Earth Day: Free Market Believers Are Likely to be Climate Change Deniers


Strap-on your tin-foil hat, it's going to be a bumpy ride. A study published in Psychological Science at the end of March said that individuals who believe in the free market are prone to the belief that global warming is a massive hoax. The fact that we have a confirmation bias is not really a surprise here, what is interesting and new in this study is how ones ideology can be used to predict their belief in other conspiracy theories. 

One of America’s leading climate change deniers is Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Inhofe literally wrote the book on climate change denial called The Greatest Hoax. In it, he claims that climate change is a massive conspiracy perpetrated by the worlds scientists in an effort to try to place more regulations on business. He’s also said this gem

“Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

Here's Republican Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota explaining carbon dioxide for us:

The author of the study is Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Western Australia. In the study, Lewandowsky and his colleagues looked at 1,377 individuals who visited climate change blogs. He then asked those individuals a series of questions based on a four-point scale. He found that an individuals subscription to laissez-faire free markets could predict the rejection of climate change and other scientific facts. This study adds to existing literature on the subject of ideology and climate change. 

“The pivotal role of personal ideology in the rejection of climate science has been repeatedly demonstrated. We highlighted the magnitude of this effect among climate-science blog denizens, who have a strong interest in the issue, and we additionally showed that endorsement of the free market also predicted the rejection of two other well-established scientific facts.”

The study also found that those who rejected climate change also appeared more likely to be accepting of other conspiracy theories, such as a fake moon landing and the governments involvement in 9/11. Personal ideology, the gift that keeps on giving, at least until the planet implodes.