måndag 18 oktober 2010

Yale Poll: Americans Know Climate Science

The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication (Bridging Science + Community) reports in American's Knowledge of Climate Change the following results from a national study of what Americans understand about how the climate system works:
  • The study found important gaps in knowledge and common misconceptions about climate change and the earth system:
  • 57% "know" that the greenhouse effect refers to gases in the atmosphere that trap heat
  • 50% of Americans "understand" that global warming is caused mostly by human activities
  • 45% "understand" that carbon dioxide traps heat from the Earth’s surface.
I find these results surprisingly good, from an educational scientific point of view, since they can interpreted as follows:
  • 43% know that the greenhouse effect of gases in the atmosphere that "trap heat", is scientific nonsense
  • 50% of Americans understand that global warming is not caused mostly by human activities
  • 55% understand that carbon dioxide cannot "trap heat" from the Earth’s surface.
We see that roughly 50% of the Americans are well informed about a scientific question of fundamental importance to humanity. Which other question could draw such a number?

50% of the Americans thus understand the utter nonsense of the report in Non-Scientific American: Will Birth Control Solve Climate Change?

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