Are global warming skeptics anti-science? Or just ignorant about science?Huh. You don't say. Hmmm, very interesting.
Maybe neither. A study published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change finds that people who are not that worried about the effects of global warming tend to have a slightly higher level of scientific knowledge than those who are worried, as determined by their answers to questions like:
"Electrons are smaller than atoms -- true or false?”
"How long does it take the Earth to go around the Sun? One day, one month, or one year?"
“Lasers work by focusing sound waves -- true or false?”
The quiz, containing 22 questions about both science and statistics, was given to 1,540 representative Americans. Respondents who were relatively less worried about global warming got 57 percent of them right, on average, just barely outscoring those whose who saw global warming as a bigger threat. They got 56 percent of the questions correct.
"As respondents’ science literacy scores increased, their concern with climate change decreased," the paper, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, notes.
Dr. Richard Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at MIT, was one skeptical scientist who signed the letter (titled No Need to Panic About Global Warming). He said that the finding that skeptics know as much or more about science surprised him "not at all."
"MIT alumni are among my most receptive audiences," he added.