James Hrynyshyn has a new post up entitled “Why it’s hard to change a climate denier’s mind.” He uses it to channel the insights of Simon Donner, who argues that throughout the history of, like, all of humanity, people have considered themselves powerless to influence the climate. So why would that suddenly change?
I don’t doubt that this is a factor. However, it isn’t a partisan one; it suggests incredulity about human-induced climate change should be equally distributed across the populace.
Yet we know this isn’t the case. We know Republicans are much less accepting of climate science, and the idea that global warming is a problem, than Democrats and Independents.
We also know that those with “egalitarian” and “communitarian” value dispositions are much more concerned (and accepting of the science) than those with “individualist” or “hierarchical” value systems. For more on this, listen to my podcast with Dan Kahan.
So: I’m afraid I’m sticking with the view that partisanship and values, rather than anything hardwired about how we understand climate and weather, is the driver here. (At least in the U.S. context. I would guess that if you had a populace that wasn’t politically polarized, the factor Donner is highlighting might then come to the fore.)
P.S.: If you want to see some unpersuadables, check out this thread.