I'm glad to learn that the (self-described) "smarties" are now in favor of all that nuclear stuff they used to decry. I wonder if Hallmark makes a "I was stupid 'cause I was smart--I'm sorry!" card.The GSS asked a couple of questions concerning the potential dangers of nuclear power generation--one about those posed to a respondent's family, the other posed to the environment in general--in 1993 and again in 1994. Responses are on a 5-point scale that I've inverted for ease of viewing. A 1 indicates the belief that the perils of nuclear power are minimal, a 5 that nuclear power is extremely dangerous. Respondents are broken up into five categories; Really Smarts (wordsum score of 9-10, comprising 13% of the population), Pretty Smarts (7-8, 26%), Normals (6, 22%), Pretty Dumbs (4-5, 27%), and Really Dumbs (0-3, 12%). The average (mean) response for members of each group is shown. One standard deviation for the question regarding the respondent's family is 1.10 and 1.04 for the question pertaining to the environment in general:
With the popularity among "smarties" of Red & Green anti-vivisection, anti-science, and anti-technology the "Scientists often pry into things they ought to leave alone" should have elicited close to 90% not 5.1%.
The tendency is clear--the more intelligent a person is, the less likely he is to fear nuclear power. The notion that hostile sentiments toward nuclear power disproportionately come from (or at least previously came from) affluent SWPLs is incorrect. That the most vociferous opponents are high-IQ types claiming to represent many other high-IQ types of the same mind may still be accurate, as that seems to be the case for protest movements in general (in addition to being sharp, it is my impression that they also tend to be underachieving leftists with little social prestige). But in aggregate, smarties are more technologically progressive than the masses are.
GSS variables used: WORDSUM(0-3)(4-5)(6)(7-8)(9-10), NUKEFAM, NUKEGEN