Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Environmental Preferences: An Innie or an Outie?

So, it turns out that your views on the environment depend on whether you have an innie or an outie.

Sex and Environmental Policy in the U.S. House of Representatives; Per Fredriksson & Le Wang, Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract: Using LCV score data, we find that female legislators favor stricter environmental policies than do their male counterparts. Moreover, gender- corrected estimates suggest that voters do not push environmental policy towards the middle, but rather select the ideologically closest candidate.

"Gender corrected?" Is that one of those operations they do in Sweden?
Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States; Aaron McCright & Riley Dunlap, Global Environmental Change, forthcoming

Abstract: We examine whether conservative white males are more likely than are other
adults in the U.S. general public to endorse climate change denial. We draw theoretical and analytical guidance from the identity-protective cognition thesis explaining the white male effect and from recent political psychology scholarship documenting the heightened system-justification tendencies of political conservatives. We utilize public opinion data from ten Gallup surveys from 2001 to 2010, focusing specifically on five indicators of climate change denial. We find that conservative white males are significantly more likely than are other Americans to endorse denialist views on all five items, and that these differences are even greater for those conservative white males who self-report understanding global warming very well. Furthermore, the results of our multivariate logistic regression models reveal that the conservative white male effect remains significant when controlling for the direct effects of political ideology, race, and gender as well as the effects of nine control variables. We thus conclude that the unique views of conservative white males contribute significantly to the high level of climate change denial in the United States.

In other words, conservatives are more likely to be conservative? Since the only conservatives who are NOT male are presumably female (unless they have been "gender corrected?"), not clear how you separate out the effects of political ideology from gender. These bozos just ran regressions with some fuzzy, general proxies for overall ideology, and then found that a dummy variable for gender (I bet they used 1 for male and 0 for female, to symbolize the outie and the innie, respectively) was still significant. This article is a truly remarkable "magic bullet" study: conservative white males are evil. I know all you lefties THOUGHT that, but is it really worth running fake regressions to "prove" it?

(Nod to Kevin Lewis)

PS: I thought I was going to be able to resist this, but I'm much too juvenile. The second author of the first paper... "Le Wang" ... is that French for the reason half our population is stupid on environmental policy? Parce qu'ils possèdent "le wang"?

1 comment:

Tom said...

The authors use the terms "denialist" and "climate change denial." Either they don't know or don't care that these terms are used in a pejorative way in popular discourse. Objectivity? Why bother?!

I should read the article to find out what the "five indicators" are; google wasn't much help. From the abstract, they seem to think that CWMs (and me) don't know that the climate changes. Oh, dear! The climate changes; every one with an elementary education knows that much. The extent of humanity's role in it is a question, but the three big issues that separate the sides cannot be captured by the term "denialist".

1. Will climate change be dramatic?
2. Will climate change be strongly deleterious?

3. Even given #1 and #2, is Congress or the UN competent to deal with the situation?

The authors (as it seems) can't even discover what the debate is about or disguise their bias.