Political views are the main predictor of the acceptance of climate change as a real phenomenon. US Republicans are far more likely to be doubtful or dismissive towards climate change. This is because climate change challenges the Anglo-American neoliberal view that is held so dear by mainstream economists and politicians. Neoliberalism is about free markets, minimal state intervention, strong property rights and individualism. Whereas climate change is a massive pollution issue that shows the markets have failed and it requires governments to act collectively to regulate industry and business.
It is politics and not the science that drives many people to deny climate change. And discussing the scientific evidence for climate change will not change the views of those who are politically or ideologically motivated.
The Conversation: 17 Dec 2015
Mark Maslin: Professor of Climatology: University College London
Key Words: Climate Change, denial
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