Climate change deniers are more likely to be old, white and racist, a study claims.
The relationship between racial attitudes and public opinion about climate change is examined. Public opinion data from Pew and American National Election Studies surveys are used to show that racial identification and prejudices are increasingly correlated with opinions about climate change during the Obama presidency. Results show that racial identification became a significant predictor of climate change concern following Obama’s election in 2008, and that high levels of racial resentment are strongly correlated with reduced agreement with the scientific consensus on climate change. These results offer evidence for an effect termed the spillover of racialization. This helps further explain why the public remains so polarized on climate change, given the extent to which racial grievances and identities have become entangled with elite communication about climate change and its related policies today.
Indeed, the study – by Salil D Benegal of the Department of Political Science at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana – argues that some skeptics were driven towards their position of climate denialism because of President Obama’s skin color.
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