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Europeans Also Skeptical of Climate Change

April 2, 2012, 8:00 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Chris Mooney's new book, "The Republican Mind," turns on the correlation between political views (liberal vs. conservative) and personality types (open minded vs. preferring certainty). Mooney argues there is something biological about the American conservative party's rejection of scientific claims with respect to global warming and evolution. But Mooney's view misses the point that political outlooks in the conservative party have changed much faster over the years than could our genes, which predispose us toward one kind of personality or the other. 

What's the Big Idea?

The tendency of American conservatives to deny global warming and evolution is more the result of the American political system than any deep-seated personality characteristics. How do we know? Because European parties, such as the Netherlands' Party for Freedom, also suspect climate change to a be a trumped up conspiracy, or perhaps a mass delusion. Its followers, however, have nothing disparaging to say about evolution. European countries' multi-party systems allows for a plurality of views without shoehorning voters and politicians into tight equations like 'Conservative = no climate change + no evolution'. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com



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