"Why We Are Poles Apart on Climate Change"

"The problem isn’t the public’s reasoning capacity; it’s the polluted science-communication environment that drives people apart, says Dan Kahan."

"Understandably anxious to explain persistent controversy over climate change, the media have discovered a new culprit: the public. By piecing together bits of psychological research, many news reporters, opinion writers and bloggers have concluded that people are simply too irrational to recognize the implications of climate-change science.

This conclusion gets it half right. Studying things from a psychological angle does help to make sense of climate-change scepticism. But the true source of the problem, research suggests, is not that people are irrational. Instead, it is that their reasoning powers have become disabled by a polluted science-communication environment."

Dan Kahan writes for Nature August 15, 2012.


"Climate Science as Culture War" (Stanford Social Innovation Review/Andrew J. Hoffman)

"How Climate Change Got Caught in the Culture Wars" (Forbes/John McQuaid)

"Re-Debating Ideological Asymmetry: My Opening Response to Dan Kahan" (The Intersection/Chris Mooney)

"The Political Benefits of Taking a Pro-Climate Stand in 2012" (Yale Project on Climate Change Communication)

"The New Climate Dice: Public Perception of Climate Change" (NASA-GISS Science Briefs/Hansen et al.)

"The List Goes On ... and On ... and On: 'Denier,' 'Alarmist,' 'Warmist,' 'Contrarian,' 'Confusionist,' 'Believer,'" (Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media)

"If We Are To Cope With Climate Change We Need a New Moral Order" (Guardian/Andrew Brown)

"On Frogs, Fungi, Climate and the New News Process" (Dot Earth/NYT)

Opinion: "Climate and the Culture War" (Washington Post/Michael Gerson)

"Study: Media Begin To Connect The Dots Between Climate Change And Wildfires" (Media Matters)

"Chris Mooney: ‘Why Everybody Must Read Joe Romm’s New Book 'Language Intelligence'" (Think Progress)

"Should Candidates Talk About Climate Change?" (Dot Earth/NYT)

"A Closer Look at Extreme Drought in a Warming Climate" (Dot Earth/NYT)

"Climate Scientists Lament a Nation Stuck on the Wrong Debate" (InsideClimate News)

"Drought And Climate Scepticism in Corn Belt" (Financial Times)

"Winning The Climate Culture War" (Grist/David Roberts)

Source: Nature, 08/22/2012