Monday, Aug 18, 2008
Remember back in November when Nobel Laureate Al Gore actually told NBC’s Meredith Vieira that trying to cover global warming from a fair and balanced perspective was wrong, and only climate alarmists should be given any attention in pieces concerning this controversial subject?
Well, a Stanford social psychologist has recently done a study of how people’s opinions about global warming change if skeptical views are edited out of news stories, and the results, though not surprising, should scare the heck out of free thinkers around the country.
As reported by USA Today on August 13:
Armed with new research into what makes some people environmentally conscious and others less so, the 148,000-member American Psychological Association is stepping up efforts to foster a broader sense of eco-sensitivity that the group believes will translate into more public action to protect the planet.
(Article continues below)
“We know how to change behavior and attitudes. That is what we do,” says Yale University psychologist Alan Kazdin, association president. “We know what messages will work and what will not.”
During a four-day meeting that begins today in Boston, an expected 16,000 attendees will hear presentations, including studies that explore how people experience the environment, their attitudes about climate change and what social barriers prevent conservation of resources. […]
News stories that provided a balanced view of climate change reduced people’s beliefs that humans are at fault and also reduced the number of people who thought climate change would be bad, according to research by Stanford social psychologist Jon Krosnick. […]
By editing CNN and PBS news stories so that some saw a skeptic included in the report, others saw a story in which the skeptic was edited out and another group saw no video, Krosnick found that adding 45 seconds of a skeptic to one news story caused 11% of Americans to shift their opinions about the scientific consensus. Rather than 58% believing a perceived scientific agreement, inclusion of the skeptic caused the perceived amount of agreement to drop to 47%.
American Psychological Association leaders say they want to launch a national initiative specifically targeting behavior changes, including developing media messages that will help people reduce their carbon footprint and pay more attention to ways they can conserve. They want to work with other organizations and enlist congressional support to help fund the effort.
Wow. So, the APA wants to work with media to brainwash citizens, and it’s going to ask Congress to fund their efforts.
Be afraid. Be very afraid!