Mccright and Dunlap, Cool Dudes: Denial of Climate Change Among Conservative Males Essay

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McCright and Dunlap analyze political polarization over climate change within the American public in the article Cool Dudes: Denial of Climate Change Among Conservative Males. They found that liberals and Democrats were more likely to report beliefs consistent with the scientific community and show concern about global warming than conservatives and Republicans. In addition, the data they collected indicated that conservative white males are more likely to deny climate change. Western experience has been centered around industrial capitalism. Industrial capitalism is an economic system that is dependent on the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels for energy. A major consequence of the use of fossil fuels is global warming. McCright and Dunlap defined global warming as a lucid problem, however, they explain that both the fossil fuels industry and conservative “think tanks” work to disprove the scientific evidence for climate change. McCright and Dunlap’s study suggests that conservative white males gravitate toward the anti-environmental conservative movement. These sociologist assert that these individuals tend to form perceptions about risk that are shaped by their cultural world views. They argue that individuals tend to adopt beliefs that are shared by members of prominent in-groups, frequently resisting revision of such beliefs when they are confronted with opposing information from out-groups. Further, they conclude that conservative white males are likely to favor protection of the current industrial capitalist order because historically it has benefited them. Due to conservative white males occupying positions of power within our economic system, they refute anything that may challenge that. Given the extreme challenge that climate change poses to the industrial capitalist economic system, it makes sense to McCright and Dunlap that conservative

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