Poor Bill Nye. He thinks somehow most people are as religious about climate change as he is, and will keep their naively unscientific beliefs into their old age. Instead, skeptics are not dying out at all — there is a never ending source of skeptics, as young gullible believers grow up to be old and wise.
Here’s his Christmas fantasy:
LA Times, Pat Morrison Bill Nye on the terrifying ascendancy of American ‘dingbatitude’
It just sounds like people are scared. It just sounds like people are afraid. And the people who are afraid in general — with due respect, and I am now one of them — are older. Climate change deniers, by way of example, are older. It’s generational. So we’re just going to have to wait for those people to “age out,” as they say. “Age out” is a euphemism for “die.” But it’ll happen, I guarantee you — that’ll happen. — Bill Nye
Here’s that data. For starters, we know that Republican voters are older than Democrat voters. So consider what happened to “people identifying as “environmentalists”. If people carried their beliefs with them as they grew older, we would see the term appearing increasingly among Republican voters — converging towards the Democrats. Instead, over the last twenty five years, “environmentalist” became a dirty word for lots of people, but especially for Republican voters.
The red line has flat-lined.
The rise in belief as the “hottest ever El Nino year” hit the headlines came in Democrat and Independent voting groups, not in Republican voters who remain unmoved by the sensationalist repeats of yet more “records”. Older voters are more likely to recognize that it’s all been done before.
Except Bill Nye, that is.
Nearly Half of Young Americans Are Climate Sceptics
The assumption that younger US adults are more liberal when it comes to global warming does not hold up; if anything, they are even more skeptical.
At the White House Correspondents Association Dinner last Saturday night, President Obama got angry. With the help of his anger translator, Luther (played by comedian Keegan-Michael Key), the president abandoned his usual reasonable tone to condemn those who deny climate change. “The science is clear,” he began. “Every serious scientist says we need to act. The Pentagon says it’s a national security risk.” As the president continued, it became clear that he no longer needed Luther to reveal his inner anger, and he drew laughs from the crowd after letting loose. “It is crazy! What about our kids? What kind of stupid, shortsighted, irresponsible… ”
While the president’s skit might have been the highlight of the night, do Americans really need this kind of angry reminder that climate change is a problem? Some seem to think we are living in a world where climate change is widely acknowledged as an irrefutable fact. Mary Robinson, the seventh president of Ireland and founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, has argued that the generation in power now is the first to fully know about climate change, and the last with the ability to prevent its projected effects. She and others are of the opinion that, at this point, all but a few outliers understand global warming, its causes, and its dire consequences.
New data from the Harvard Public Opinion Project tell a very different story. Only 55 percent of survey participants agreed with the statement, “Global warming is a proven fact and is mostly caused by emissions from cars and industrial facilities such as power plants.” Twenty percent held the belief that “Global warming is a proven fact, and is mostly caused by natural changes that have nothing to do with emissions from cars,” and the remaining 23 percent who answered the question believe that “Global warming is a theory that has not been proven yet.”