In a first-of-its-kind study about the outsized influence of climate-change "deniers" and their message, a couple of Michigan State University (MSU) sociologists asked 1,600 adults to read mocked up articles favoring and criticizing the global-warming meme. One of the authors of the study, Aaron McCright was shocked — shocked! — to learn that articles criticizing global warming as a fraud resonated better with those adults, even among those whose minds were already made up:
This is the first experiment of its kind to examine the influence of the denial messages on American adults. Until now, most people just assumed [that] climate change deniers were having an [large] influence on public opinion. Our experiment confirms this….
That’s the power of the denial message. It’s extremely difficult to change the minds of people who oppose climate change, in part because they are so entrenched in their views.
What’s more remarkable is how those deniers remained “so entrenched in their views” even after decades of climate-change propaganda emanating from the environmental movement and a favorable national media.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) being held in Paris this week is the 21st annual conference to be held on climate change, and has been touted all across the world as the final, last-ditch effort to save the world from itself. Some 40,000 delegates from 190 countries are working hard to bind down the world from its CO2 excesses in order to keep temperatures from rising, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the year 2100.
Pope Francis has gotten into the act with his encyclical called Laudato si issued in May, which starts out by quoting Saint Francis of Assisi: “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.” The encyclical went downhill from there, charging mankind with the “irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her … entitled to plunder her at will.”
The International Trade Union Confederation has called on the Paris gathering to set its goal as “zero carbon, zero poverty,” while its general secretary, Sharan Burrow, has claimed that there will be “no jobs on a dead planet” — apparently rising CO2 levels will cause the planet to burn itself out, though in the past the Earth has experienced an ice age while CO2 levels were 10 times higher than they are now.
But so persistent has been the climate-change denier voice, despite being small in numbers, that a group calling itself Avaaz (voice) has plastered “wanted” posters of seven “climate criminals” on Paris streets and billboards, during the conference.
Seven out of 40,000, and yet their dissident voices are perceived by the changers to be so dangerous that personal attacks such as these are being launched in an effort to neutralize them. In a tongue-in-cheek review by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, two of whose experts have their faces on those posters, Marlow Lewis, wrote:
When we factor in the billions spent by the Obama administration, the European Union, and the U.N. to promote climate alarm and demonize fossil fuels, it is remarkable how much angst our Magnificent Seven inspire in a Borg Collective of 40,000….
A handful of people speaking the truth threaten the so-called consensus that global warming is a crisis.
Indeed, a spate of recent polls on the matter has shown how the climate alarm has failed to inspire and motivate the citizenry to political action. A new Washington Post/ABC poll shows that only 47 percent of those polled want the federal government to do more about global warming, down a full 14 percentage points from 2008.
Last year a Gallup poll showed that concerns about climate change ranked 13th on their list, with only 40 percent of those polled considering climate change as “very important” or “extremely important” while just three percent ranked climate change as the number one election issue.
Bizarre statements from President Obama sure couldn't have helped much, either. In promoting the Paris conference, he tried to link climate change to Islamist terrorists: “What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be, when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.”
Even as the climate-change debate continues, one should not become complacent. As David Spady, director of Government Affairs for Salem Communications, warned:
We should pay attention [to what’s going on in Paris], not because the alarmists are correct with their predictions of a global warming Armageddon, but because three quarters of the world’s leaders are attending a meeting for the purpose of inking an agreement to significantly change our quality of life, strangle our economy, eliminate jobs, and provide billions of taxpayer dollars to developing [countries'] economies in the form of green bribes.
If the MSU study and the polls are correct, more and more Americans are doing exactly that.