Climate change sceptics are often derided as uninformed - but a new study proves that the opposite is the case.
Sceptical individuals are slightly MORE science literate than 'believers' in climate change.
The difference isn't huge, according to a survey of 1500 U.S. adults.
57% of sceptics are 'science literate' according to tests asking basic science and maths questions, versus 56% of believers.
Greenpeace activists: Sceptical individuals are slightly MORE science literate than 'believers' in climate change
Dan Kahan, Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School said, 'Political controversy over climate change cannot be attributed to the public's limited ability to comprehend science.' he said.
Researchers measured ‘science literacy’ with test items developed by the National Science Foundation.
The questions were simple questions such as 'Electrons are smaller than atoms, true or false?'
They also measured their subjects' ‘numeracy’—that is, their ability to understand quantitative information.
The controversy comes down, in effect, to a conflict over values - and informed individuals are better at fitting the scientific facts, and gaps in our knowledge, to whatever they happen to believe in.