2016-12-20. Climate Change Skepticism Fueled by Gut Reaction to Local Weather.

posted Jan 10, 2017, 4:29 PM by Alan Gould

By Scott Waldman, ClimateWire, reprinted by Scientific American. For GSS Climate Change chapter 10. Excerpt: If it’s hot outside, you’re more likely to believe in climate change. The public perception of climate change is shaped by the weather that people experience, according to a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. People who live in areas where high temperature records are broken are more likely to believe in global warming than those who do not. In areas that experienced record lows, people were less inclined to believe in the mainstream climate science that shows human activity is warming the Earth. People see climate change through a local lens, said Robert Kaufmann, the study’s lead author and director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Boston University.  ...“When personal experience and expert opinion don’t align on a topic that’s not critical to an individual’s well-being, they’re going to go with their gut rather than what the expert tells them,” Kaufmann said. Researchers noted that the discrepancy resulted from the public’s equating of weather with climate, which many assume are the same.  ...A majority of Americans favor political action on global warming, despite the presidential victory of Donald Trump, who questions climate science, the survey found. It shows that almost two-thirds of registered voters across all parties want the Trump administration and Congress to do more to address global warming. Almost three-quarters of Republicans and about 90 percent of Democrats want corporations to do more on climate change....  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-change-skepticism-fueled-by-gut-reaction-to-local-weather/