We all secretly suspected that Fox News was behind climate change denial, but new research actually proves that tuning into Fox News, Rush Limbaugh or other conservative media makes people suspicious of climate scientists and therefore less likely to believe climate change is real, The Guardian reports. The study, published in the Public Understanding of Science, lists five major methods by which conservative media sways their followers.

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While around 99 percent of all scientists agree that global warming is real, caused by humanity’s release of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions and that climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, conservative media has swayed a great portion of the American population to believe otherwise. There are five methods by which they have managed to do this, according to The Guardian.

  • Presenting scientists who disagree that global warming is real (you know, the .01 percent) and persuading the conservative public that other scientists have some kind of agenda;
  • Casting doubt on peer-reviewed journals and scientific institutions;
  • Undermining the peer review process by insisting that it’s liberal, and therefore more political opinion than scientific fact;
  • Accusing scientists of manipulating their data in order to find funding for their projects;
  • Equating climate science with a new religion.

So successful are these tactics, conservative Americans are suspicious of climate change science to the extent that they are unwilling to accept even hard, real-world evidence of its truth, including drought, stronger storms, melting ice caps and other drastic changes in our climate patterns. However, some Republicans are beginning to stand up against the powerful media conglomerations that are skewing the science, The Guardian has found, and at least 53 percent of conservative youth are less gullible as their parents and grandparents.

Here are just a few influential conservatives who are standing up to urge other Republicans to quit fighting climate change and start looking for and supporting bipartisan solutions: Greg Mankiw, economic adviser to George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, George Shultz, Reagan’s Secretary of State, and several EPA Administrators who worked for former presidents Nixon, Reagan and both Bushes. With culpability for climate change denial, which is so dangers and completely polarizes American politics, placed so squarely on the shoulders of irresponsible news media, what happens next?

Via The Guardian