Climate change skeptics have “the highest degrees of science literacy and technical reasoning capacity”
Shocking I know. In fact the findings are exactly the opposite of what those doing the study expected to find (via Nature.com):
As respondents’ science-literacy scores increased, concern with climate change decreased (r=−0.05, P=0.05). There was also a negative correlation between numeracy and climate change risk (r=−0.09, P<0.01). The differences were small, but nevertheless inconsistent with SCT, which predicts effects with the opposite signs.
Contrary to SCT predictions, higher degrees of science literacy and numeracy are associated with a small decrease in the perceived seriousness of climate change risks.
Or to simplify, the difference between the believing herd and thinking individualists.
Speaking of the herd vs individualists, that takes us to the second claim:
If cultural cognition is merely a heuristic substitute for scientific knowledge and system 2 reasoning, reliance on it should be lowest among those individuals whose scientific knowledge and system 2 reasoning capacity are highest. SCT thus implies that as science literacy and numeracy increase, the scepticism over climate change associated with a hierarchical individualistic world-view should lessen and the gap between people with hierarchical individualistic world-views and those with egalitarian communitarian ones should diminish.
Among egalitarian communitarians, science literacy and numeracy (as reflected in the composite scale Science literacy/numeracy) showed a small positive correlation with concern about climate change risks (r=0.08, P=0.03). In contrast, among hierarchical individualists, Science literacy/numeracy is negatively correlated with concern (r=−0.12, P=0.03). Hence, polarization actually becomes larger, not smaller, as science literacy and numeracy increase.
Contrary to SCT’s predictions, highly science-literate and numerate hierarchical individualists are more sceptical, not less, of climate change risks.
These results won’t slow down the alarmists or stop them from calling skeptics scientifically illiterate. But it will allow skeptics to laugh in their face when they do.
Another in a long line of alarmist myths about AGW put to death by …. science.