same can be said about AGW skeptics.
And this gets to the crux. Both skeptics and deniers of emperical evidence have to understand that at times a published paper really does show something relating to climate of substantial interest.

Paul Coppin

…Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate…
This really is a fallacy. Members of the public are not more literate in science, they only think they are. The gap between what the general public “knows” and what is truth in science is a wide as it ever was, maybe even wider. I ascribe the latter to the “little knowledge is a dangerous thing” meme, where the general public thinks they are getting a literate knowledge of science, and therefore cease to seek the deeper truth. Complexity and knowledge has raised both the bar for education, and for the deepth of our understanding, but the gap between the two is as wide as ever.
I think a major difference between now and as little as 60-70 years ago, is that today, because we’ve had a little education, most of it uncritical, we presume to know, whereas, back pre and post wwII, there was an understanding by individuals , broadly, that there really was more to learn, so the general public was open to seek and to learn. It was and own goal.
Today, that seems to be less so. The biologist in me wonders if we’ve begun to achieve cognitive saturation – overwhelming the neural capacity to learn and retain because there is so much, that we are neurologically screening out.

Neville

Just another study that proves you either have common sense or you don’t. Australia is the biggest coal exporter in the world and probably the second in iron ore exports and yet we are introducing a co2 tax of $23 tonne from July 1st this year.
Our idiot govt states we must tackle climate change or take action on CC but then will do anything they can to increase exports of the above.
Iron ore must use incredible ammounts of energy from coal etc to become finished products to market so our exports must produce heaps more co2 than the much smaller tonnage that we use domestically.
Aussies will have to rely on unreliable, super expensive,useless solar and wind energy but our competitors get to use our cheap coal to process iron ore etc and steal our jobs and industry.

Paul Irwin

“What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”
Again, if you’re pro-AGW, your conclusions are “better for society”. But, if you actively read and follow the science and have high math and science comprehension skills that compel a different conclusion, you must, therefore, be “selfish” and a person who is thinking what’s best for yourself as an individual.
Or, they’re wrong.

Richdo

“What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”
Yeah, the aliens are coming, right?

Climate talks stall with nations ‘wasting time’
Richard Black By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News
Oil rigs on US coast The US was accused of being in a “coalition of the unwilling”, along with other oil-fuelled states
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories
Europe struggles for climate lead
First chuffs from the Durban climate train
Climate consensus cracking open – or not…
The latest round of UN climate talks has made little progress, observers say.
The meeting in Bonn, Germany saw angry exchanges between rich nations, fast-industrialising ones and those prone to climate impacts.
Campaigners spoke of a “coalition of the unwilling” including the US, China, India and several Gulf states.
Developing countries are also concerned about the lack of firm pledges on finance beyond the end of this year.
This was the first negotiating meeting since last December’s ministerial summit in Durban, South Africa.
The key outcome there was an agreement to begin talks leading to a new global deal involving all nations.
The “Durban Platform”, as it is known, will see the agreement tied up by 2015 and coming into force by 2020.
Opening the Bonn session, UN climate convention (UNFCCC) executive secretary Christiana Figueres told negotiators that progress depended on ambition – “ambition to support developing countries, ambition to mobilise finance and… ambition to decisively and tangibly reduce emissions according to what science demands”.
By the end, several observers including Tove Maria Ryding of Greenpeace International concluded that ambition had been largely absent.
“It’s absurd to watch governments sit and point fingers and fight like little kids while the scientists explain about the terrifying impacts of climate change,” she said.
Complex world
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote
Some of the world’s largest emitters have wasted too much energy in trying to move backwards rather than in securing progress”
Connie Hedegaard EU Climate Commissioner
While UN climate talks used to be characterised as a simple “rich versus poor” battle, the politics have become much more tangled in recent years.
At the Durban meeting, dozens of the world’s poorest and most climate-vulnerable nations teamed up with the EU to press for a new global deal with legal character – which eventually found form in the Durban Platform.
The main opponents of the move included developing countries such as India and China, as well as rich ones such as the US.
This split within the developing world bloc led to a spat in Bonn that more than one experienced observer described as “unprecedented”.
China’s delegate Su Wei asked veteran Surinamese diplomat Robert van Lierop to step down as interim chair of the working group on the Durban Platform (ADP), alleging a possible conflict of interest.
Conventionally, chairs of all sessions are supposed to behave impartially – and questioning their capacity to do so is highly undiplomatic.
Mr Wei was backed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait. But Barbadian Selwin Hart described the move as “unprecedented and alarming… we have crossed a very unfortunate line”.
Continue reading the main story
Climate change glossary
Select a term to learn more:
Adaptation
Adaptation
Action that helps cope with the effects of climate change – for example construction of barriers to protect against rising sea levels, or conversion to crops capable of surviving high temperatures and drought.
Glossary in full
The Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis), with which Mr van Lierop is associated, is adamant that the ADP must work on curbing emissions before 2015; and Mr Wei’s intervention was interpreted in some quarters as a slap to Aosis.
China and the oil-producing states fear the breaching of the “firewall” between the traditional developed and developing worlds.
They fear this will help developed countries make the case that fast-industrialising nations such as China should face emissions cuts before too long.
In turn, China points to the repeated failure of rich countries to cut their emissions as far as mainstream science indicates they should – particularly those such as the US, Japan, Russia and Canada that have opted not to take further emission cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.
“Both sides are right,” said Alden Meyer from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“The US and Japan and Russia aren’t taking their responsibilities seriously; yet the developed countries are right in that you can’t rebuild the firewall and pretend that the future for China is the same as the future for Bangladesh,” he told BBC News.
The agenda for ADP negotiations was finally adopted. But there was little progress on another key issue – agreeing the terms under which the EU, and possibly other developed nations, will put their emission cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.
Funding hiatus
Three years ago, developed countries pledged that by 2020 they would be providing $100bn per year for poor nations, to help them “green” their economies and prepare for impacts of climate change.
For the period 2009-12, they are provided $10bn per year in “fast-start finance”.
Christiana Figueres Christiana Figueres asked for “ambition” – but many said the talks were bogged down in “process”
But that agreement comes to an end in December, and no developed nation has yet indicated what happens afterwards.
“No progress was made to deliver the financial support that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable need to deal with the growing impacts of climate change,” said Celine Charveriat, Oxfam advocacy and campaigns director.
“It is now vital that, at the next UN climate summit in Qatar in November, rich countries commit to an initial $10-15bn… between 2013 and 2015.”
EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard complained that the meeting had discussed process rather than substance.
“This week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has reported that global emissions have reached their highest ever level,” she said.
“At the same time, in Bonn, some of the world’s largest emitters have wasted too much energy in trying to move backwards rather than in securing progress.
“This is not just irresponsible; it is untenable for a UNFCCC process that wants to remain relevant.”
While the coalition between the EU and its developing country allies appears to have held, the climate-vulnerable nations are not happy about the EU’s repeated failure to pledge tighter emission cuts.
It appears that Poland is the only EU nation holding things up – and there are indications that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will wield her country’s considerable diplomatic muscle at the EU Council meeting next month.
Meanwhile, the UNFCCC process is likely to include an extra meeting this year, probably in Bangkok, though the funds are not yet in place.

juanslayton

The study reflects the cultural values of the researchers themselves. The accusation of group-think on the part of the public shows their own group-think about how people form opinions.
It is better to be divided by truth than to be united by error.
-Luther

otsar

As I was reading through this, memories of Goebbels kept intruding.

Maus

“It is turning out to be a war between liberals vs conservative/libertarians over everything.”
Naturally. You’ve got one group that hates people, but trust them. And the other group doesn’t trust people, but loves them. There’s no limit to the perversity this causes within either group. But it’s near certain that each group will be wholly opposed the other.
As for science? If scientists had scientific literacy we wouldn’t have spent a dime on AGW or numerous other bits of boggled nonsense.

Bill Wood

The divide between those who believe in the absolute power of a small elite to solve any problem and those who are skeptical of that ability will continue without regard for how the problem or solution is communicated.
The definitive experiment as regards tidal heights was performed by the great war chieftain Knute (anglicized Canute).

gnomish

“What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”
and collectivism places the value of the abstraction called ‘society’ far above the actual life of any individual or any number of them.
individuals take note. you don’t count and if you think you do, you may be diagnosed and treated.
you had equal right to express your opinion and vote for the choices you were given, which were meaningless except insofar as it was an easy way to sweet talk your pants off instead of having to slap you silly and just take what they wanted without your consent.
however, now you have a lifetime of habits, well rehearsed, in this codependent and abusive relationship.
you might whine and bleed, but you’ll be back for more.
and once all your gold is gone, you’ll eat lead.
it’s all been done before and looked just the same then. nobody hid his motives. nobody defended his rights until he had nothing to lose.
it’s all salvage, here on out. and there are no fairy godmothers or super heroes.
there was never anything but individuals – and they gave up without a fight.

bladeshearer

“individuals with higher science comprehension are even better at fitting the evidence to their group commitments
And hiding the decline.

Claude Harvey

So the more you know, the better job you can do of fooling yourself. Nothing new there. “We each ride through life on the back of a great elephant. We don’t know why the elephant does what it does. We just make up reasons why it did it.”

Dr. John M. Ware

I don’t know where to begin enumerating the errors and mistaken assumptions in this article. I will therefore just make a couple of personal remarks. When forming my opinions based on evidence, I do not try to figure out what “group” or “community” I belong to. I try to decide what the truth is. I owe no allegiance to any exterior group. The idea that people in the general public try to conform their opinions to what they think a particular group wants them to think is preposterous. The whole group-psych bafflegab is unprovable, unfalsifiable, and thus scientifically worthless. Yuck!

GlynnMhor

For at least some people, including me, it comes down to whether what has been claimed about the science is really what the science can tell us or is telling us.

Randy

100% of the scientists I work with call BS on CAGW (and AGW). 97% of my non-scientist friends agree. But, that’s just my little part of the world. Nothing to see here. move along…

CodeTech

Of course, there’s a third option, but I wouldn’t expect Yale to be able to comprehend that.
There is also the group that would be alarmist as anyone, except have realized that the entire issue is either made up or the result of horribly poor science. We (I’m in this group) listened to the AGW hypothesis, and went looking for credible evidence. Alas, we found none.
Oh well.

Ordinary members (and extraordinary members) of the public credit or dismiss scientific information on disputed issues based on whether the information presented by either side makes sense in the light of records and research. Ordinary members of the public still retain their common sense and nose for bullshit at quite large distances.

Curiousgeorge

I’ve never seen a hypothesis that did not include a confidence level. This is more tedious BS, that people are supposed to accept as gospel. When in fact it’s just more Crap.

Steve O

“Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses.”
— Okay, so the better someone’s ability to understand the technical aspects of the science, the less likely they are to be undecided and the more likely they are to take a strong position for one side or the other.
“What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”
— Wait… what? That almost sounds like code for saying that the better someone comprehends the technical aspects of the science, the more likely they are to be skeptical of the alarmist position.

eyesonu

“More information can help solve the climate change conflict,” Kahan said, “but that information has to do more than communicate the scientific evidence. It also has to create a climate of deliberations in which no group perceives that accepting any piece of evidence is akin to betrayal of their cultural group.”
=================================
If this were impliimented years ago then the CAGW scheme would have been over much sooner and would have likely never gotten off the ground.

Steve O

From the abstract of the study: “Why do members of the public disagree – sharply and persistently – about facts on which expert scientists largely agree?”
— For a following study, I suggest the researchers tackle the topic of when human life begins — specifically, whether it happens at birth as many people with a liberal ideology believe, or whether it happens much sooner, as science demonstrates.

Say it: conservatives reject AGW. Libs “believe” it.
A few months ago a Pew poll found only 19% of Republicans believe in man-made global warming. And now a poll finds that only 17% of conservative Canadians (voted for the Tories) “are concerned” about global warming: http://www.660news.com/news/local/article/365630–new-poll-says-global-warming-is-not-a-major-environmental-concern
And we know the reason why. Yes, the gig is up on the ideological motivations, the lying, and trumped up “science” of the leftist scare-mongers. But only conservatives seem concerned about these glaring problems with AGW.
The environmentalists have called for de-industrialization; I could recite quotes up and down this page attesting to that. The 80%+ CO2 cuts that the warmists demand are exactly what the de-industrialists dream of. Conservatives, never being too thrilled with de-industrialization to begin with, have been receptive to the glaring problems with the AGW science. On the other hand, leftists, in tune with the leftists behind the scam, tend to have the philosophy of leftist senator Tim Wirth who said ““We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing …”
Hence, the left – right political divide. It’s not any more complex than this. We don’t need an Einstein to figure this out.

Jeff L

“individuals with higher science comprehension are even better at fitting the evidence to their group commitments”
… and since those with science training would therefore have the highest science comprehension, why wouldn’t AGW climate scientists also be the best at fitting the evidence to their “group commitments” ???
Based on that statement, the logical question is someone ought to study the “group commitments” of those leading the AGW charge. Given the known politics of many of the leaders, it would be shocking if that study didn’t show the group was overwhelmingly liberal. That would be a huge blow to their personal credibility & the overall credibility of AGW, in light of this study.
Now just to be fair, I wouldn’t be surprised if the opposite was true as well, with many skeptics being conservatives or libertarians.
So, where does that leave us? Probably means the truth lies in the middle (no strong “group commitments”) – maybe the “Lukewarmers” (some CO2 warming possible but nothing catastrophic) are most likely correct, if you believe the results of this study.
Something to think about anyway. Now, I have to get back to my “group commitments” :))

Graeme No.3

More seriously, we seem to be in a “Millerite” moment. You will recall that William Miller predicted the end of the world between Mar 1843 and Mar 1844. It caused considerable excitement in the USA and Canada, and even some in the UK and Australia.
When March 1844 was over, a new date of April the 18 was announced. When that went by, many stopped believing, but for remaining believers a new date of Oct 22, 1844 was predicted. When that date went by, there were still enough believers to form 3 sects (one of which morphed into the Jehovah’s Witnesses). Needless to say, the further dates of 1874 and 1914 also passed unfulfilled.
We have had predictions of Global Warming coming in 10 or 20 years for the last 40 years. Long enough for many to become sceptical.
But the believers have rallied in Yale University, still hoping for the end.

Anything out of Yale is suspect, IMHO. I got my bad attitude from the Yale Forum on Climate Change, or some such nonsense blog emitted by Peter Sinclair and Zeke Hausfather, and funded by financial wizard [but otherwise complete lunatic] Jeremy Grantham’s Left Of The George Soros Foundation Foundation. Or something like that. IIRC.
Anyway, for a peek at the future of global tribalism, see here:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/if-greece-was-california
But don’t worry, the new High Speed Trolley will fix up California for sure, for a mere $100 billion+ down payment. Operating subsidies extra. The Trolley won’t go where folks want to go, but it will make some tribes feel good, because the hard-bitten Taxpayer Tribe and tribes in other States will be forced to pay for it. And feeling good is what matters most in California, right? Right?? [I call the HST the “Dead-on-arrival Urban Money Burner”: D.U.M.B.]

Paul Marko

gnomish says:
May 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm
“you might whine and bleed, but you’ll be back for more.
and once all your gold is gone, you’ll eat lead.
it’s all been done before and looked just the same then. nobody hid his motives. nobody defended his rights until he had nothing to lose.
it’s all salvage, here on out. and there are no fairy godmothers or super heroes.
there was never anything but individuals – and they gave up without a fight.”
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
Excerpt from ‘The Gods of the Copybook Headings.’
Rudyard Kipling 1919

Latitude

the study clearly casts doubt on the notion that the more you understand science and math, the better decisions you’ll make in complex and technical situations. “What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”
============================================
…welcome to the borg
Why didn’t she just go on and say that people that don’t agree with her are morons………

charlie

yes and no are opposite and static, while data is ambiguous and continuous.

Paul in Sweden

All of the numerous studies along these lines appear to be nothing more than market analysis and strategy.

Jens Bagh

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
People with a sense of history will recognize this quote from a master manipulator of the masses.
Little have changes since then but for the fact that AGW is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind

davidmhoffer

This study is total and utter gibberish. The more literate people are about science and technology, the more likely they are to come to correct conclusions on areas of disagreement. When people DON’T understand the science and technology, THAT is when they are likely to fit the narrative that they don’t understand to their world view.
Understanding science and technology is by DEFINITION the ability to understand the issues accurately DESPITE one’s world view. These people have the whole thing exactly bass ackwards.

OssQss

I believe it is about literacy and communication 😉
How about a good consolidated summary of such communication.
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2012/04/vivid-illustration-of-how-global.html

OssQss

Lat, it is scary…….

Kaboom

So at the basic level what they are saying is that even if a young male is scientifically literate he won’t turn into a skeptic because that would isolate him from the female population he’s desperate to mate with, thus further perpetuating generational group-think.

gnomish

Paul Marko says:…
wow- that was excellent!
rudyard could really kiple, eh?

John West

Is there no limit to the mental gymnastics they’re willing to undertake instead of just admitting that the more scientifically literate one is the less likely one is to accept that legislative action on climate change is necessary because the evidence is weak?

Gail Combs

Looks like all they did is confirm John Dewey’s study.

….Dewey’s philosophy had evolved from Hegelian idealism to socialist materialism, and the purpose of the school was to show how education could be changed to produce little socialists and collectivists instead of little capitalists and individualists. It was expected that these little socialists, when they became voting adults, would dutifully change the American economic system into a socialist one.
In order to do so he analyzed the traditional curriculum that sustained the capitalist, individualistic system and found what he believed was the sustaining linchpin — that is, the key element that held the entire system together: high literacy. To Dewey, the greatest obstacle to socialism was the private mind that seeks knowledge in order to exercise its own private judgment and intellectual authority. High literacy gave the individual the means to seek knowledge independently. It gave individuals the means to stand on their own two feet and think for themselves. This was detrimental to the “social spirit” needed to bring about a collectivist society. Dewey wrote in Democracy and Education, published in 1916:

When knowledge is regarded as originating and developing within an individual, the ties which bind the mental life of one to that of his fellows are ignored and denied.
When the social quaility of individualized mental operations is denied, it becomes a problem to find connections which will unite an individual with his fellows. Moral individualism is set up by the conscious separation of different centers of life. It has its roots in the notion that the consciousness of each person is wholly private, a self-inclosed continent. intrinsically independent of the ideas, wishes, purposes of everybody else.

And he wrote in School and Society in 1899:

The tragic weakness of the present school is that it endeavors to prepare future members of the social order in a medium in which the conditions of the social spirit are eminently wanting …
The mere absorbing of facts and truths is so exclusively individual an affair that it tends very naturally to pass into selfishness. There is no obvious social motive for the acquirement of merely learning, there is no clear social gain in success threat.

It seems incredible that a man of Dewey’s intelligence could state that the sort of traditional education that produced our founding fathers and the wonderful inventors of the 19th century lacked “social spirit” when it was these very individuals who created the freest, happiest, and most prosperous nation in all of human history….
John Dewey is the “Father of American Education” so if you every wondered why the US schools get worse and worse now you know. It was done on purpose to produce good little “Co-dependent” serfs willing to give up freedom and individualism to become part of the “Group” or the “Collective”

Eric (skeptic)

““What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”” —Researcher Ellen Peters of Ohio State University
Well, Ellen, needless to say you won’t be reading what I write here since you know everything you can possibly need to know about what is better for society and why I am wrong. But let me fill you in anyway. The meme that your side pushes is that excessive CO2 is a tragedy of the commons and that warming from CO2 from guilty parties will cause numerous inconveniences or worse to innocent parties including present day severe weather. As pointed out in various hundreds of articles here and similar sites, that notion is wrong. But the core issue is that the use of fossil carbon to create atmospheric carbon dioxide is the basis of a civilized and prosperous society, a fact which you fail to understand since you only believe in central planning.
Sure, we could some “saviors” of the environment kill off 95% of the human population and allow the rest to live in caves with appropriate population controls. Or we could use one of your “reasonable” half measures and force millions in developed countries to choose between heat and food and a billion or more to die in the undeveloped countries once the developed countries go under. But even your merely half-depraved half measures will not stop the increase in CO2 and modeled increase in temperature. So not only is it incredibly immoral but incredibly stupid, so we reject it.
I would close with the thought that everything I have ever done and said on energy and climate issues is for the good of humanity, certainly not me as an individual or me as part of any group.

Gino

Paul and Gnomish…..
“When all the world would keep a matter hid,
Since Truth is seldom Friend to any crowd,
Men write in fable, as old Aesop did,
Jesting at that which none will name aloud.
And this they needs must do, or it will fall
Unless they please they are not heard at all.”
intro stanza to The Fabulists…by Kipling. 🙂

jorgekafkazar

More academic, delusional drivel.

davidgmills

I am pretty far on the left but I don’t buy AGW anymore though I once did. I really can’t figure out how this is a left- right issue. It is a science issue. Since when did science become left or right?
And maybe that gets to the real problem, science is way too politicized. And yet, it seems like time and time again when we need scientists to really oppose the government propaganda of the day, scientists are off hiding under a rock.

wes george

This study is rotten to the core because simply being “numerate” and knowing something about science is NOT the same as understanding and living by the hard rules of scientific methodology. I might well have been taught to do calculus without grokking the fundamental methods by which rational inquiry proceeds.
As Mark in the very first post in this thread points out the Warmists are generally confused about where the burden of proof lies. This is one of the most fundamental concepts in epistemology. If you don’t understand the logical process of hypothesis formation and testing how can you possibly be “scientifically literate?” Then there are Warmists who know the methods of science, but willingly chose to abuse and degrade them.
The real climate war is the battle between the ideals of Enlightenment Science (transparency, reproducibility, testing against empirical data, etc.) and the forces of what has been called “Endarkenment,” which represent the values of consensus, passion, narrative, doctrine, coercion and political correctness over empirical measurement and cool scientific method.
True, it’s part of the larger cultural war going on. It’s the most important part, because if the forces of Endarkenment can degrade the methods of rational inquiry through abuse or by subversion, then they will have won the culture war, since their ultimate aim is to destroy the objective methods by which we measure and come to understand empirical reality. Once science is degenerated into just another post-mod narrative, then “The Truth” can be simply dictated to the masses by The Priesthood. No need to learn how to think critically and logically. In fact, to do so is already called the “Denialist” heresy.
The AGW hypothesis was early on appropriated as a critique of capitalism to revive moribund neo-Marxist ideas advocating command economics and limiting individual civil liberties in favour of collectivist values. The fact that the eco-Marxist appropriation of science for political coercion threatens to degrade science is a feature not a bug to the Greens, who well understand that systematically rational thought is their worse enemy.
Many well-informed warmists like Tim Flannery, (the Australian Climate Commissioner) and Paul Krugman have publicly said that lying to people is morally appropriate to fool them into supporting collectivist economics.
Therefore, the climate debate is about nothing at all, if it isn’t first and foremost about the proper conduct of rational inquiry, how we know what we know and how the rules of the scientific method should be enforced in research and taught in our schools.

“What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”

Ah, yes! If you oppose Central Planning, you are opposed to a healthy scociety.
“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.
We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.” —Frederic Bastiat

Curiousgeorge

Since this is about communication, etc. there’s something evil comes this way. A great deal of the strength of the skeptic community is dependent on the internet. If the following comes to pass, I’ll give y’all three guesses who will be on the target list.
Quote:
House lawmakers will consider an international proposal next week to give the United Nations more control over the Internet.
The proposal is backed by China, Russia, Brazil, India and other UN members, and would give the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) more control over the governance of the Internet.
It’s an unpopular idea with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Congress, and officials with the Obama administration have also criticized it.
“We’re quite concerned,” Larry Strickling, the head of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, said in an interview with The Hill earlier this year.
He said the measure would expose the Internet to “top-down regulation where it’s really the governments that are at the table, but the rest of the stakeholders aren’t.”
At a hearing earlier this month, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also criticized the proposal. He said China and Russia are “not exactly bastions of Internet freedom.”
“Any place that bans certain terms from search should not be a leader in international Internet regulatory frameworks,” he said, adding that he will keep a close eye on the process.
Yet the proposal could come up for a vote at a UN conference in Dubai in December.
In an op-ed earlier this year in The Wall Street Journal, McDowell warned that “a top-down, centralized, international regulatory overlay is antithetical to the architecture of the Net.”
“Productivity, rising living standards and the spread of freedom everywhere, but especially in the developing world, would grind to a halt as engineering and business decisions become politically paralyzed within a global regulatory body,” McDowell wrote.
He said some governments feel excluded from Internet policymaking and want more control over the process.
“And let’s face it, strong-arm regimes are threatened by popular outcries for political freedom that are empowered by unfettered Internet connectivity,” McDowell wrote.
More: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/229653-house-to-examine-plan-to-let-un-regulate-internet