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Inside the Climate Skeptic Mind

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorApr 6, 2011 6:06 PM

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Via Desmogblog, I see there is an emerging anthropological investigation of a curious (some say hydra-headed) creature that is mostly haunting the American political landscape and the dreams of many in the climate concerned community. Mooney has broken out the main findings over there, so no reason for me to duplicate. But if you skeptic creatures want to know why you are being studied, here's the explanation provided in the paper Mooney references:

Some may argue that the climate skeptic movement is small and thus irrelevant to the debate on what to do about climate change, but as social scientists, we cannot endorse such flippant dismissal. If, as we suspect, skeptics invoke climate frames that resemble abortion politics, this has serious policy implications. As long as members of the skeptic movement are included in the policy debate and sway the opinions of some lawmakers, their discourse is critically relevant. The social sciences can help us understand the form of this debate as well as the outcomes that result from it.

I might have dismissed this rationale two years ago, before the rise of the Tea Party and its dismissal of climate science spread like a contagion throughout the GOP. Now I'm inclined to think that another form of culture war is underway that is definitely not healthy for a constructive dialogue on climate change. I do hope that the reasonable climate skeptics that visit Collide-a-Scape understand this.

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