Sunday, April 19, 2015

primed primates believe climate change is happening, just not to them...,


slate |  On Monday, researchers from Yale and Utah State University unveiled a new statistical technique that allows an in-depth accounting of Americans’ attitudes toward global warming. The resulting maps—down to the county level—reveal some interesting takeaways.

First, Americans overwhelmingly agree that global warming is happening. Out of 3,143 total counties in the United States, majorities of just 39 counties disagree. That means nearly 99 percent of all counties in the country “believe in” global warming—with the holdouts confined to deeply conservative places like Limestone County, Alabama, or coal-producing Putnam County, West Virginia. That aligns broadly with a recent 98-1 Senate vote that global warming is real and “not a hoax.” The lone holdout in that vote was Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker.

Looking at the science, perhaps climate denial in Mississippi and Alabama can be expected: According to the recent National Climate Assessment, they’re the only two states that haven’t warmed significantly over the last two decades.

But the basic fact of rising temperatures is about the only point where public opinion matches the science. The new data also show that a majority of U.S. counties remain unconvinced that global warming is caused “mostly by human activities.” Majorities in a whopping 2,717 of 3,143 counties (nearly 80 percent) disagree with that sentiment, among them the liberal bastions of Brooklyn, New York, and Prince George’s County, Maryland. (Technically, these county-level data are estimates of public opinion based on statistical extrapolation from demographic data and 12 national surveys over the last seven years. At the county level, the result has a margin of error of +/- 8 percentage points.)