From The Guardian: If you’ve ever wondered where climate change deniers get major fuel for their “arguments,” look no further than conservative “news” outlets. The journal Public Understanding of Science has released an article called “An attack on science? Media use, trust in scientists, and perceptions of global warming.” Some highlights:
The results suggest that conservative media consumption (specifically Fox News and Rush Limbaugh) decreases viewer trust in scientists, which in turn decreases belief that global warming is happening. In contrast, consumption of non-conservative media (specifically ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post) increases consumer trust in scientists, and in turn belief that global warming is happening
They also appear to create distrust in scientists through five methods:
1) Presenting contrarian scientists as “objective” experts while presenting mainstream scientists as self-interested or biased.
2) Denigrating scientific institutions and peer-reviewed journals.
3) Equating peer-reviewed research with a politically liberal opinion.
4) Accusing climate scientists of manipulating data to fund research projects.
5) Characterizing climate science as a religion.
In fact, the report cites examples of Fox News engaging all five of these tactics.
One prime example involves contrarian meteorologist Joe Bastardi, a frequent climate misinformation guest on Fox News who Rolling Stone awarded the #1 dumbest thing ever said about global warming for claiming that CO2 “literally” cannot cause warming because it doesn’t “mix well in the atmosphere.”
Luckily, some conservatives are beginning to recognize that… perhaps… climatologists kinda/sorta might actually understand their field of study.
A growing number of American conservatives are demanding that the Republican Party stop denying the problem and begin participating in crafting the solution.
Moreover, 73 percent of young voters under the age of 35 associate denial of global warming with words like “ignorant,” “out-of-touch” or “crazy,” including 53 percent of young Republicans.
The future should be interesting.
The question now is how long the Republican Party’s global warming denial and obstruction of climate solutions can last in the face of these growing numbers of Americans (including Republicans) demanding climate solutions. Climate misinformation from Fox News and other conservative media outlets may be stemming the tide against climate denial, but the tide is rising, both literally and figuratively.