So, here is my distilled logic in the same manner as I attempted to cover Dan’s above. Regarding the strong polarization in DK1, for the science unaware this represents a cultural defense in both cases. For the increasingly science aware, most Dem/Libs follow a path that becomes more and more orthodox as the major issues are assimilated, the culture and knowledge coming as an inseparable package. Some enter climate culture; some remain allied only via politics, and suppress their doubts about the certainty of catastrophe. Most Rep/Cons, initially suspicious of orthodoxy, instead follow a path that leads to alternate narratives and to genuine scientific questioning, of both orthodoxy and sometimes of alternate skeptic positions too. In the majority, both political camps answer literally to Dan’s DK2 questions about what ‘climate scientists believe’, however this form of questioning is relatively successful at avoiding cultural defense. Hence the Dem/Libs who are doubtful and only allied to CAGW culture when the party identity requires this, are able to admit that while they also think the climate scientists believe all sorts of scare stories which orthodoxy promotes, they do not believe these stories themselves. The smaller Dem/Lib contingent who are much more committed, who are full adherents to climate culture, genuinely do believe what the scientists state. But these two differently motivated Dem/Lib groups are not distinguishable via this form of questioning. Meanwhile Rep/Cons answer the DK2 questions with more or less their public stance on climate science, i.e. they think that the scientists believe all the scary stories, but they do not believe these stories themselves. Even for the science aware, this is completely consistent with their polarized position in DK1 (not constrained by a defense of orthodoxy, their science quest mines beneath the false consensus to reach the genuine uncertainties beneath). There is no need for minority and unsatisfactory psychological theories such as ‘duality’, however a mainstream understanding of how cognitive bias mechanisms work, as applied to the climate Consensus, must be acknowledged for this interpretation. The table below summarizes Andy’s position and also what I think Dan’s position is.
|Response to what ‘climate scientists believe’ per DK2.||Mainly what folks believe themselves, albeit ‘latently’ in many cases.||Mainly what folks think climate scientists believe, i.e. a literal answer to the question.|
|Conclusion regarding above.||‘A widespread apprehension of danger’.||Largely: a shared mistrust of scary climate science.Lesser: question can’t distinguish motives.|
|Who most lets their cultural guard down in DK2 data?||Rep / Cons.||Mainly Dem / Libs (the climate cultured minority of these don’t, but per above aren’t distinguishable).|
|Who is most culturally steered in DK1 data?||Rep / Cons, the science aware Rep / Cons more so.||Science unaware: equal for both political camps.Science aware: Dem / Libs.|
|Most influence / overlap with CAGW culture.||CAGW does not appear to be considered a culture in its own right.||Dem / Libs.|
|Theories.||‘Dualism’: to explain the puzzle of “what’s happening in their [Rep / Con science aware] heads”.||Major cognitive bias in the Consensus, to the extent that CAGW has become a culture in its own right.|
While there is plenty more circumstantial evidence out there to support this alternate interpretation to Dan’s, in an already large post I can only squeeze in a couple of snippets here, for which I’ll use more surveys as we’re in that mode. From 2011 (I can’t find a later version of the same poll, but this is only 3.5 years old): ‘…a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 69% say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who say this is Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22%) don’t think it’s likely some scientists have falsified global warming data, including just six percent (6%) say it’s Not At All Likely. …Republicans and adults not affiliated with either major political party feel stronger than Democrats that some scientists have falsified data to support their global warming theories, but 51% of Democrats also agree.’ Hat-tip WUWT.
Wow. 51% of Democrats also agree. This is strong support indeed for row 2 in Andy’s column of the table above; a shared mistrust of scary climate science. So not just the Republicans. Not even the very many Democrats too who merely think that the science has veered off course. But also fully half of the Democrats who think it’s actually likely to be falsified (due to the over-ardent belief of scientists). None of this would appear to be at all consistent with ‘a wide apprehension of danger’. Nor would further findings from the 2014 Gallup Environment Poll already mentioned above: those who think that the seriousness of global warming as presented in the news is exaggerated, have risen 11 percentage points over the last 15 years (31 to 42), while in the same period those thinking that the news is generally correct have fallen 11 points (34 to 23). Those who think the news underestimates the problem have also risen, but by a smaller amount (27 to 33). Hence overall, this represents a modest growth in the CAGW convinced for whom no alarm seems to be great enough, i.e. those who are apprehensive of danger, yet a much greater drop of the other two groups: the centre-ground folks who take the news at face value, and the unconvinced too, who are now the largest group by a fair margin. (The number of don’t-knows has presumably dropped also, else the percentages don’t match). Polarization is occurring here, a clue to add to many others that a culture is likely at work.