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June 21, 2006

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You sure you're not somehow picking up a class difference here? Environmentalism has always been one of the more affluent leftist movements.

SiFiGeek, it's most certainly a class difference because the upper classes are more intelligent than the lower classes.

But I suppose you are asking whether smart people who are lower class (lower income, no college degree) feel less environmentally friendly. An interesting question worth investigating.

OK, my quickie regression analysis shows that SciFiGeek is correct, it's mostly class.

A bachelor's degree is a better predictor of pro-environment than Wordsum(8-10), and a graduate degree even more so.

BWordsum is still independently correlated with being pro-environment. Perhaps because smarter people are better at figuring out what the upper class behaviors are and mimicking them.

Nothing suprising here. High-IQ people are relatively unlikely to be major users of government social programs. That sometimes leads to a generally libertarian outlook.

Trust me, most liberals actually believe in environmentalism. Do you think the granola hippies in Oregon living in a rusty schoolbus are mimicking upper-class behviors? ;) (Half Sigma, you live in NYC. We're SURROUNDED by liberals!)

Here's something I've never seen us tackle: gender differences. Is there a difference between bright women and bright men? Check out the Pew Research Center's report on political groups; the 'Enterprisers' and 'Liberals' represent the top of the economic scale and are the most polarized, as well as the most informed. Could polarization have to do with elite men and women taking opposite positions and getting into fights over politics at dinner?

http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=242

I thought that men are more intelligent than women...which explains why black men love white women, their IQ bell curve is pretty much identical.

It all depends on your definition of intelligent. Who is smarter, the person that sees the need to conserve energy and resources for the sake of saving the planet enough so that we may survive and thrive here, or the person that understands there is no way to convince everyone to conserve so why waste time thinking about it? Both are smart, and correct, in different ways. The smartest person would be the one that knows we need to conserve and preserve and can intelligently convince everyone else to actually do it.

People who have higher incomes have satisfied basic needs and therefore move on to esthetic and environmental desires and preferences. But to satisfy those desires they need to convince others to support regulations designed to make the environment more appealing.

As a society rises in affluence a growing trend in support of a cleaner environment can be predicted to occur.

People who make more money are smarter on average. So are they environmentalists due to class or due to IQ? Probably some of both.

But there's also something cultural or genetic going on. Some races and ethnicities like the great outdoors a lot more than others. Whites appear to love nature the most. You won't find large numbers of Hispanics at the great national parks for example.

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