by Judith Curry
Well, this is an interesting twist on climate denialism.
The National Review has an article entitled Liberal denial on climate change and Energy, subtitle A new poll reveals conservatives are the open-minded ones.
According to the Hoover Institution’s recently completed Golden State Poll, many Democrats and liberals are in denial when it comes to reality on energy and climate policy, endorsing both science and political fiction.
Respondents were concerned about climate change — and that concern crossed party and ideological lines. But not a single liberal in our survey dismissed climate change as a “not at all serious” problem,” and a scant 4 percent were open to the idea that global climate change might be a “not very serious” problem.
Conservatives were far more open-minded about climate change, with 39 percent considering it a somewhat or very serious problem and only 31 percent saying it was not at all serious. This view was far closer to the view of political independents, who presumably have no partisan axe to grind in the climate wars. Fifty-one percent of them thought climate change was a very or somewhat serious problem, while 41 percent felt that it was not very or not at all serious. One can draw two plausible conclusions from this: Either liberals alone have the intellectual acuity to definitively determine the magnitude of the problem presented by climate change, or, alternatively, unlike conservatives and independents, liberals are engaged in climate groupthink from which no dissent is brooked.
Perhaps this apocalyptic tendency is a result of the liberal knowledge gap. This became apparent when we asked our respondents about hydraulic fracturing. A just-released Environmental Defense Fund study showed that leakage of methane is likely to be an even smaller problem than the EPA’s modest estimates. [C]urrent energy secretary Ernie Moniz recently said he has still “not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater,” a finding supported by three separate EPA investigations.
Yet 53 percent of California Democrats surveyed wanted to ban fracking in the state, and just 5 percent “definitely” wanted to avoid such a ban. Republicans by a three-to-one margin.
Taken as a whole, the Golden State poll suggests that many liberals have a deeply ideological view of energy and climate and policy, one in which certain “truths” must be accepted to show one’s moral virtue while genuinely inconvenient truths are ignored. Conservatives, always appropriately skeptical of liberal utopianism, have reacted against that by redoubling their skepticism. While the media and liberal politicians attack them, conservatives know that it is hard to have a rational argument with a fanatic about the subject of his fanaticism.
JC comment: I’m just about to leave for travel, so little time for posting, but I thought this is something the denizens would find interesting.