Wired Seeks Psychological Reason for 'Climate Change Denial'

If you're not buying the hype surrounding global warming, you're not alone. Polls show fewer people believe there is "solid evidence" the Earth is warming so Wired magazine consulted a shrink to find out why.

Brandon Keim wrote a one-sided piece entitled, "The Psychology of Climate Change Denial," for Wired.com on Dec. 9. In it he argued: "Even as the science of global warming gets stronger, fewer Americans believe it's real. In some ways, it's nearly as jarring a disconnect as enduring disbelief in evolution or carbon dating."

Keim then consulted sociologist Kari Marie Norgaard of Whitman College, who said, "Climate change is disturbing. It's something we don't want to think about. So what we do in our everyday lives is create a world where it's not there, and keep it distant."

Norgaard was referring to people "coming at the issue in good faith." But she also took a jab at skeptics' saying people don't care about global warming because "there have been extremely well-organized, well-funded climate-skeptic campaigns. Those are backed by Exxon Mobil in particular, and the same PR firms who helped the tobacco industry (.pdf) deny the link between cancer and smoking are involved with magnifying doubt around climate change."

Not a single skeptical scientist or layperson was included in Keim's article to explain for themselves why they don't believe in global warming, or at least that there isn't reason to panic and spend trillions of dollars to stop it.

Keim also ignored the recent ClimateGate scandal and e-mails between global warming alarmists that may call further erode public beliefs about global warming science. According to a Pew poll only 57 percent of people said "Yes" when asked "Is there solid evidence the earth is warming?" That was a drop of 14 percent since April 2008.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.