Posted by: Barry Bickmore | February 10, 2012

Wagging the Dog

Over at the Washington Post, Ezra Klein blogs about a new study of attitudes toward climate change.  Here’s a teaser.

You might think opinions on climate change are driven by news stories, or extreme weather events, or, if you’re really optimistic, publicly available scientific research. But it turns out that politicians affect the way that Americans view the issue more than almost anything else, according to a new paper in the journal Climatic Change.

Which is yet another reason why my fellow Republicans should start taking care not to elect so many  frothing ideologues, e.g., Rick Santorum, who is really proud that he has never believed in global warming, and thinks it’s a big hoax.  


  1. Makes sense to me. If there’s something wrong with my car, I generally check with my local State Representative and get her opinion. Politicians are experts at having opinions–many have multiple opinions on a single issue–and so I always look to them for guidance.

  2. The media plays a big role too, not surprisingly. Less media coverage = less concern. And of course if there are short-term problems, like wars or recessions, people worry less about climate change.

  3. I heard parts of a speech by Santorum today, railing against enviornmental regulations and and that climate science has been politicized.
    Yeah, by him and his fellow Republicans. I didn’t have my head vice handy and had to turn down the radio.

  4. Is the problem the politicians or the American public itself?

    • Yes.

      As Homer said:

      It takes two to lie, Marge. One to lie, and one to believe in it.

      • If ‘yes” to both is true then I suspect either the Australian public opinion isn’t formed from elite cues, or the politicians are inherently less trust worthy. Considering who the early immigrants to Australia where, I believe the later.

        • “Considering who the early immigrants to Australia *where*”

          English much?

          And just look at the traction Lord Monckfish gets over there. There’s still a huge amount of “teh stoopid” over in Aus.

          • You bothered to post a reply to correct me on my spelling. Seriously?

            Not surprisingly you also missed my obvious inference.

          • Yup, I did. Can you not read as well as not write?

            There’s still a lot of stupid in Aus. Harper, for example. And his followers are just as tea bagger as the American counterparts.

            • Howard, not harper.

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