Sarah Cohen L&S Sciences
The Political Implications of Misunderstandings of the Mechanism of Climate Change
Climate change, whether one believes in it or not, is an undeniably large presence in discourses about environmentalism, policy, and morality. Though the consensus among scientists about the reality and anthropogenic origin of global warming is solid, the general public is much less convinced. I am therefore interested in examining how an individuals understanding of the mechanism of the greenhouse effect is related to their political attitudes about climate change. To study this association, I will be running a survey project in “America’s Finest City,” San Diego. Once the data is collected, I will analyze the data to see if people with more complete understandings of the mechanism of climate change also have more “green” political beliefs. Examining this link will help illuminate the contested relationship between knowledge and attitudes; this, in turn, will help us understand how to create effective global warming mitigation policy.