How Climate Denial Becomes Fact in Right-Wing Media (Video)
Do you ever wonder why roughly half the citizens of United States believe that climate change isn't being caused by humans, or that it isn't real at all? Despite the fact that carbon dioxide has long been established to be the dominant man-emitted heat-trapping gas in the earth's atmosphere, and that humans have been responsible for emitting it in large, quantifiable amounts since the industrial revolution? And despite the fact that a massive consensus among climate scientists -- 97% of them, a majority rarely reached in any scientific field -- say that man is indeed responsible for the warming of the planet's climate? So why, again, do Americans think man has no effect on climate change?A handful of people -- a few of them scientists, but most of them pundits, politicians, and conservative think tank fellows -- say that we don't. It's just a handful -- remember, only a minuscule fraction of scientists disputes the basic science that shows greenhouse gas emissions produced by humans are heating the earth -- but that's enough.
See, those pundits and politicians eager to counter the presumably liberal concept of climate change are able to latch onto any bit of psuedo-scientific case for climate denial that creeps up -- and then disseminate it in the conservative media universe. And that conservative media universe has become, essentially, a giant echo chamber, where nothing that the audience wants to believe is ever debunked. And they want to believe that climate change is a hoax.
For example, once a meteorologist goes on Fox News and says that climate change is just something that's caused by sun spots, or that we're in a period of global cooling, that's it -- that's fact now. Because it will be picked up and supported on Rush Limbaugh's radio show, or on the Red State blog, or on Glenn Beck's talk show. No matter how many papers are produced to debunk those myths, there will be no getting through to people that want to believe climate change isn't real -- it's simply been confirmed by too many sources, all of which are generally ideologically sympathetic with one another.
Now, I honestly don't like to use partisan figureheads to make such points, and Maddow over-generalizes in the video above, and overstates her case some -- but insert stories about climate change being a hoax for any of the above, and you'll see that it's a pretty good working theory for why so many people don't understand or deny the science across the country.
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