The researchers found, as described in an article in the journal Sociological Inquiry (and re-printed by Newsweek):
Maybe Yogi Berra was on to something when he said, "There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em."
- Many Americans felt an urgent need to seek justification for a war already in progress
- Rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.
- "For the most part people completely ignore contrary information."
- "The study demonstrates voters' ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information"
- People get deeply attached to their beliefs, and form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in their personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter.
- "We refer to this as 'inferred justification, because for these voters, the sheer fact that we were engaged in war led to a post-hoc search for a justification for that war.
- "People were basically making up justifications for the fact that we were at war"
- "They wanted to believe in the link [between 9/11 and Iraq] because it helped them make sense of a current reality. So voters' ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information, whether we think that is good or bad for democratic practice, does at least demonstrate an impressive form of creativity.
I could apply those observations listed above to the global warming issue too. If you've read my post titled "The Dihydrogen Monoxide Scare," then you probably already know that I am skeptical of anthropogenic global warming. The global warming issue has gone from being a scientific issue to being a political issue. Despite evidence to the contrary, many people are still willing to believe that carbon dioxide, the gas that we exhale and one of the building blocks of life, is a pollutant. Anthropogenic global warming as a political agenda is aggressively pushed by the mainstream media and certain politicians, and I feel that a great deal of the 'grassroots' support for the global warming agenda comes from people who already admire politicians that push the agenda (which is the problem with mixing science and politics) . People don't like the thought that a politician they admire is wrong or lying to them.
Ironically, Al Gore, an advocate of anthropogenic global warming, has admitted that carbon dioxide is not the primary cause of global warming (he now claims it only accounts for 40% of the warming), but he hasn't backed away from his political agenda pushing for a global carbon tax. Al Gore has also been caught fudging numbers in an attempt to prove his claims of anthropogenic global warming. Al Gore has also claimed that there is a scientific consensus stating that anthropogenic global warming is true, yet thousands of American scientists have signed a petition declaring their skepticism. And then, of course, there's that whole Climategate scandal thing. Regardless of how you spin it, what you want to believe, or how loud Al Gore can yell it; there isn't a scientific consensus stating that anthropogenic global warming is true. I could sit here and post links on the subject all day, but at the end of the day, I would probably just be preaching to the choir for some people, while others would continue to believe that carbon emissions cause global warming.
But I digress. What's really on my mind today is if climate disasters were to occur in the year 2012, would the anthropogenic global warming crowd blame the disasters on carbon emissions? I think they probably would. Here is an article listing 10 things that global warming allegedly caused. Danny Glover even blamed the earthquake in Haiti on global warming. Throughout the history of the world there have been earthquakes, now all of a sudden an earthquake only happens because of global warming?
If you've read my blogs for a while, you probably know that I have a 'wait and see' attitude about the 2012 predictions. I hope there are no disasters in 2012, but if there are, I think there's a real good chance that some people are going to blame it on global warming. It could be just the disaster they need to try to push their agenda through.
I hope that doesn't happen though. Hopefully 2012 will come and go without disasters or a global carbon tax.