If you're wondering why so many seemingly intelligent people still doubt global warming -- despite the massive and universally accepted scientific evidence that shows the earth is warming -- it's because the smarter the skeptics are, the better they are at cherry-picking the science to reinforce their preconceptions.
So says a study published last month in Nature
. The study by Yale researchers found that while "apathy over climate change is often attributed to a deficit in comprehension", people with "the highest degrees of scientific literacy" were just as likely to be skeptics as believers of climate chance science.
"This result suggests that public divisions over climate change stem not from the public’s incomprehension of science," Nature wrote, "but from a distinctive conflict of interest: between the personal interest individuals have in forming beliefs in line with those held by others with whom they share close ties and the collective one they all share in making use of the best available science to promote common welfare."
OK, maybe that's a mouthful, so let me boil it down. The study found that people develop a worldview about climate change based on groups to which they belong, and they tend to choose evidence to back up their worldview.
The problem is that the smarter people get, the better they become at cherry-picking science to reinforce their beliefs.
Keep that in mind the next time you're banging your head against the desk trying to talk sense with a climate chance skeptic.
Of course there are others (*cough* Mitt Romney *cough*) who pretend to disbelieve climate change science for political reasons. Click here to sign our petition
asking elected officials and politicians to admit global warming is real and to do something about it.