Author Topic: The social anatomy of climate change denial in the United States  (Read 301 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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The social anatomy of climate change denial in the United States
« on: February 18, 2024, 04:20:21 pm »
The social anatomy of climate change denial in the United States
Dimitrios Gounaridis & Joshua P. Newell
Scientific Reports volume 14, Article number: 2097 (2024) Cite this article

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Using data from Twitter (now X), this study deploys artificial intelligence (AI) and network analysis to map and profile climate change denialism across the United States. We estimate that 14.8% of Americans do not believe in climate change. This denialism is highest in the central and southern U.S. However, it also persists in clusters within states (e.g., California) where belief in climate change is high. Political affiliation has the strongest correlation, followed by level of education, COVID-19 vaccination rates, carbon intensity of the regional economy, and income. The analysis reveals how a coordinated social media network uses periodic events, such as cold weather and climate conferences, to sow disbelief about climate change and science, in general. Donald Trump was the strongest influencer in this network, followed by conservative media outlets and right-wing activists. As a form of knowledge vulnerability, climate denialism renders communities unprepared to take steps to increase resilience. As with other forms of misinformation, social media companies (e.g., X, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok) should flag accounts that spread falsehoods about climate change and collaborate on targeted educational campaigns.

Climate change denialism persists in the United States, with estimates ranging from 12% to 26% of the U.S. population1,2. It is more pronounced in some states and regions3. Reasons for this denialism are multifaceted: Political affiliation and ideology, income, education, and exposure to extreme weather events are all important factors4,5,6. Denialism is more prevalent where local economies are highly dependent on fossil fuels7, in rural communities, and in populations where mistrust in science is pronounced8,9. Social media reaches millions of users, providing a key mechanism for influencers to spread misinformation10. The ability of social media to influence and harden attitudes was apparent in the response to COVID-19 vaccines11.

Understanding how and why climate change opinion varies geographically and documenting it at an actionable scale is crucial for communication campaigns, outreach, and other interventions12,13. Most estimates of the extent and geographic configuration of climate change denialism rely primarily on national surveys, with the Yale Climate Opinion Survey being the only dataset that provides estimates at the state and county levels for the entire U.S.3. These survey efforts, however, are time-intensive and expensive and are therefore destined to cover short time spans and, often, limited geographic extent. The Yale Survey combines data from more than 2500 national surveys and uses multinomial regression modeling to downscale estimates to subnational levels. Independent representative surveys conducted in states and metropolitan areas validate the predictions from the Yale Survey models3.
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas Jefferson

Offline Free Vulcan

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Re: The social anatomy of climate change denial in the United States
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2024, 07:15:25 pm »
The classic central tactic of Marxist academia. Never deal with the facts, deal with the psychology, then call the heretics deniers and other inquisitional names for not going along with the boilerplate dogma.
The Republic is lost.