Tag Archives: Tag Cloud

Climate Science vs. Climate Science Denial in Word Clouds

Are there cultural differences between those who accept and generally understand the current consensus on climate change science and those who don’t? One gets the sense that there is, but it is possible to explore this in more detail.

I took the public Twitter profile descriptions, written by individual Twitterers, from two different Twitter lists that I maintain, and made word clouds out of them. The first is a list of “Global warming deniers.” People get on this list when they actively deny climate change science in Twitter exchanges with me (or that I observe). There are 309 members as of this writing. The second list is “Climate Change Science,” and includes climate scientists, scientists in cognate areas, and journalists or science communicators, a few activists, etc. That is the go-to list if you want to keep up on current climate science related news. There are 236 members as of this writing.

I made these tag clouds at the suggestion of Michael Mann, who thought that it might be interesting to look at the differences, if any, in how the two groups tend to characterize themselves.

Here is the word cloud for the “Global Warming Deniers” list:

Here is the word cloud for the “Climate Change Science” list:

I could comment on these two word clouds, but what would be the point. Word clouds kind of speak for themselves. So just gaze at them for a while.

Well, OK, I will comment on the word “love” in the denier cloud, to provide some context. Members of this list indicated that they love golf, cooking, this great country, Labradors, wine, ale, Jesus, family, church, shooting, all things scientific, restaurants, Fox News, Reagan, sea urchins, various spouses, and other things to drink or do. For “hate” we have liberal lies and big government, but there wasn’t enough hate to show up in the tag cloud.

Professor Mann pointed out to me that this may be understood in the context of the Yale Project on Climate Change Six Americas Study (see graphic at the top of the post). That study is summarized in this video:

So, these word clouds summarize the Six Americas in simplified form, which we could call, I suppose, “America A” and “America B” to avoid confusion.


Other posts of interest:

Also of interest: In Search of Sungudogo: A novel of adventure and mystery, set in the Congo.