New Zealand researchers have delved into the complex psychology behind climate denial in this country, to explain why conservative white men are more likely to be sceptics.
While New Zealanders have been increasingly accepting the reality of climate change - and becoming more worried about it - surveys have suggested a sizeable chunk of the population aren't willing to accept the science.
"Even in New Zealand, it seems that climate change denial is largely the preserve of conservative white males," prominent Victoria University climate scientist Professor James Renwick said.
"This fits well with my personal experience."
One recent study of 9000 people found that, while nearly 80 per cent agreed climate change was being caused by humans, about one in eight believed otherwise.
More than half of those sceptics supported National, compared with about a third backing Labour.
Associate Professor Taciano Milfont, of Waikato University's School of Psychology, pointed back to a now-famous US study that identified what the researchers termed the "conservative white males" effect.
To explain it, the researchers used what's called the identity-protective cognition thesis.
Broadly speaking, Milfont said, political conservatives and "social dominants" - those who tended to value hierarchy between groups in society, and subscribed to a dog-eat-dog world view - backed stability and holding on to the status quo.
"Actions to address climate change might reduce the socio-political and economic power these folks currently enjoy in society, hence attempts to change the status quo would be received with backlash," he said.
"Climate action threatens their identity and status in society."
But, in a newly-published study, Milfont and his colleagues wanted to go further and look at other measures of political conservatism.
"We wanted to examine the extent to which system-justifying ideologies were related to climate change scepticism," he said.
"Past research has shown that individuals who endorse system-justifying ideologies are more likely to deny climate change, but none had included a comprehensive list of such ideologies in a single study and tended to examine these ideologies in isolation."
The team analysed data from a 2017 survey that included more than 8000 New Zealanders, of whom three quarters were Pākehā, just over half were women, a third had a tertiary qualification, and about 15 per cent were aged over 70.
As expected, they found system-justifying ideologies were positively correlated to climate change scepticism.
"That is, scepticism is greater for New Zealanders who tend to endorse social dominance, general system justification - or motivation to sustain the status quo - and political conservatism; and it is also greater for those who are men."
They also showed that these ideologies independently predicted climate change scepticism, even when considered in combination.
"We also showed that some of the ideologies interact in predicting climate change scepticism - that is, association between scepticism and social dominance was stronger for people who have higher levels of general system justification and higher levels of political conservatism," Milfont said.
And the study further explained why men, more than women, denied climate change.
"Men tend to be more sceptical because they tend to score higher in social dominance, general system justification and political conservatism when compared to women."
Milfont expected those correlations would be even stronger in the US, where there was more of a political divide over climate action.
He said the new research could prove useful in enhancing climate action.
"Although 'conservative white males' were the minority group in society, they hold socio-political and economic power," he said.
"Better framing the issue of climate change, in a way that aligns to their identity and cognition, might engage these folks in taking action."
The new study comes as Milfont has just been appointed to the Climate Change Task Force of the American Psychological Association - the largest scientific and professional organisation of psychologists in the US.
That makes him the sole member from the Southern Hemisphere in the group, which has served as an observer organisation of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2017.