From ScienceAlert and the “you knew it was just a matter of time before some misguided social justice warrior made the claim” department. h/t to WUWT reader “ozspeakup”
Racist Attitudes And Climate Denial Have a Disturbing Link We Never Knew About
Something is very wrong here.
The drivers behind climate change denial look to be even more complex than we thought, with new research finding evidence of a “racial spillover” – in which racist attitudes have become linked with skepticism over climate change.
A new study examining attitudes to climate change during the Obama presidency found white Americans became significantly less concerned about climate change during the presidency, and that white racist attitudes could be helping to fuel climate denial.
“I’m not trying to make a claim in the study that race is the single most important or necessarily a massive component of all environmental attitudes” the researcher behind the study, political scientist Salil Benegal from DePauw University, told Sierra.
“But it’s a significant thing that we should be looking out for.”
To examine the extent that racist attitudes might be associated with views on climate change, Benegal examined trends in public opinion during the course of the Obama presidency.
Not only was Obama America’s first black president, but over the course of his presidency he became a notable advocate of environmental causes, and Benegal wanted to examine the extent to which today’s fractured climate debate on climate might have been influenced by his time in office.
“There has been increasing polarisation on this issue,” Benegal told Think Progress, “and this is one thing my own research has been examining for a while – trying to figure out what are some of the root causes of this polarisation.”
Benegal analysed nationally representative surveys conducted by Pew between 2006 and 2014 in which respondents were asked, among other questions, to rate the seriousness of climate change.
After controlling for the expected effects of factors such as political partisanship, ideology, and education, the data showed that – compared to the views of respondents who identified as black Americans – white Americans became 18 percent less likely to see climate change as a very serious problem over the course of Obama’s presidency.
The findings are reported in Environmental Politics.
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Words fail me.