One possible reason that global-warming denialism is more prevalent in the U.S. than elsewhere is that more Americans than Europeans are Biblical literalists. That involves believing that all biologists and paleontologists are either massively incompetent or deliberately trying to mislead the public about the central facts of their disciplines. [The alternative theory, held by some, is that the entire fossil record is a trick by Satan, intended to deceive those whose faith isn’t firm.] I haven’t seen any data on the overlap between global-warming denialism and creationism, but thinking about Sarah Palin and her fans you’d have to guess at a strong correlation between the two beliefs.
Global-warming denialism is a special case, of course: the policy implications of the facts about climate change threaten some very large economic interests and some dearly-held political beliefs. So global-warming-denialist brochures are printed on glossy paper. Other than that, though, it’s fairly standard-grade fringe pseudoscience, not much different from the folks who write endless papers full of gibberish proving that Einstein was wrong.
And yet the Washington Post continues to make op-ed space available for flat-earth climatology.
I think that you should take any science you read on the op-ed page with a huge grain of salt. But why is that? Why are the people writing and publishing these things thinking that they are opinion in the first place? One of the effects of scientific inquiry is to remove opinion from the analysis, and leave something that is objectively true. If you really think that there are multiple ways of interpreting the data, then you need to take a closer look at at the data you have, and possibly get more data. But in a lot of these cases, while more data is usually good, it isn’t what is required — the “alternative” interpretations don’t stand up to scrutiny. But this is the op-ed page, and making it up doesn’t seem to carry any penalty with it. On the contrary, one can lie to a large audience and then source amnesia takes over; nobody remembers that it was a lie or came from a disreputable source — all they remember is the claim. Which is a very different situation from scientific publishing, where publishing lies usually kills (or severely impedes) your career.