A recent study has determined what many people already believed, that climate change deniers tend to be old, white, Republican and racist.
The study, published in the Journal of Environmental Politics claims this new twist in people being willing to ignore science and deny climate change is a direct result of President Obama's election in 2008.
You see, Obama talked about climate change in his State of the Union address and he joined the Paris climate accord. Therefore, because the first African-American president believed in climate change, many white Americans no longer believed in climate change.
Climate change isn't the only issue white America flipped on. Many believed we needed to overhaul the health care system, right up until Obama made that a priority. Then, they no longer wanted changes.
Racism is deep.
The publisher of the paper, Salil Benegal, a professor at DePauw University says:
I'm not trying to make a claim in the study that race is the single most important or necessarily a massive component of all environmental attitudes but it's a significant thing that we should be looking out for.
The study showed when people agreed with statements such as -if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites- they also tended to deny climate change. The higher Republicans scored on a racial bias level, the more likely they are to dispute man-made climate change.
In the 1990's the gap between Republican and Democrats was not as wide when it came to the environment and climate change. But since, under added pressure from corporate sponsors, Republican politicians face more pressure to stop acknowledging the existence of climate change.
Mix this with the presidency of Barack Obama and you have the perfect storm of racism and ignorance.
There is the tendency to just read something like this and say, 'Oh well, maybe it's not partisanship; it's race, but I think the important thing is to understand that racial attitudes and partisan identity are becoming more closely aligned and go hand-in-hand for an increasing number of issues.
We're noticing the interactions between these factors more frequently. It's important to understand how race and partisanship are tied together on so many issues.
When news of the study hit social media, the response was...
If you're old, white and racist, you're more likely to be a climate change denier https://t.co/EPeqgrBGqs— The Independent (@The Independent)1529506612.0
This surprises no one.
@Independent No shit— Grilled Lettuce (@Grilled Lettuce)1529507899.0
@Scottludlam Why is that not a surprise— Keryn Robinson (@Keryn Robinson)1529625846.0
@Independent They go all in on the willful ignorance. Fear and hatred are their default.— hella tidy (@hella tidy)1529506804.0
@Independent You mean old orange and racist— jaynetheunicorn 🌈 (@jaynetheunicorn 🌈)1529506804.0
@Independent @SLATUKIP Racism lies downstream from #climate denial. Once you accept the falsehoods of the oil indus… https://t.co/qMWflW1cnC— Rich Will (@Rich Will)1529510572.0
Some felt there were other personality attributes missing from the assessment.
@Independent It's almost like entitled ignorance spills over into your whole life and makes you a worse person.— Alec D. Shope (@Alec D. Shope)1529509524.0
@Independent Being A pig A bully and intellectually challenged also helps— Mark J Bunting (@Mark J Bunting)1529506890.0
@Scottludlam Unsurprising and depressing - and probably quite high correlation with sexism and hetero-sexism, and n… https://t.co/Kz231lLE5f— Latinista (@Latinista)1529576514.0