That would be “conservative white males”. Desperate as always to avoid engaging with sceptics’ arguments, the Sydney Morning Herald decides that it’s their background that is more important.
Helpfully illustrated with photos of Pell, Bolt, Jones and Monckton, the SMH claims that sceptics’ political and cultural views are causing their (obviously deranged) attitudes to climate alarmism, and not hiding data, fudging results, pal-review, Hockey Stick, and all the other highly dubious practices of climate science:
A US-based study has found that white men with politically conservative views are far more likely than the rest of the population to doubt the science of human-caused climate change.
And the “conservative white male effect” has been linked to Australia, with one prominent researcher citing the existence of a successful, politically engaged and outspoken coterie operating in high-profile positions that attract wide media coverage.
In the US researchers’ paper published in the journal Global Environmental Change, Dr Aaron McCright and Dr Riley Dunlap analysed data from 10 annual US opinion polls on environmental issues.
They found 58 per cent of conservative white males – or CWMs for short – thought recent global temperature rises were not caused mainly from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels. This compared with 31 per cent of other adults.
Some 29 per cent of CWMs thought the effects of global warming would “never happen” compared with only seven per cent of other adults.
Professor Joseph Reser, a Research Fellow with Griffith University’s Climate Change Response Program in Queensland, agreed broadly with the findings, but said his own research and other comparable studies from the US and Europe suggested the proportion of true climate change sceptics was much smaller. [See here for Reser's earlier study - Ed]
“If you look at this group of conservative white males, less than 30% are characterised as denialists – they are not a majority even within this grouping,” Professer Reser said.
“But these CWMs tend to stand out and do well in many social, work, and political organisations; they align themselves with those sharing similar views; and they are also more likely to be outspoken in their views and politically engaged, and to work and operate in sectors where their views get aired more.”
He said the fact conservatives were unduly confident about their own views on climate change “also makes them less open to differing views or able to accept that they might be wrong”. (source)
There are a number of points here. Firstly, note the intentional confusion between “sceptics” and “denialists” – terms that Fairfax uses interchangeably, despite the fact that most climate “realists” are “sceptics” and very few indeed are outright “denialists”. Secondly, Reser is quick to condemn CWM’s for failing to accept the possibility of error, which is precisely the charge laid against most alarmist climate scientists, who play down uncertainty as a matter of course.
I have to suggest the obvious alternative, and highly politically incorrect, conclusion here, that maybe those CWMs, thanks to age, experience and education, have a greater capacity for critical thought, and are not taken in by government and media propaganda?
Who cares anyway – it’s just another generalisation that the alarmists use to label the sceptics and thereby avoid having to actually respond to their points in a rational way.