It's common knowledge that global warming deniers are prone to confusing climate with weather, as in this video that we posted last year but which I am embedding anyway because it's awesome. But a study in this month's Psychological Science confirms that your average schmo is more likely to believe in global climate change on unseasonably warm days than unseasonably cold ones. That's true even after controlling for political affiliation — Democrats were more likely to believe in climate change, but the weather had an effect nearly two-thirds as strong as preexisting political commitments.
"It is striking that society has spent so much money, time and effort educating people about this issue, yet people are still so easily influenced," says lead author Ye Li. You said it, bro. But it's likely that we're working against pretty ingrained cognitive biases, defense mechanisms that the brain sets up to help it deal with the world efficiently (if not always accurately). What to do in the face of such tenacious habits of mind? Maybe put everyone in a sauna before having them make important business or policy decisions about the climate.
- Some people's climate beliefs shift with weather, Environmental Research Web
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