Sunday, April 10, 2011

A few passing thoughts, #5

On the other hand, one way in which the left clearly outshines the right - one among many - is in, well, thinking.
According to a University of Michigan study published in the forthcoming issue of Public Opinion Quarterly, more people believe in "climate change" than in "global warming."

Overall, 74 percent of people thought the problem was real when it was referred to as climate change, while about 68 percent thought it was real when it was referred to as global warming.
This, of course, is despite the fact that the two terms refer to the same phenomena and often are used interchangeably within a single article. The thing is, when the results are broken down along party (i.e., Democrat vs. GOPper) lines, the entire shift in opinion depending on the term used comes from GOPpers.
While 60 percent of Republicans reported that they thought climate change was real, for example, only 44 percent said they believed in the reality of global warming.

In contrast, about 86 percent of Democrats thought climate change was a serious problem, no matter what it was called.
Meanwhile, another study reported that
[i]f you ask Republicans to shell out extra cash for a plane ticket because of a carbon tax that will make up for the trip’s environmental effects, they’re not having it.
But if you call it a carbon offset instead of a carbon tax, the study found, GOPpers will go for it as often as the Democrats, whose support did not vary with the term.

It's the old "framing" business. We just have to learn how to deal with that lizard brain that rules right-wing heads.

Footnote: A study done by a Canadian government agency and published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters International suggests that it is already too late to keep global warming to no more than the 2˚C believed to be necessary to head off its worst effects.
The paper finds that reaching that goal would require that greenhouse emissions “ramp down to zero immediately” and that scientists deploy means, starting in 2050, to actively remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
We are not so screwed, but our children and grandchildren are.

Oh, and by the way:
Winds over the world's oceans have been blowing harder and ocean waves have been reaching higher heights over the last few decades, satellite data show.
Yeah, try to convince me that's just a coincidence.

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