Public Support For Tackling Climate Change Declines Dramatically in UK

We’re Winning The Battle For Hearts And Minds

Newsbytes from Dr. Benny Peiser, The GWPF

There has been dramatic decline over the past decade in the public’s support for tackling climate change in Britain. Backing for higher green taxes and charges has waned and scepticism about the seriousness of the threat to the environment has increased. Over the same period the public has become much more sceptical about the science behind climate change. In 2010 37% said many claims about environmental threats were “exaggerated”, up from 24% in 2000. — Randeep Ramesh, The Guardian, 7 December 2011

UK consumers are reacting to the financial crisis and a wave of “climategate” email scandals by keeping their wallets in their pockets when given the choice of going green.Click Green, 7 December 2011

The main findings from the study of ten UK national newspapers can be summarised thus: [...] The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has been particularly successful in getting its views reported across most of the 10 UK newspapers. The two most quoted sceptics by far in the second period were Lord Lawson and Benny Peiser (more than 80 times between them) both from the GWPF. –James Painter, Poles Apart: the International Reporting of Climate Scepticism, University of Oxford, November 2011

Among other things, the study shows the success that the the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has had in inserting itself into national discourse since its establishment in 2009 – a success noted this week by the conservativehome blog, which describes it as “one of the most important think-tanks in Britain today”. –Richard Black, BBC News, 10 November 2011

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman appeared to take a notably more skeptical view towards current climate change science Tuesday, saying that the “scientific community owes us more” on the issue and that not enough solid research exists to “formulate policies” based on global warming.there’s not enough information right now to be able to formulate policies in terms of addressing it overall, primarily because it’s a global issue,” he went on. “We can enact policies here. But I wouldn’t want to unilaterally disarm as a country, I wouldn’t want to hinder job creators during a time when our economy is flat.” –Carrie Dann, NBC News, NBC News, 6 December 2011

Rumors are circulating in Durban that the UK prime minister’s policy guru Steve Hilton has jettisoned his sandals and is boasting of his new-found climate skepticism, while George Osborne this week articulated an analysis of the value of nature that wouldn’t have been amiss coming from the mouth of Dick Cheney. All this leaves Chris Huhne looking like an increasingly isolated figure at home, but in Cancun he played a central role in keeping the Kyoto Protocol alive and in South Africa he will carry the hopes of people who still expect Britain to play a constructive role at these talks. But whatever the state of the shifting sands of Britain’s political culture, the big question in Durban is whether an extraordinarily obstructive Obama administration is days away from killing this process and burying its corpse next to the Doha round of trade talks. –Joss Garman, Huffington Post, 4 December 2011

The foundering this week of not one but two experiments in megalomanic government pretension — the Kyoto Protocol and the European superstate — should provide cause for reflection about the limits of government. Instead, what we are seeing is desperate attempts to paper over the yawning policy cracks. –Peter Foster, Financial Post, 7 December 2011

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44 thoughts on “Public Support For Tackling Climate Change Declines Dramatically in UK

  1. “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”
    I can assure you very few people in the UK support the “cause”

  2. Climategate 2 news is not on the BBC at all. Not a Peep. They still report every detail of the latest Durban alarmist story and tonight is the last episode of Frozen Planet complete with CRU altered script claiming that the ice will be gone in a few years, polar bears are critically endangered etc. etc. etc.

    Sir David Attenborough should hang his head in shame at the lies that he is spouting but then he has accepted the BBC pound.

  3. I think Steve Hilton’s conversion is key. The political climate has already changed in the US, the political climate is changing rapidly in the UK, and where these two go the rest of hapless Europe will must follow. Straight into the arms of the BRICs.

    We’re all BRICs now, but who will bell the cat?
    ==============

  4. “The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has been particularly successful in getting its views reported across most of the 10 UK newspapers”

    Unfortunately the local paper in the UEA’s home of Norwich still comes up with warmist drivel. This was in today’s Eastern Daily Press (small article, no source or reporters name, and not available in the online version):

    Himalayan ice is officially melting

    The head of the international scientific body on climate change yesterday said the Himalayan glaciers were “undoubtedly” melting. Speaking at the latest round of UN talks on tackling global warming, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change HPCC), said more research was needed on the state of Himalayan glaciers but there was no doubt they were retreating. Dr Pachauri found himself embroiled in a row in 2010 over the inclusion in the IPCC’s last major report, used to inform international policy on climate change, of incorrect claims that the mountain region’s glaciers could melt away by 2035. Yesterday he said the claim was an error that had been corrected.

  5. Meanwhile, we still have such nonsense as this being perpetrated http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/07/gaia_sacrifice_freezing_pupils/
    ‘Pagan gods traditionally required human sacrifices – preferably of children – and a West Country academy school appears to be leading the way. To give pupils a lesson in “sustainability” they’ll never forget, headmaster Rob Benzie of Ansford Academy in Castle Cary, Somerset, ordered a “No Power Day … as an experiment to see if we can lower our carbon footprint”. ‘

  6. Britain has had three consecutive very cold winters. Snows that have not been seen in decades. You can only take so much of “the hottest year ever” stuff when the new fuel surcharges to pay for useless windmills mean that you cannot afford the heating bill.

  7. Here in the Uk, common sense is beginning to be used, at last. As you say Joe Public are beginning to take notice of the “great fraud”, wonderful news and as they investigate more they will play merry hell with the politicos (Huhne et al) who bag this rubbish. Keep it up chaps.I amw riting emails and letters to all and sundry and fowarding emails to a round of contacts on a regular basis.

  8. John Marshall says:
    December 7, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Sir David Attenborough should hang his head in shame at the lies that he is spouting but then he has accepted the BBC pound.

    Agreed. I’m sure he has been made clearly aware of the fate of Dr. David Bellamy.* And at Attenborough’s age he could easily be ‘retired’ from what he enjoys. Still, he is also a patron of the Optimum Population Trust (a loathsome Malthusian outfit), so there must be a deal of misanthropy there. That patronage lost him all the respect I ever had.

    *Bellamy used to make ~40 TV progs. a year, until he spoke out against AGW in the Daily Mail. He has never been allowed to make a BBC programme since.

  9. Encouraging stuff.
    It would be interesting to know the make-up of Huhne’s investment portfolio. There must be a strong reason why he continues to push his windmill based energy policies as he surely is not so stupid as to really believe his own propaganda. A rich Minister of the Crown can’t be that daft or can they?

  10. Once enough of these policies are codified in law and regulations, it really won’t matter what the people “think”. We increasingly have policy being made by people who don’t stand for election by the people. A lot of these bureaucrats are having their egos stroked by the NGOs and are being invited to very nice seminars and workshops and symposiums and conferences in very nice place. Their names begin to appear in fawning newspaper articles in major national media outlets. They are starting to feel like they are real celebrities in the “green” movement. They don’t really care what the average “stupid” voter thinks. The behavior of these bureaucrats is being manipulated. They are being stroked.

    A lot of work is actually put into this psychological manipulation of their behavior, there are entire organizations devoted to it. There is no organization on the other side of the debate that places fawning newspaper articles for new science that casts doubt on AGW, that has workshops and cocktail parties for skeptical scientists in Tahiti, that organizes skeptical grass roots organizations that become NGOs and lobby regulators at all levels. It is like a war where only one side has an army.

    If a scientist publishes something that casts doubt on the AGW “science” they are ostracized, “discredited”, the journal publishing it is attacked, their work is shunned in the future, maybe their work is even ridiculed in press articles that somehow find their way into the national media. That doesn’t feel very good to someone and they are made an example of to the others so others don’t speak out. This treatment is not so much to “punish” the person who spoke out as it is a warning to others not to speak out lest they receive the same. It is about suppressing any debate and attempting to the extent possible to attempt to “discredit” the source. One example of that is the article on this site today by Bob Tisdale where “Tamino” engaged in that behavior.

    It isn’t about “truth”, it is about suppressing opposing opinion. It is about making sure that there IS no debate by punishing anyone who speaks out and might even attempt to debate the issue from the other side. Debate is the LAST thing they want. If their science were so solid, they would welcome the debate. They would encourage it. That they work so hard to stamp it out, suppress any opposing opinions, delete comments on their blogs, chastise scientists who come to an opposing conclusions, cast derision on any journal or reviewer who approves or publishes anything that might go against their conclusions is evidence that they believe their position is weak. It is like they have their own little Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice that run around suppressing anything and anyone that isn’t pious in their practice of the anti-carbon religion.

    By their very actions they show how weak they are and yet nobody stands up to them where it counts: in academia and in the national news media. What we need to do is make them laughing stock. I say we need more climatologist jokes.

  11. Crosspatch @ 9:45 AM.

    I’ve long hoped that this whole mess would end in ridicule and not in anger, but Peter Bocking, jazz guitarist, explained to me that too many have died already. Over the years, I’ve reluctantly come to accept his conclusion.
    ===============

  12. The level of understanding amongst the general population is still pretty poor, but the things they can understand have started to change against the warmers:

    1. The run of mild winters ended in 2009/10 and is continuing now. People will realise that in the UK we won’t get snow every year and there will be runs of snowless years. But we are still having runs of years of very cold winters right now.
    2. We haven’t had a hot summer here since 2005 and most have been pretty anaemic and wet, outside of the SE and East Anglia at least. People who grow tomatoes outside will tell you that……
    3. The alarmist case has been weakened by a recent publication saying how British agriculture would benefit hugely from a bit of warming!

    The electoral vote winners will come in designing houses which use much less expensive energy without huge price increases. It’s absolutely possible to do this but the construction industry and the rentier classes won’t like it one little bit.

    They’ll come from extracting shale gas and coal in hard times to limit our energy importation requirements. Not to the exclusion of renewables, but limiting them until the technology is cost-effective. Any chance of that, folks?

    They’ll come from the world funding climate data generation separately from its analysis. From separating the analysis of measurement accuracy from the analysis of data patterns. And from requiring localised effects to be distinguished from regional/global ones.

    When you reach the conclusion that the world is run not on the basis of science but on the basis of profit, you’ll be less surprised at the way science has been debased in this fiasco. In an unprincipled world driven by profit, science is a tool to be used to make profit. And to be marginalised if it stops you making profit.

    The fiasco has been the joint outcome of political duplicity and scientific weakness.

    It has made a lot of people a lot of money.

    But it doesn’t have to continue that way, you know……..

  13. Money talks and it is at its loudest when it is flying out of your wallet to pay for a hypothesis that isn’t coming true.

  14. Will AndrewR please tell us why he says ‘I can assure you very few people in the UK support the “cause”’. If he can provide support for this ‘assurance’ then can we have the reference please? If not then what’s the point of an unsubstantiated assertion which sounds merely like an opinion?

    It does happen to be my opinion too but who cares what I think either! No one should.

  15. I think it’s a mistake to characterize the debate as a “battle for hearts and minds.” It takes the focus off discovering the truth and separating legitimate scientific research from politics when you play for rhetorical advantage. The public’s common sense is grasping the misfeasance of some researchers (the loud-mouthed ones), of institutional information offices and their less than accurate press releases, of the media’s desire to sell product, and of politician’s desire to look good while seizing more control of the citizenry. Yes, it may be a battle in a sense; let’s just not get caught up in the PR issues.

  16. Roger Knights,

    Huntsman has to do something, with only 1% support in the primaries. I only wish he was sincere and understood the basic science. “Climate change” is a meaningless term.

    He’s a prety smart guy, but being on Obama’s team is a deal breaker for most Republicans [and IANAR].

    [PS: couldn't you find a less wacko source? Maybe Heritage has something.]

  17. Here is one example: Queensland Australia had an ambitious flood control plan that was enacted after devastating flooding in the 1970’s killed many people. With about 2/3 of the project built, the “greenies” convinced policy makers that there was no need to complete the project because since we were now in the grips of “global warming” the state of Queensland would be perpetual drought and they would never again see that sort of flooding. Then came this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Queensland_floods

    “Environmentalists” had also blocked the construction of many flood control channels and managed to reduce the size of those that were built. The civil engineer in charge of the project claimed that these “environmentalists” were going to get people killed and likely result in greater destruction of property when flooding occurred again. Of course the “environmentalists” replied that it wasn’t going to happen again because we were in the grips of “global warming” and Australia was going to whither up like a raisin never needing such flood control measures again.

    The “environmentalists” have something the civil engineer doesn’t: major contacts with “green” companies that can keep the children of the politicians employed at “socially aware” businesses as long as the government continues shoveling the cash to them.

    Yes, in the past we had big railroads and mining and oil interests, but never before in our history that I aware of have we had the government taxing people’s money to hand wholesale to these operations. Look at how much of the revenues of Exxon/Mobil come directly from governments or as a result of government regulations and look at how much of the revenues from the “green” companies come directly from government or due to government regulations.

  18. A lot of those kids at the school in Somerset are going to realize how lucky we are to be comfortable. This is a great example of the delusion the green zealots are under. I said before that it is nature that is strong and civilization that is tenuous. Not the other way around.

  19. I did watch a programme presented by that Attenborough man on BBC, regarding the population. Clearly he’s neither a scientist or a lover of the human race, who are creatures that interfere with his massive vanity

  20. I especially like the following quotation from Peter Foster’s article:

    It is surely significant, meanwhile, that eurocrats and their political servants should also be the most enthusiastic to pursue the ultimate bureaucratic dream: a vast co-ordinated plan to control the weather by controlling the global economy.

    Those James Bond movies have a lot to answer for.

    —-

    Rhys Jaggar says:
    December 7, 2011 at 10:11 am

    The level of understanding amongst the general population is still pretty poor, but the things they can understand have started to change against the warmers:

    3. The alarmist case has been weakened by a recent publication saying how British agriculture would benefit hugely from a bit of warming!

    …..

    Not to mention thousands (millions?) of gardeners watching their more exotic acquisitions being destroyed by the last three winters.

  21. Steeptown says:
    December 7, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Huhne is widely regarded in the UK as someone who should be in prison or an asylum.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I call Washington DC the District of Criminals and few argue.

    List of American federal politicians convicted of crimes

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_federal_politicians_convicted_of_crimes

    List of American state and local politicians convicted of crimes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_state_and_local_politicians_convicted_of_crimes

  22. From the Richard Black article- “In Uganda… climate change scepticism is nowhere to be seen.

    Where people live close to the land, climate scepticism appears to be scarce
    “The seasonal rains that once arrived with precision are now erratic and unpredictable. When your living depends on the fertility of your farmland, the climate is vitally important.”

    So there haven’t been droughts in Africa before? What planet does this man come from?

  23. I live and work in the UK, and working for a technical organisation, to a man and woman, we all laugh at the man made global warming hypothesis. None of us believe it. We all see it as a crock of shite. Anyone with a computer can download the CRU global temperature data and see no rise in global temperatures since 1998, and in fact a decline in the 21st century (thanks to 2008 being slightly colder). What we have to do to kill this off once and for all, is spread the word. The warmists have the MSM, we need to reach normal grass roots people. Because the truth is the biggest danger to the warmists, and the BBC.

  24. I just sent this to the BBC Radio 4 news programme ‘PM':

    ===

    May I suggest a global warming story? You should challenge one of the alarmist climatographers (they don’t deserve the ‘ology’) to state the conditions which would cause him to recant and join the sceptics. E.g., “If the globe refuses to jolly well warm, and stays below the 1998 peak, in what year would you accept that global warming is a dead duck?” The response will surely be squirming and evasion. You then ask, “Could we agree on a date in some future decade, say the decade you retire? For you, by that date, the gravy train will have run its course…”

    True scientists have the integrity to adopt “Popperian falsifiability”. Those whose faith in global warming wouldn’t be shaken even by an airborne porker are fair game for a dogged journalist hungry for the truth. (Which rather excludes hockey team members Harrabin & Black – tarnished goods.)

    ===

    Now that public opinion is shifting away from warmism, with enough pressure the Beeb may be forced to cease its propaganda. Fingers crossed.

  25. Bloke down the pub says:
    December 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    From the Richard Black article- “In Uganda… climate change scepticism is nowhere to be seen.

    Where people live close to the land, climate scepticism appears to be scarce
    “The seasonal rains that once arrived with precision are now erratic and unpredictable. When your living depends on the fertility of your farmland, the climate is vitally important.”

    So there haven’t been droughts in Africa before? What planet does this man come from?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Black doesn’t mention the “people” of Uganda can no longer live close to the land because the world bank, Citi bank, University Endowment funds Hedge funds…. are stealing their land to plant Eucalyptus. A tree guaranteed to cause mass starvation to visit Uganda as it spreads and kills plants and starves animals.

  26. Eucalyptus poisons the soil around it preventing anything else but eucalyptus from growing. Eucalyptus oil is some potent stuff and the leaves are full of it. Go into a grove of them in California and you will generally find nothing else growing around them. Once they become established, it can take decades for other plants to take hold even if you remove them.

  27. Smokey says:

    [PS: couldn't you find a less wacko source? Maybe Heritage has something.]

    I got it from a Google Alert I had set up on Huntsman–it was the only link I had. I found it amusing that when I clicked on the first link’s link to ITS source, a denier-bashing fanatic, his comments thread was full of contrarians.

    Incidentally, let me recommend to all the use of “google alerts” to all. (Google for it to acquire a page to set one up.) Just enter a name or a topic, set up the frequency and sensitivity, and respond to the verification e-mail.

    They are a great way to track printed and/or web references to a topic of interest. It’s the most practical way to follow multiple obscure subjects. I’ve found it useful in following the Energy catalyzer / Andrea Rossi saga. (I’ve set up separate alerts for each.) If you trade on Intrade, it can sometimes give you the edge of advance warning about bettable topics.

  28. http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/news/news_story.asp?id=196255&title=Yeo+writes+to+Huhne+over+CCS+cash+raid

    The Energy and Climate Change Committee has voiced concerns over reports that the treasury has raided the £1 billion set aside for a carbon capture and storage project. Chair Tim Yeo this week wrote to energy secretary Chris Huhne asking what the implications are in terms of delaying CCS development.

    “How much of the £1bn that was originally set aside for CCS in the current spending review period will be moved to the infrastructure budget,” asked Yeo. “If the full £1bn is not available until the next Spending Review Period beginning in 2016, does that mean you do not expect a commercial-scale project to be underway until that date?”

    Yeo pointed out that the Committee’s energy security report had highlighted that CCS was “vital” in decarbonising power generation. “Without it, we may face an impossible trade-of between our environmental objectives and energy security,” he said.

    Huhne is currently in Durban.

    Nice and warm there…

  29. The episode 7 of Frozen Planet aired tonight. Sir David gave us a highly personal view of what the effects of continued global warming might be. He was careful not to link GW with CO2 increase or to manmade activities. The programme appears plausible in its claims that the world is warming and having an overall negative effect on the wildlife. The few stated positive benefits went to maritime trade and oil exploration. If anyone was aware of the developments in the subject over the past few years, they would immediately be able to refute many of the claims and the implications in the narrative.

    However, this is the real problem. The usual glossy style of Sir DA’s programmes, complete with dramatic images of melting ice and cute endangered animals, add up to a package aimed at convincing the casual observer that there is a real danger which needs immediate attention. Sir DA does insert many ‘mays’ and ‘ifs’, but they are lost in manipulation.

    This programme does not conform to BBC’s charter of ‘fair and balanced’ reporting. There should be a right-of-reply programme which not only refutes Sir DA’s personal views, but puts the real science in front of the public. Until BBC changes it stance, or is forced to change, the slow movement to scepticism in the UK will remain blocked by this highly skewed and disinforming public disservice broadcaster.

  30. Every body feels for the plight genuine asylum seekers but many are NOT. But at least UK ‘asylum seekers’ will be warm this winter.

    Here’s a thought to warm your heart. Although tens of thousands of impoverished British pensioners will die from the cold in the coming months, so-called asylum seekers will get hundreds of pounds each in benefit payments for gas and electricity, amounting to more than double the pensioners’ winter fuel allowance.
    The fuel cards given to asylum seekers entitle them to £25 a week for gas and £18 for electricity.
    This means that each card holder GETS £172 a month in energy payments, in addition to the other benefits asylum seekers receive, such as ‘cash support’, With with handouts for rent, utility bills and fully furnished houses, water and food allowances.
    In contrast, UK pensioners only get a winter fuel allowance of £200 (for over 60s) or £300 (for over 80s) FOR THE ENTIRE WINTER,
    .An estimated 21,800 people over the age of 65 in England and Wales died last winter as a result of the cold conditions. That number is expected to rise this year after the government slashed winter fuel allowances.

  31. Batten down the hatches! Winter blows in at 100mph and snows on the way too

    Well, there go all the turbines!

  32. Brent Hargreaves says: “Now that public opinion is shifting away from warmism, with enough pressure the Beeb may be forced to cease its propaganda. Fingers crossed.”

    Ceasing is necessary but not sufficient. The BBC must come to account for how their once great institution was allowed to turn into a collection of biased, activist toadies. Exactly how did this happen? Who was involved? Who was responsible? How can it be prevented from happening again? Why should the public not receive compensation for this gross misuse of their taxes?

  33. Frozen Planet was a long series with maybe 6 episodes. What an amazing coincidence that the global warming episode occurred during Durban.
    If I were a cynic – which thankfully I’m not – I might think that the whole Frozen Planet series had been carefully time to coincide with the fraudulent science jamboree at Durban. Surely a publicly-funded, fair and balanced organisation such as the BBC (ho-ho) wouldn’t descend to tricks like this?
    .
    Attenborough made a film about climate change, I think the title was ‘The Truth About Climate Change’. As people have observed, if anything has the word ‘truth’ in it, it’s probably a pack of lies. I think he’s pretty gullible and automatically, like Paul Nurse, assumes that scientists always speak the truth. These people are perfect examples of the syndrome known as ‘scenario fulfillment’.
    .
    I live in the UK and I only know one person who really believes in the climate change scam. When I met a friend for the first time for a few years and asked him what he thought about climate change, he said without any prompting that he believed climate change was natural.
    Chris

  34. Rhys Jaggar 7th Dec @ 10.11:

    The last hot summer here in the UK was in 2006, not 2005. Ohterwise I agree with what you wrote.

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