The article and figure referenced below have been making the rounds over the past few weeks, and--while I appreciate the allure this idea has for everyone--I have some reservations.

This figure is from a recent paper published in Weather, Climate and Society. Researchers conducted 5,000 telephone interviews in New Hampshire over a period of two years, and asked respondents if they thought that climate change is happening because of the actions of humans. The respondents' political leanings, as well as the temperature on the day of the interview and on the preceding day, were also recorded. The results of the interviews are presented in this (I grant you) startling graphic.

Predicted probability of “climate change is happening now, caused mainly by human activities” response as a function of temperature anomaly and political party. (Source: Hamilton and Stampone, 2013.)

Hilarious, right? The beliefs of Republicans and Democrats barely wavered, but those Independents... hoo boy!  On colder-than-average days, they drifted toward the Republican viewpoint, and pooh-poohed all this talk of anthropogenic climate change. But if it was unseasonably warm? Suddenly they Wanted To Believe.

I'm not sure I buy it.

For one thing, it's too much of a caricature.  Look at the Democrats. Steady as a rock. There is no shadow of flinching with them. They know that weather doesn't equal climate change. What educated, intelligent folks!

The Republicans stick to their party line as well, but look at them tilt every-so-slightly upward! (Psst. That's because their tendency to believe anecdotal evidence and fear-mongering occasionally trumps their blinkered political stances.)

And those waffling, crazy Independents! A steady diagonal rise, truly reflective of people who have no particular viewpoint. They must live life like they're in Momento, making stuff up according to whatever weather Post-It they find stuck on the meteorological mirror next (clunk goes the metaphor). Whoa, it's crazy sunny for March, guess we're having a climate apocalypse!

But this is not a winking Cosmopolitan feature (women go like this la la lee lee loo; men go like this dur dur dur dur). This purports to be Science, yes?  In what universe is Science so beautifully neat?

Yes, yes, I see the unlabelled probability bands or whatever those grey things are intended to be. I see them fanning out at both ends, showing slightly more erratic responses from all parties when weather conditions turned particularly anomalous. The very fattest of those bands belong to the Independents interviewed on crazy warm days, who gave answers that varied by less than 20% (between what looks like about 63% and 80%) in favour of people being responsible for climate change. Consensus only tightens from there, getting most focussed (for some reason) for all parties on days closest to average temperatures.

The study's authors, Lawrence and Stampone, apparently "made adjustments for the seasons, and for random variation between surveys that might be caused by nontemperature events." I don't know: to me this looks 'shopped.