Word choice--that Achilles heel of many a politician--evidently applies, also, to scientific argument. If you want Sen. Jim Inhofe to take another look at global warming, for God's sake, don't call it "global warming." That's the finding in a new study by the University of Michigan. The paper says, in part:
"Republicans were less likely to endorse that the phenomenon is real when it was referred to as 'global warming' (44.0%) rather than 'climate change' (60.2%), whereas Democrats were unaffected by question wording (86.9% vs. 86.4%). As a result, the partisan divide on the issue dropped from 42.9 percentage points under a 'global warming' frame to 26.2 percentage points under a 'climate change' frame."
Could this mean that Americans are, in fact, less polarized by the issue than pols on either side appear to believe? As long as there is campaign money to be raised on the issue, don't count on cooperative language.