Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Are Climate ‘Denialists’ The Most Educated People In The World?

Since we’re using superficial charts and cobbling together preposterous theories, I have a question.


The above chart is featured in an Andrew Sullivan post titled “Demographics of Denialism,” which is taken from a Chris Mooney piece in Grist that tackles what nearly every Chris Mooney piece tackles: the anti-science radicalism of  conservatives.

Here’s what he comes up with:

Not only is the United States clearly the worst in its climate denial, but Great Britain and Australia are second and third worst, respectively. Canada, meanwhile, is the seventh worst. What do these four nations have in common? They all speak the language of Shakespeare.

The reason for this, Moody speculates, is not that the Anglosphere is uniquely populated by some less intelligent species, but rather that three of the top four countries on the list are “linked together by a single individual: Rupert Murdoch.” Fox News! Thankfully we have methodical fact-based thinkers pulling this all together for us.

Then again, since we’re using superficial charts and cobbling together preposterous theories I should probably ask: What else links these countries together?

Well, for one thing, many of them also have the largest number of highly educated people in the world. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s list of most educated populations, in fact, Australia, United Kingdom, United States, Russian Federation, Japan, and Canada have the highest percentage of college graduate level citizens. And using Moody’s logic, this means that my theory is more likely to be true than The Rupert Murdoch Hypothesis, as it ties together six of the nations. So, science.

Korea is the only country that appears among the less skeptical nations (to be fair, North Koreans are already environmentalists.)

Naturally, the poll question that led to all this hypothesizing– from the Ipsos MORI “Global Trends 2014” report — is useless to begin with. Do you agree or disagree with the contention that “the climate change that we are currently seeing is largely the result of human activity”? (Italics mine.) Well, you’ve already compelled me to concede that I’m “seeing” climate – which is, in fact, true – but now, if I fail to agree with the theory that the change I see is “largely” driven by human forces, I’m considered a denialist, as well.* That’s convenient. Especially for people who conflate scaremongering and science.

*For transparency’s sake, I admit that I believe man probably has something to do with climate change. But I also believe that present-day progressive environmental prescriptions are not only ineffective but immoral, and would do far more damage to humans than climate change itself.

Follow David Harsanyi on Twitter.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments