Dunning and Kruger on Republicans’ and Democrats’ Understanding of and Concern about Global Warming

I came across this chart, which originally appeared in the journal Climatic Change (Education, politics and opinions about climate change evidence for interaction effects), in a blog post by Julia Hargreaves (Picture of the day). I offer it here mainly because I know it will amuse Barb Tomlinson:

15 Responses to “Dunning and Kruger on Republicans’ and Democrats’ Understanding of and Concern about Global Warming”

  1. shcb Says:

    So the more Republicans understand AGW the more they see it for the scam it is, the more Democrats know about it the more they ignore the scam to further socialism.

  2. knarlyknight Says:

    Either that or the Republicans felt “educated” because their preferred media provides copious commentaries of hoo-hah that AGW is a scam;

    perhaps so much so that few could even admit they did not understand global warming at all (missing data point on the graph may also be telling about the bluster of Republicans.)

    Looks like Democrats go from being skeptical (0.4) to not skeptical (1-0.8) the more they learn of AGW, whereas Republicans have found info sources to re-inforce their beliefs.

    Perhaps all this is really tellign us is that most people ar in the 0.5 range, and that those with an axe to grind (or hatchet to bury) will claim they are more knowledgable than they really are. (Refer back to the missing data point for the worst offenders.)

  3. shcb Says:

    I think those are all reasonable points as long as you apply them to both sides of the argument. At this point AWG is more of a religious experience than anything else because we just don’t know enough and what we do know is tainted. Even Ms. Hagreaves, her husband and their merry band of underground scientists reinforce the skeptical mind “Frustrated with the un-reproduceable state of much work published using complex computer models…” if you read some of their papers you will find they have the same concerns Skeptics have except they are coming at it from a little different tact. They seem to be convinced the AGW proponents are right, they just made some little errors and they are going to find fixes to those errors without destroying the core belief, not great science but at least they seem to finding the errors.

    In regards to the first link I think this says it all “Active response Web sites by climate scientists could prove critical to counterbalancing contrarian arguments.” this paper is just sure the only reason someone wouldn’t believe AWG proponents is there is something wrong with them, they aren’t informed, educated, something. What befuddles them is all the graphs go in the wrong direction for their predetermined conclusion so the answer is to blame Rush Limbaugh. As far as I can see they don’t even entertain the idea that just maybe the pro AGW folks could be the ones with something wrong with them.

  4. shcb Says:

    O yeah, I love the fact they base thier shock on the fact that some people don’t believe what was in a movie :)

  5. knarlyknight Says:

    Wrong direction? 2010 tied for hottest year on record. I think the movie was an attempt to summarize for lay-persons the collosal volume of science from multiple disciplines all pointing to a AGCC. If you don’t like the movie, try a University:


    And if you don’t like what the ersities say, then fine go back to your lobbyist paid talking heads but don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

  6. shcb Says:

    You misunderstood, by wrong direction I mean they thought that the more informed people were the more they would believe in AGW, anyone, Democrat or Republican. That was so with Democrats. In the minds of the authors of this paper the right direction is that whoever is more informed will naturally believe in AGW, but Republicans went the other direction, the wrong direction. The more they knew the less they believed, because they were informed of the scam aspect as well as the scientific aspect. The Democrats have ignored or downplayed the scam aspect in their media as much as it has been exaggerated by the more skeptical Republican leaning media. This paper doesn’t want to acknowledge that.

  7. shcb Says:

    your link kind of left out a few green house gasses, like water vapor :) 76% is co2?

  8. Smith Says:

    “The more they knew the less they believed, because they were informed of the scam aspect as well as the scientific aspect.”

    The more they CLAIMED they knew. I’d say the only scam is from the Repubs pretending to know what they are talking about.

    In other news, it looks like some people might be putting shcb’s Operation Prairie Dog ( http://www.lies.com/wp/2010/10/08/it-is-a-bad-sign/#comment-211379 ) into action.


  9. shcb Says:

    You don’t have to go to the gym tonight Smith! You probably burnt 150 calories doing that stretching exercise.

  10. knarlyknight Says:

    You’re right, I did misunderstand you. (I like your real point better than my misunderstood point.) And by your interpretation of wrong direction, maybe you actually made a valid point… assuming that was what they were looking for (more learning = more support for AGW regardless of political leaning.) But how do you know that was what they were looking for? I missed that if they said it (the article was a boring scan and horribly written.) I’m guessing that you just assumed they thought that because you’re naturally a cynical curmudgeon.

  11. knarlyknight Says:

    The conclusion of the article is worth re-reading. As it seems obvious that you missed the point the first time (as I did), here you go:

    Ideological predispositions can affect how people process information (Shwom et al. 2008; Wood and Vedlitz 2007). The Internet and cable television news make it easier for us not only to process information selectively ourselves, but to selectively acquire information that has been processed already, when we only tune in to ideologically compatible Web sites, cable news shows and so forth (Iyengar and Hahn 2007; Pew 2004). The bias or selectivity of our sources can be higher than the newspapers, magazines or broadcast news that formerly supplied most currentevents
    information. Narrowcast media, including many Web sites devoted to discrediting climate-change concerns, provide ideal conduits for channeling politically inspired but scientific sounding arguments to an audience predisposed to retain and repeat them. The power to repeat favored arguments has been vastly expanded as well, through forwarding emails or posting links and content online, in a process that can become “viral” as it motivates new readers to do the same. The pace of normal scientific communication is glacial by comparison.

    The effective dissemination of contrarian arguments means that many people who have no contact with climate scientists or the primary research literature can nevertheless learn that a scientist says temperatures have risen on Mars (politically spun as evidence that global warming has solar or cosmic origins), or another scientist says it is cooling in East Antarctica (spun as evidence that our planet is not warming after all). They might consider themselves well informed about climate science even while not understanding its basic ideas—as evident in Figs. 1 and 2. Lack of knowledge concerning the scientific context of Mars and Antarctica reports, or lack of consistency between the lessons political commentators might draw from them, need not be an obstacle to accepting and repeating those lessons when they fit with pre-existing beliefs.

    If non-specialists want to find out what scientists really know about temperature trends of Mars and East Antarctica, or other arguments aired in today’s news or last night’s party, they are best served by a relatively small number of active-response Web sites written by climate scientists, such as Realclimate.org. Unlike journal articles, science meetings or reports, Web sites and blogs have the capability to react quickly (albeit less rigorously), reach broader audiences, and seriously confront arguments that have no scientific merit. Moreover, their online science posts can be passed on from reader to reader, which is difficult to do with journal articles or technical reports. The hard work that climate scientists invest in these sites could thus play a critical role in disseminating solid information about climate to educated and ideologically receptive audiences, counterbalancing those reached so successfully by the “climate change is a hoax” campaigns.

  12. knarlyknight Says:

    interesting what the climate change skeptics really think…

    I’ve recently been trying to establish consensus on the subject of global temperature rise, by arranging bets with sceptics who claim that the IPCC TAR is overly alarmist. Richard Lindzen was the first I noted who forecast here that over the next 20 years, the climate is as likely to cool as warm, and said he would be prepared to bet on it. However, when challenged to a bet, it turns out that he expects odds of 50:1 in his favour, ie he will only bet on the chances of cooling being at the 2% level or higher, far short of his 50% claim. My quick and dirty estimate above based on the IPCC TAR suggests that they would put the probability at more like 10%, so his offer actually appears to affirm the IPCC position. He also suggested an alternative bet (see here for my comments on this article) based on the amount of warming: >0.4C warmer and I win $5,000, <0.2c and he wins $10,000. Again, no-one who believes the IPCC summary would find his offer attractive, since it has negative expected value. The chances of winning and losing are roughly equal, so there does not appear to be any possible justification for his expectation of a 2:1 ratio (in his favour) in the stakes. In both cases, in contrast to his words, his position seems to be more alarmist than the IPCC!

    The list of sceptics who have refused to bet against the IPCC position has grown steadily since then, and now also includes Michaels, Jaworowski, Corbyn, Ebell, Kininmonth, Mashnich and Idso (all my blog posts and related comments are linked from here). While I would be happy to take money off any or all of them, there is more to this than sceptic-bashing and a few high-profile bets – it could also…

    from 2005… http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/06/betting-on-climate-change/

  13. shcb Says:

    To your point about the conclusion Knarly, I agree with the conclusion except for one small point

    Narrowcast media, including many Web sites devoted to discrediting climate-change concerns, provide ideal conduits for channeling politically inspired but scientific sounding arguments to an audience predisposed to retain and repeat them.

    Why limit it to sites that discredit climate change concerns? Is it not possible that sites promoting climate change concerns are just as susceptible to the same dynamics?

    Showing global warming on Mars is important if your point is that the sun is the primary factor since sunlight hits both planets but there is no burning of fossil fuels on Mars, since there are no fossils on Mars. This is just a very biased paper that has a bunch of references at the end, other than that it is just another blog post by a pro AGW person. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you recognize it for what it is.

  14. NorthernLite Says:

    Well FOX News has all over it’s web site that we’ve been getting too much snow for their to be any warming of the planet.

    Whew. I’m so glad they solved the mystery.

    (even though warmer global temps. means more water in the atmosphere which means more percipitation — rain when its warm and snow when its cold — and more serious storms. Like we’ve been seeing so much of the past several years.)

    But that takes a little bit of thinking so of course Fox will say, “Look, it’s snowing in February! GW is BS!”


  15. enkidu Says:

    that sort of sh!t works great with bears of very little brain

    2010 was tied for the hottest in modern history
    the trend is not down, it is up
    up is not down
    it isn’t leveled off
    up is up

    wwnj is very much entitled to his opinion
    and welcome to bellow it at anyone on the 48 crosstown bus
    but the facts just don’t support his nonsense

    good luck debating wwnj (it’s all about the sociamalism!)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.