File Under Not Surprised: Climate Deniers More Likely To Hate Democracy

Maria B. Jimenez

A new study has found an interesting correlation between views on democracy and views on climate change.

What does the study say?

If you recognize the existence of climate change, then you are more likely to believe in democracy.

In the converse, if you don’t recognize climate change as real, then your views on government are more likely to be aligned with authoritarianism.

About the study:

The findings of the study were originally parsed from Pew Research Center’s 2015 Global Attitudes Survey about climate change. Georgia State University looked at data from 36-countries as part of their research. The study was recently published in Environmental Politics.

Previous studies:

Previous studies have shown that in English-speaking Western countries, views about climate change are highly correlated with someone's political ideology or partisan identification.

For the most part, conservatives tend to reject environmentalism, while liberals tend to see climate change as a serious concern, according to Motherboard.

In a statement, lead study author Professor Gregory Lewis, chair of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies’ Department of Public Management and Policy at Georgia State University, said:

> “The biggest surprise in this study is the strength of the Pew measure of commitment to democratic values as a predictor of climate change concern. A belief in free elections, freedom of religion, equal rights for women, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and lack of Internet censorship is nearly universal in predicting this attitude.

> In fact, it is the strongest predictor of climate change concern everywhere except in English-speaking Western democracies, where party identification matters more.”

> “Party identification may only drive climate change opinions in advanced capitalist economies,” says the study. These involve “countries where conservatism is strongly linked to commitment to free markets, or in countries where conservative media have a strong presence.”

In the meantime, current research continues to show that climate denial has little to do with concern for science and more to do with identifying with right-wing ideology (and in turn free-market fundamentalism).

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