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Columbia U. Prof. Claims Climate Change Giving Rise to Hate Speech

'In other words: There is a limit to what people can take... '

(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) Columbia University professor Anders Levermann claimed in a research paper that climate change, whether from temperatures being too cold or too warm, has caused an increase in online hate speech, Science Daily reported.

Levermann wrote the article for a different employer, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, where he serves as head of Complexity Science. The study reached an astonishing, unforeseen conclusion: Americans feel well and treat each other better in good weather and vice versa in poor weather.

When temperatures exceeded 86 degrees Fahrenheit or fell below 54 degrees Fahrenheit in the United States, hateful comments increased among people with all “income groups and belief systems.”

“Even in high-income areas where people can afford air condition and other heat mitigation options, we observe an increase in hate speech on extremely hot days,” Levermann wrote. “In other words: There is a limit to what people can take.”

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The so-called scientific study reached this conclusion by analyzing weather conditions alongside more than four billion Twitter posts.

Levermann searched for mean tweets using an artificial intelligence algorithm that looked for language violating the definition of hate speech devised by the United Nations:

“Cases of discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, color, descent, gender or other identity factors.”

The researchers do not seem to notice that in some regions temperatures remain above 86 degrees Fahrenheit or below 54 degrees Fahrenheit for entire seasons. These “extreme” regional average temperatures existed long before the industrial revolution.

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The political activists at the Institute also connected the study to political stability and personal happiness.

“Our results highlight online hate speech as a new impact channel through which climate change can affect overall societal cohesion and people’s mental health,” Leonie Wenz, a lead author of the study at the Potsdam Institute.

“So that means that curbing emissions very rapidly and drastically will not only benefit the outer world,” he continued. “Protecting our climate from excessive global warming is also critical to our mental health.”

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