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Global on fire
Even some know-nothings are wising up about global warming.
Hamilton Nolan has it nailed regarding the new AP-GfK Poll on climate change:
For many years, America's idiots have had doubts about global warming. Why is there still snow in the winter? What if temperatures are randomly controlled by god's wrath? And how about the fact that I like my SUV, bitch? Many qualified scientists have struggled in vain to answer these questions to the satisfaction of America's idiots. But according to a new poll, good ol' Mother Nature, or Jesus, or whoever the fuck may have done the job for them, what with all the storms and whatnot. Yes, almost 80% of Americans believe in global warming. The key finding, though, is that support for the clearly true idea is gaining strength among idiots.
At 78 percent, the overall proportion of people in the poll who think temperatures are rising isn't the highest it has ever been. That was 85 percent in 2006, a year after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans. By 2009, the percentage had fallen to 73 percent.

It's not that diehard deniers are coming around. What's different in the latest poll is that the biggest switch occurred among that cohort of people "who trust scientists only a little or not at all." Of those surveyed, about a third were in that category. Sixty-one percent of them now say temperatures have been rising in the past century. In 2009, another AP-GfK poll found just 47 percent of scientist-doubters thought global warming was happening. (For comparison, AP reporter Seth Borenstein notes, "Among scientists who write about the issue in peer-reviewed literature, the belief in global warming is about 97 percent, according to a 2010 scientific study.")

This is an important development because, often in the past, opinion about climate change doesn’t move much in core groups—like those who deny it exists and those who firmly believe it’s an alarming problem, said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University social psychologist and pollster. Krosnick, who consulted with The Associated Press on the poll questions, said the changes the poll shows aren’t in the hard-core “anti-warming” deniers, but in the next group, who had serious doubts.

”They don’t believe what the scientists say, they believe what the thermometers say,” Krosnick said. “Events are helping these people see what scientists thought they had been seeing all along.”

In other words, some people don't believe it until they see it. As Nolan points out, even some idiots have the "mental dexterity to change their mind about something when that thing is demonstrated in a way that involves flooding said idiots' houses. Floods were in the Bible. Do the math."

Such harsh (but accurate) assessments aren't going to win any points for persuasiveness among the science-doubters who STILL don't think global warming is happening. But, as the survey makes obvious, mere words have done about all they can do.

The problem isn't this small remaining cohort of know-nothings who are slowly changing their minds. It is rather with the malicious elected obstructionists and self-interested corporatists. Plenty of them know full well that human-caused global warming is happening. They just aren't willing to do anything about it until it hits them where they live, the pocketbook or the ballot box. Making that hit a reality is the No. 1 task of climate-change activists.

Delay is denial.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 09:38 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks and Daily Kos.

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