Climate researchers figured out a little while ago that people’s personal experience with temperatures can affect their beliefs about climate change. This is good and bad: A hot summer, for instance, can make people more likely to believe climate change exists, but a cold winter can bring out the Jim Inhofe in the best of us.
New research from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication shows that this phenomenon can go the other way, too — believing or not believing in climate change can affect how people perceive the weather. In other words, climate deniers are also in denial about experiencing really, really hot summers:
When asked about the summer of 2010, which brought record-setting heat to the East and Midwest, those who believed that global warming is not happening were significantly less likely to report that they had experienced a warmer-than-normal summer, even when controlling for local climate conditions.
Facts, man. They’re tough.
We have to admit that we do get a teeny tiny bit of pleasure from imaging climate deniers sitting around in long pants when it’s hideously hot out, gritting their teeth and pretending it’s a pleasant summer day. It doesn’t make up for the planet boiling or anything, but hey, we’ll take what we can get.
- Can people detect changes in their local climate?, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
Get Grist in your inbox