Climate change deniers won’t change their minds until it’s hot AF

According to a recent poll, about 45% of Americans think that climate change poses no serious threat to them. This is a trend that is not surprising, considering the rhetoric of the current president. There are large swaths of the population that are skeptical about all sorts of scientific data, including climate change.

With this in mind, a team of researchers at Amherst Cambridge University ran an experiment to find out the exact temperature at which many of these skeptics would change their mind about climate change. How many degrees would they have to crank it up before the average person would change the climate in their mind to match the climate in the room?

They took a sample of one hundred climate change deniers and inserted them into a computer simulation, ala Elon Musk. Participants were told that by inserting themselves into the program, they would be temporarily transported back to the 1950s, an age in which PC Culture was not a thing, and they could just say and do as they pleased without having to worry about the effect of their words or actions upon other individuals.

In reality, experimenters simply replicated every single aspect of the participant’s lives, with one exception. They raised the temperature one degree per day.

The Results

What researchers found is that 52% of participants didn’t even utter the phrases global warming or climate change until temperatures reached about 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Another 34%  didn’t seem to notice anything out of the ordinary until temperatures reached 160 degrees, well above temperatures found in any sauna.


Photo: Phil and Jo Schiffbauer — Flickr.

A small portion (10%) refused to acknowledge the concept of climate change until they could make fajitas on the hoods of their cars.

Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, burns himself to death on a Saigon street June 11, 1963 to protest alleged persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. (AP Photo/Malcolm Browne)

Photo: Staffan Scherz — Flickr.

Most surprising is that 4% of participants spontaneously burst into flames, yet still refused to wonder about or acknowledge any change in the temperature of their everyday lives. Although, a few participants did make comments like “Is it hot in here or is it just me? and “Do you smell something burning?”

Featured image by david — Flickr.