One of the most interesting findings of the many recent studies on climate perceptions is the clear connection between a refusal to accept the science of climate change and social and economic privilege. Overwhelmingly, climate change deniers are not only conservative but also white and male, a group with higher than average incomes. And they are more likely than other adults to be highly confident in their views, no matter how demonstrably false. A much discussed paper on this topic by sociologists Aaron McCright and Riley Dunlap (memorably titled “Cool Dudes”) found that as a group, conservative white men who expressed strong confidence in their understanding of global warming were almost six times as likely to believe climate change “will never happen” as the rest of the adults surveyed.
I saw Klein speak in Chicago back in 2008 and it was fantastic. She signed my little Moleskin book “Stay Brave.” That strikes right to the heart of things, doesn’t it? Bravery and kindness, that’s what we need more of.