Hi all. I'm working on a side project, and I ask for your help.
Have you been harmed by others' judgments or perceptions of you as a climate skeptic? Please send me your stories.
Climate skeptic is broad and vague, but what matters here are others' perceptions of you as questioning human-caused warming, or questioning or doubting its future severity, and so forth.
By harmed I mean things like discrimination at work or in business, or damage to personal relationships of all kinds, due to others' perceptions of you on this topic. For example, has it ever come up in a job interview or promotion? (Seems like it wouldn't come up, but there's a lot of variance in what happens in interviews, and sometimes people will just have casual conversations about whatever, and political or social issues can come up.)
Are any of you stereotyped or marginalized as cranks, conspiracy nuts, "deniers", etc. in your workplaces? Have people ascribed any other views to you based on you being climate skeptic?
Now I wonder about something more specific. Have any of the Lewandowsky scams come up yet in real life? For example, have has anyone assumed that you believed the moon landings were a hoax? Have people assumed that you don't think that HIV causes AIDS, or that smoking causes lung cancer? Have any of these specific issues popped up?
Moreover, did people who know that you're pro-free market or an economic conservative (for Europeans, I mean an economic liberal) think that you dispute that HIV causes AIDS?
The vector here is from the journal inexplicably publishing the Lewandowsky scam paper --> the various media outlets that covered it --> people read the articles and carry the false associations in their minds.
For example, there were articles in Mother Jones, the New York Times, and countless other places, that repeated the false claims made by Psychological Science and Lewandowsky. I'm wondering to what extent it's out there in the streets, so to speak. There are 7 billion people on earth, and I think any false psychology findings ascribing beliefs to a large group of people and reported in the mainsteam media will have an impact on some number of people.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
You go out on a first date, or several dates, then the other person learns about a view you hold and they end it. This happens all the time on anything. They learn that you're an atheist and it's over (happened to me once.) Or that you're a Baptist. They learn that you're a liberal/Democrat. Or that you're a conservative/Republican. These are dealbreakers for extremely partisan people where a large part of their moral identities and self-concept is tied up in their political affiliation.
You're at work and you say something about your views on human-caused warming, maybe minimize it's long-term impact. It has a chilling effect, and coworkers see you differently from that point on, think you're a nut, don't invite you to happy hour, etc. I'm guessing this is rare. In such a case, the coworkers would likely have to be very political and caught up in the "denier" narrative. I'm even more interested in cases where the Lewandowsky scams popped up, where someone said something like "Do you think the moon landings were a hoax?" or whispered to others that you dispute that HIV causes AIDS, after reading some junk article by Chris Mooney passing on the false findings.
And again, this doesn't have to be about climate skepticism necessarily. The false associations about AIDS and smoking were linked to pro-free market views, not climate skepticism, but I think all this would likely be jumbled together in the minds of people who read a hit piece in the media.
If you have any experiences you think are relevant here, please send me your stories. Thank you!
José L. Duarte
Social Psychology, Scientific Validity, and Research Methods.