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“Two Forms of Ignorance” and the Global Warming Debate

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EconLog discusses an issue brought by Andrew Gelman regarding levels of education and the climate change debate. It appears that non-graduates have not made up their mind because they don’t have enough information. On the other hand, graduates continue to become more partisan as their level of education increases. This confirmation bias, one way or the other, to adjust their beliefs along the party lines of their specific party, would appear to seriously cloud our abilities as a society to give both sides of the global warming/climate change debate a fair shake. Here’s the moneyquote:

Among college grads, there is a big partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans. Among non-graduates, the differences are smaller. This is completely consistent with research that shows that people with more education are on average more politically polarized (see, for example, figure 9a of my paper with Delia). Basically, higher educated Democrats are more partisan Democrats, and higher educated Republicans are more partisan Republicans. On average, educated people are more tuned in to politics and more likely to align their views with their political attitudes.

EconLog furthers the debate, asking what information would help to change your mind on the debate? For me, it is a determination that this up-swing in temperature is outside the bounds on the global tendency for climate to vary within a range. This change would not just be from a few locations, either. Some parts of the globe can witness highs, while others can witness lows at the same time. What about you?


Written by walonline

May 19, 2008 at 9:27 am

One Response

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  1. […] either side of the political aisle will argue whether global warming is actually happening (which educated folk will be especially partisan on), looking at their ideas in terms of sound and intelligent energy policy (discussed at length […]

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