An AGW opinion survey for your participation

Mike Haseler (aka the Scottish Sceptic) has prepared a survey asking for professional and personal opinion on AGW, and he has asked that I carry it here (unlike Lewandowsky).

The rationale and link to the survey:

The aim of the survey is to understand the nature and background of those interested in the climate debate online. It will provide an invaluable insight into the education and work experience of participants, test the relevance of politics in forming views and assess employment and social factors for their relationship with views on climate.

The link to the survey is:

http://scef.org.uk/survey/index.php/868721/lang/en.

I’ve taken the survey, it takes about 5 minutes and while there are a couple of confusing questions (which is something you’ll see in ANY survey), overall I think it is reasonably well done.

Note: if you start the survey, FINISH IT, otherwise it just creates more work to cull incomplete responses. Also, I have no connection to this survey in any way, I was simply asked to make a notice of it.

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72 Responses to An AGW opinion survey for your participation

  1. MikeP says:

    I filled this out on the Bishop Hill site, I believe. It was posted there several days ago.

  2. Will be interesting to see the results.

  3. Server is down and I waste 5 minutes answering

  4. Geir in Norway says:

    The survey included some ambiguous and even somewhat curious statements with which you couldn’t really say with certainty that you knew what you were answering. However, I hope the results are presented at wuwt.

  5. Doug Huffman says:

    Charlie Johnson (@SemperBanU) says: January 22, 2014 at 11:43 am “Will be interesting to see the results.” Limited preliminary results.
    http://scef.org.uk/survey/index.php/statistics_user/action/surveyid/868721/language/en

  6. Alec Rawls says:

    My feedback at the end of the survey:

    Another survey that fails to get at the different SCIENTIFIC views of skeptic and believers. Your one decent question in this regard was whether the respondent believes that human activity will cause catastrophic warming, but why didn’t you also include the key metric that the IPCC itself is promulgating? “Do you believe that humans have caused more than half of the warming since 1950?” Then you would have a measure of whether the respondent agrees with the IPCC position. Are you just ignorant and are unaware that the IPCC has asserted this made-for-survey position? Sheesh.

  7. Jeff L. says:

    Just took the survey. Pretty easy to see the points the questions are driving at given standard orthodoxy on both sides of the argument but I think if we get plenty of “skeptics” to participate it will become clear we aren’t a bunch of uneducated wing nuts & in fact quite the opposite. Might be helpful to giving this side of the argument a bit louder voice

  8. LeeHarvey says:

    Fess up… who else typed “something random” in the screen at the end?

  9. ossqss says:

    Well done and good cross validation questions. It will be interesting to see the data breakdown.

  10. K-Bob says:

    Not sure if this is related to the survey, but why do we allow journalist to make the claim that “this or that event is caused by Climate Change”. This is a ridiculous claim, as Climate Change is a resultant of changing weather conditions over a certain period time. It is not in and out of itself a mechanism. I believe that what they meant was that a certain extreme weather event may have been caused by an increase in the earth’s temperature, irrespective of the cause of the warming. Continuing to say “and scientist believe that the drought may caused by Climate Change” is totally wrong terminology.

  11. Korwyn says:

    @leeHarvey

    Me. :)

  12. kenw says:

    LeeHarvey says:
    January 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm
    Fess up… who else typed “something random” in the screen at the end?

    Started to except i realized that it was possible that it wouldn’t be random enough to pass a bot filter…..

  13. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    LeeHarvey says:

    January 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Fess up… who else typed “something random” in the screen at the end?

    That was a test to see if you just blindly followed instructions literally or are innovative.

  14. cynical_scientist says:

    I didn’t like the question about attitudes to difference sources of news on a flu epidemic. I think this question may be used to infer all sorts of general things about my attitudes to authoritative sources of information that are not actually true.

    For example I discounted the results of my own experiments because — hey it is a flu epidemic we are talking about here — and I simply don’t have the right expertise or live in the right geographic location. I also discounted scientific papers because with publication delays, the LAST place you want to look for news of something fast moving like an epidemic is in a scientific paper (unless you want news about last year’s epidemic). I would actually trust newspapers to give a timely early warning (although I wouldn’t trust them to get ANY of the details right). And so on.

    Then after I had answered the question it occurred to me that I’m going to come across as some guy who trusts newspapers more than scientific journals or the results of his own experiments. That is why I hate questions like this.

  15. Tim Walker says:

    Lee Harvey said, “Fess up… who else typed “something random” in the screen at the end?”

    I typed, “Random. Hehe haha waga waga kja;flsjkflskfjdlfjks;f” Life is too short not to have fun.

  16. Tim Walker says:

    cynical_scientist says:

    Tim’s response: I agree with you about it being difficult. Also I thought your write up about it to be very good.

    I decided to go with my gut. No I’m not doing experiements in it. Other than the time I quickly drank some pop and scarfed down a large amount of chocolate. The noises, explosions, and resultant smells were interesting. Since I’m not a researcher studying flu epidemics, I went with the truth. I don’t decide there is an epidemic based on one source of data. I decide based on multiple sources of data. After that come single sources of data.

    You’re right that answer could be interpreted in many different ways. Oh well.

  17. xplod says:

    Re: the “random” question, what could be more random than “I follow Nottingham Forest” ?

  18. Brian D Finch says:

    I’ve done the survey and made my final comments thus:

    ‘The trust questions are too definite. Whether newspapers or government scientists or doctors etc are to be trusted depends on their record, the terms in which they report their claims and a whole host of other factors. Other questions are to vague to represent my views accurately. In fact, the questions appear to me to be designed to reflect your assumptions.’

  19. Kevin Finnegan says:

    Lee Harvey:
    I typed: Something Almost Random

  20. M Courtney says:

    Yep, I also typed “something random” at the end.
    Or to be complete I typed

    “Something random” Tolkien joke from before the Mines of Moria”

    But the extra words were just so as I wouldn’t be suspected of being a bot.

  21. @ cynical_scientist

    Yes, that was my impression also. I ended up putting my GP at the top of the list. Two years ago, I reported to him with symptoms of hay fever, something my wife and son have always suffered each spring, but myself never before. He assured me it was hay fever and a bit of an epidemic among his patients. We new-to-hay-fever sufferers all had two things in common: we were all in our 60s and we were all very keen gardeners. Happened again this spring once the weather finally warmed up.

  22. James the Elder says:

    LeeHarvey says:

    “Fess up… who else typed “something random” in the screen at the end?”

    “Steven Goddard rocks” Hopefully the filters won’t make sense of that.

  23. David says:

    What ever became of this?:

    A poll to test the Lewandowsky methodology
    Posted on January 10, 2014

    Brandon Schollenberger writes:

    As you’re aware, Stephan Lewandowsky has written several papers claiming to have found certain traits amongst global warming skeptics. I believe his methodology is fundamentally flawed. I believe a flaw present in his methodology is also present in the work of many others.

    To test my belief, I’m seeking participants for a short survey (13 questions). The questions are designed specifically to test a key aspect of Lewandowsky’s methodology. The results won’t be published in any scientific journal, but I’ll do a writeup on them once the survey is closed and share it online.

    The survey closed after 1 day. Did I miss the results?

  24. daveburton says:

    My comment at the end:

    I would like to see a survey ask scientists and engineers simply, “Do you agree or disagree with the following statement (quoted from a prominent politician): ‘climate change is real, man-made and dangerous’?”

  25. M Courtney says:

    David says at January 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    What ever became of this?:
    A poll to test the Lewandowsky methodology. Posted on January 10, 2014

    He posted his summary here. It demonstrates the folly of such surveys.

  26. Thanks Mike Haseler (aka the Scottish Sceptic), I enjoyed answering your survey, this doesn’t happen often.
    May you learn something, then share it.

  27. Steve Case says:

    My random typing, “That’s an odd one (-: ”

    My comments, three in all:
    1. Global Warming is NOT a problem.
    2. Global Warming is political.
    3. Sea level is being fudged by Colorado University’s Sea Level Research Group.

    The flu epidemic question was difficult except for rating Journalists dead last.

    I hope everyone understands that President Obama’s Science advisor has said, “…what we can expect as a result of global warming is to see more of this pattern of extreme cold…”
    See YouTube ID: (5eDTzV6a9F4)

  28. xplod said @ January 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Re: the “random” question, what could be more random than “I follow Nottingham Forest” ?

    That would be “immobile” rather than “random” methinks :-)
    [ducking and running]

  29. meltemian says:

    I did this at Bishop Hill as well.
    (That sounds as though I did it twice…..I mean, like MikeP I’ve already done it)

  30. xplod says:

    Re: the “random” question, what could be more random than “I follow Nottingham Forest” ?
    That would be “immobile” rather than “random” methinks :-)
    [ducking and running]

    Ha,ha,bloody ha! ;-) Well, someone has to !

  31. Bob says:

    I did NOT type “something random”. Instead I rambled.

  32. M Courtney says:

    Never mock Forest fans.
    I know a few Forest fans who declared for Clough’s boys, when they were very young, out of an unadulterated lust for Glory.
    Poor guys.
    They have suffered much.

  33. Actually I was a very great fan of Robin Hood as a boy and cajoled my parents into taking me to Nottingham. I was very much disappointed to discover that there was no forest, just another grimy midlands town like Nuneaton, but bigger.

  34. Box of Rocks says:

    LeeHarvey – it all depends on what you mean by “something random”…

  35. Eamon Butler. says:

    Re. ‘Something random’ I typed, ”This is a fake response.” Not sure what will be made of this.

  36. Mike Mangan says:

    Something random..uh..State pen, not Penn State! Yeah, that’ll do.

  37. Steve from Rockwood says:

    LeeHarvey says:
    January 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Fess up… who else typed “something random” in the screen at the end?
    ———————————————————————
    This is a random entry.

  38. Thanks everyone

    Thank you everyone for contributing and the comments about the survey are very useful as they tell us how the survey questions have been interpreted, and yes, in a perfect world we would have asked more questions and/or had a different set.

    However, unfortunately, until the survey is finished I cannot comment more as this might bias the results. However, there is one question which is not part of the survey:–

    LeeHarvey “Fess up… who else typed “something random” in the screen at the end?”

    One of the fun bits has been looking at these answers. The answers were not what we were expecting (but it does seem to be doing its job at detecting fake entries)

  39. Ric Werme says:

    LeeHarvey says:
    January 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    > Fess up… who else typed “something random” in the screen at the end?

    I did too, after all, I’m a software engineer. Had I known I would have been tested, I might have said “Check the ENSO meter, it’s -0.6, down from -0.5 last week. Perhaps a La Niña is coming.”

  40. Barbee says:

    Done. Thanks for the opportunity to participate.

  41. So almost 60% of the respondents were in Science and Engineering. Skeptical bunch. But I do believe that is what they (we) were trained to be. [Murphy's] Law is always just around the next corner. WJD, P. Eng.

  42. Jim Carson says:

    Perhaps I’m just in a bad mood, but I was so annoyed by the ending “prove you’re real” questions, I threw away all my answers. Plus, the obviously British author should have checked with an American before finalizing questions on states (most of us don’t live in the capital) and political parties (we only have two, and large numbers of us despise them both).

  43. Nylo says:

    Missed two key questions. There is a question on whether we think that CO2 will cause “catastrophic global warming” but not one where we are asked if it will cause any warming at all. SO I found myself strongly disagreeing with that question and strongly agreeing with all others points of the same group, and it looks like it is incompatible. But that’s only because there are questions missing.
    Another important question missing is whether we think that the warming will bring bad consecuences or not. So I am suspecting that the goal is not to survey the skeptics positions but to try to associate them with some strange response given in any of the other unrelated topics. We will find out when we see the results and how they compare to any other control group.

  44. Allen63 says:

    Link us to the results when they are published. By the way, I did type something literally random — in so far as anyone can actually do that without a calculation of some sort.

  45. Ric Werme says:

    Jim Carson says:
    January 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Perhaps I’m just in a bad mood, but I was so annoyed by the ending “prove you’re real” questions, I threw away all my answers. Plus, the obviously British author should have checked with an American before finalizing questions on states (most of us don’t live in the capital) and political parties (we only have two, and large numbers of us despise them both).

    Yeah, you’re in a bad mood. So it has an accent. I doubt I could do better with Mexican states, Canadian provinces, or Scottish umm, whatever you guys have.

    I’m a member of the Libertarian Party. What’s the other Party you despise? :-)

  46. LeeHarvey says: January 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm : “Fess up… who else typed “something random” in the screen at the end?”

    Well, that’s what the instructions said to do. [grin] But I also entered some gibberish after to get past the bot filter.

    I’ve seen better surveys, but I’ve seen much worse*, too. Quality-wise, I’d rate the questions in the [top] 20th percentile. Analysis will be the interesting part, of course.


    * Grad student was doing one on opinions of mining (allowable answers ranged from “bad” to “oh holy [----] the world is ending!”) and regulation of same (answers: “need more” to “mining must be stopped before the [----] world ends!”). I contacted the student to note that the survey carried… an implied bias [grin] and ignored a wide range of alternate views. His response was that his professor told him those other views didn’t count and had approved all his questions/responses. The phrasing made it clear that I was not the only person who had issues with his alleged methodology.

  47. Edit: “top 20th percentile”.

  48. Patrick says:

    “LeeHarvey says:

    January 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm”

    I used a “word” that was an answer to a poorly set out tabloid crossword puzzle that I still remember from the early 1980′s. I wish I can forget it as I’d like to remember something more useful.

  49. Mr. Lion says:

    Judging by the responses, it would appear there are a lot of engineers about, and we like our science BS-free.

  50. u.k.(us) says:

    LeeHarvey says:

    January 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Fess up… who else typed “something random” in the screen at the end?
    ————–
    The rebel that I am, typed “random”.
    Isn’t that something.

  51. Ric Werme says:

    Mr. Lion says:
    January 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    > Judging by the responses, it would appear there are a lot of engineers about, and we like our science BS-free.

    No sh*t, Big Cat! :-)

    Yeah, destined for “moderation”

    [So, "moderation" yourself. Mod]

  52. Ric Werme said @ January 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I’m a member of the Libertarian Party. What’s the other Party you despise? :-)

    My paternal aunt and Jessica Mitford were members of the Communist Party in the US. Either Jim has a numeracy problem, or he doesn’t know about the Republican and Democrat Parties :-)

  53. Chuck Bradley says:

    I’m fessing, “Something random, or maybe not”.

  54. R. de Haan says:

    I finished the poll but: This poll is not directed at establishing your opinion about AGW.
    It’s all about profiling and if you’re lucky the outcome won’t be used against you.
    In other words, I smell a rat.

  55. I was somewhat surprised to find that my occupational category (“Other”) is the third largest.

    As “something random,” I decided to type literally the first thing that crossed my mind (in line with Freudian associative BS games): “There are no worse enemies than uninvited friends.”

  56. James Bull says:

    For my random typing I put.
    Hello Mum
    Now what does that say about me?

    James Bull

  57. Brian H says:

    Typed “something random” and then something random.

  58. Mr Green Genes says:

    M Courtney says:
    January 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Never mock Forest fans.
    I know a few Forest fans who declared for Clough’s boys, when they were very young, out of an unadulterated lust for Glory.
    Poor guys.
    They have suffered much.

    ==================================
    Try being a West Ham fan, especially following the events of January 5 :-(

  59. Mr Green Genes says:

    Typed “You can’t always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.”

  60. Agnostic says:

    @leeHarvey

    Me. :)

    I did too.

    It did bother me that there was “strongly” agree or disagree for some of these questions. It implies “belief” – a form of intuition that mars scientific enterprise. i merely agree or disagree on the balance of evidence of which I am aware, or am too uncertain to say one way or another. If I were to “strongly” agree with the proposition that things will fall toward the earth due to gravity acting upon it, wouldn’t that seem strange? I could “strongly” agree with an economic argument regarding the minimum wage (for example) because I may place value judgements on the merit of social impacts low-paid workers over market forces or something like that, or I could strongly agree that it is better die by a bullet than by sarin gas, but not that there is a physical consequence of dropping a ball, or of radiative properties of CO2, because these are testable or measurable.

    If you have seen evidence that contradicts mine then you disagree, but not “strongly” – you just objectively note that the evidence you have assimilated does not concur.

    i hope I explained my point ok…..

  61. RichardLH says:

    I filled this out on the Bishop Hill site. Now waiting to see the results.

  62. philjourdan says:

    The aim is clear. The results should prove interesting.

  63. Brian E says:

    @cynical_scientist

    Agree with your comment on the flu epidemic question. I actually took the opposite approach interpreting trustworthiness to refer to honesty rather than correctness, which probably resulted in inverted answers. Thus, my own data would (by definition) be absolutely trustworthy to me (I would know if I were actually lying), but I wouldn’t assume it would be the most correct (I would truthfully analyze the data in an incompetent fashion), and, as you noted, while I would rank scientific papers fairly high (well, high relative to newspapers) I doubt I’d ever realistically look to them for news about a new epidemic.

  64. Terry says:

    I think I got all the answers wrong. I should do it again.

  65. LeeHarvey says:

    @Mr Green Genes -

    That is spectacular. Almost brings a tear to my eye.

  66. Coldish says:

    cynical_scientist says:
    January 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    “I didn’t like the question about attitudes to difference sources of news on a flu epidemic. I think this question may be used to infer all sorts of general things about my attitudes to authoritative sources of information that are not actually true.”
    Yeah, I omitted this question for similar reasons.

  67. Tom G(ologist) says:

    Jim Carson says:

    January 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    “… and political parties (we only have two, and large numbers of us despise them both).”

    How true!!!! I wonder when the party leaders will cotton on to this very clear fact.

    When/where will the results be published?

  68. Paul Westhaver says:

    Over 50% of the test participants are engineers and scientists.

  69. Paul Westhaver said @ January 23, 2014 at 10:51 am
    Over 50% of the test participants are claim to be engineers and scientists.

    Fixed.

  70. Jim says:

    The web page expired before I could complete the survey. Stupid web design in that regard.

  71. Mario Lento says:

    http://scef.org.uk/survey/index.php/524582/lang/en

    My random statement was “I Like WUWT”

  72. Rational Db8 says:

    @LeeHarvey; Instead of literally typing “something random” I went with “What would you like me to type?”

    @Mr. Green Genes wins hands down I do believe!

    @Scottish Sceptic says: January 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    One of the fun bits has been looking at these answers. The answers were not what we were expecting (but it does seem to be doing its job at detecting fake entries)

    Come now, Scottish Sceptic, you’ve gotta pass on some of the ones that you thought were the best/funniest!

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