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posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 22, @01:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the if-you-change-your-mind-I'm-the-first-in-line dept.

Science reporting on climate change does lead Americans to adopt more accurate beliefs and support government action on the issue—but these gains are fragile, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that these accurate beliefs fade quickly and can erode when people are exposed to coverage skeptical of climate change.

"It is not the case that the American public does not respond to scientifically informed reporting when they are exposed to it," said Thomas Wood, associate professor of political science at The Ohio State University.

"But even factually accurate science reporting recedes from people's frame of reference very quickly."

"Not only did science reporting change people's factual understanding, it also moved their political preferences," he said. "It made them think that climate change was a pressing government concern that government should do more about."

[...] Overall, the results suggest that the media play a key role in Americans' beliefs and attitudes about scientific issues like climate change.

"It was striking to us how amenable the subjects in our study were to what they read about climate change in our study. But what they learned faded very quickly," Wood said. The results of the study conflict with the media imperative to only report on what is new.

More information: Time and skeptical opinion content erode the effects of science coverage on climate beliefs and attitudes, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2122069119.


Reply to: Trust

    (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, @03:59PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 22, @03:59PM (#1255385)

    It comes down to trust. No institution has any because they have all been seen to be liars. Whether the climate scientists are lying to appease their funding sources or to push an agenda they truly believe, few believe they are still scientists. Because we look everywhere else and see liars too, so when we see reports they have been caught in scandals like Climate Gate we tend to believe the negative. Our politicians are corrupt, probably all pedophiles after the Maxwell / Epstein affair was covered up. Our business leaders are corrupt, selling out our industrial base to China for baubles. Our "media" is lies only fools still actually believe a word of. Then their are our "religious" and moral authorities. Yeah, lots of trustworthy folks there.

    So yeah, we are all ready to turn the world upside down because maniacs preaching end times nonsense says we must. Maniacs who also love to fly away to conferences and discuss how they can get rid of 90% of us "useless bread eaters." I trust them to want what is best for me, don't you?

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