USA Today reports on a new paper in Nature Climate Change (and to slightly misquote Carl Wunsch, just because it's in Nature Climate Change, doesn't make it wrong). The paper in question reports the results of a survey into opinion on climate change.
Support for climate science doesn't increase with science literacy, a survey suggests. Rather, people with technical backgrounds just dig in harder on their views about global warming, finds the study in the Nature Climate Change journal.
There is, however, some rather hilarious logic involved in reaching this conclusion, as least as reported by USA Today.
The study sought to test two explanations for the split, said Yale's Dan Kahan, who led the study, in a statement: "The first attributes political controversy over climate change to the public's limited ability to comprehend science, and the second, to opposing sets of cultural values."
No doubt to their surprise, when the authors analysed the results, they discovered that the scientifically literate were more likely to be sceptical of global warming, finding "a small increase in the odds of folks seeing global warming as not too serious in the most science literate people in the survey".
As US Today tells it, this means that the scientific-literacy explanation can be entirely discounted (global warming is known to be serious, right?), which leaves the only the alternate cultural-value explanation.