What We Already Knew


So there's this new study out of Yale, published in The Proceedings of the National Academies of Science that says Climate Change Denial is all about a Cash-For-Comments system used to manufacture an "opposing view".  

And what that allows is for the political operators to separate voters along imaginary ideological fault lines, which makes it easier to keep us bitching at each other rather than voting to send the Coin-Operated Politicians back home so they can open that shoe store their mom always wanted them to have - which would be a much closer career match for their skill sets while still meaning most of them would be vastly over-employed.
Ideological polarization around environmental issues—especially climate change—have increased in the last 20 years. This polarization has led to public uncertainty, and in some cases, policy stalemate. Much attention has been given to understanding individual attitudes, but much less to the larger organizational and financial roots of polarization. This gap is due to prior difficulties in gathering and analyzing quantitative data about these complex and furtive processes. This paper uses comprehensive text and network data to show how corporate funding influences the production and actual thematic content of polarization efforts. It highlights the important influence of private funding in public knowledge and politics, and provides researchers a methodological model for future studies that blend large-scale textual discourse with social networks.
Like I said - that's not something we didn't know.  But I'll take it as a positive sign anyway, because while it's not likely to convince the hard core rubes, it's one more bullet point that rebuts the Both-Sides crap and might be useful convincing the Hipster-ish I'm-Too-Cool-To-Vote crowd to get up off their suspended-adolescence butts and realize they've got skin in this game whether they like it (or whether they even realize it) or not.

hat tip = truthout

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