File this one under nobody could have predicted:
Researchers analyzed ten annual polls on environmental issues conducted by the Gallup Organization from 2001 to 2010. Together, they included responses from more than 10,000 adults. After slicing and dicing the numbers, the trends were clear: “Conservative white males are significantly more likely than are other Americans to endorse denialist views,” they write. And “these differences are even greater for those conservative white males who self-report understanding global warming very well.”
Overall, while 29.6% of conservative white males (CWMs) believed that the effects of global warming “will never happen,” just 7.4% of all other adults shared that view. Similarly, 58.5% of CWMs — but only 31.5% of all other adults — denied that recent temperature increases are primarily caused by human activities. The pattern demonstrates that CWMs “are more likely than other adults to reject the scientific consensus on climate change,” the authors note. So, “not surprisingly,” 58.8% of CWMs “deny the existence of a scientific consensus,” compared to 35.5% of other adults.
CWMs were also more than twice as likely than other adults to say the media exaggerated the seriousness of climate change (65.1% to 29.9%). Finally, 39.1% of conservative white males — but just 14.4% of all other adults – said they did not worry at all about global warming.
Similarly, polling last year showed that offshore drilling was most popular among people who are Republican, elderly, white or wealthy.
Update — Chris Mooney has more on the psyschology of this.
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