Newsbytes – Most Americans Don’t Believe Climate ‘Consensus’, New Survey

From the GWPF and Dr. Benny Peiser

Despite the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and caused by human activity, a new survey conducted for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette demonstrates that many Americans remain uncertain about the impact of climate change and the need for government action to address it. Only 41 percent of Americans believe that ‘most scientists agree that climate change is happening now caused mainly by human activities.’ –James P. O’Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10 August 2014

A year ago, U.S. President Barack Obama sought to mobilize the nation behind a grand plan: fight climate change by slashing carbon pollution at home, while prodding other countries to follow. A key part of that strategy was for the United States to stop using public money to finance the construction of most coal-fired power plants abroad, seen as one of the main causes of rising pollution from heat-trapping gases. But a year later, momentum has stalled on the Obama administration’s plan for a global “domino effect” that would choke off financing for coal projects from public lending institutions around the world. –Anna Yukhananov and Valerie Volcovici, Reuters, 12 August 2014

In the fall of 2013, Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy testified before Congress defending the Obama administration’s climate change policies – policies that have defined its second term by political calculation, rather than diplomatic or legislative achievements. But despite all the rhetoric on the issue, few nations are embracing the White House’s approach, and an increasing number are doing just the opposite. Without the global participation the administration agrees is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reductions will be inconsequential. Around the world, nation after nation has declined to follow the Obama administration’s lead, and those who adopted similar measures have seen devastating economic results. –Andrew Powaleny, The Daily Caller, 11 August 2014

The dispute in California over cap and trade may just be the harbinger of a wider conflict within the party nationally. Progressives shrug at the loss of these regions and the associated white working-class voters who, as the liberal website Daily Kos contended earlier this year, are just a bunch of racists, anyway. But, at least here in California, much of the working class is made up of minorities, who are increasingly the economic victims of the enlightened ones. Essentially, you have on one side overwhelmingly white, often very-affluent greens, allied with powerful Democratic politicians, arrayed to obstruct the refinery. On the other side, you have minorities, many of them union members, whose livelihoods and high-paying jobs depend on the refinery. Many of today’s progressives not only are determined to protect their privileges, but seek to limit the opportunities for pretty much everyone else. -–Joel Kotkin, New Geography, 4 August 2014

China is finding it harder than it expected to unlock a shale gas boom like the one in North America, calling into question its lofty goals to use natural gas to help clean up its air and control the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Citing complicated geology and high production costs, the Chinese government has cut its ambitious 2020 target for shale gas development roughly in half. –Mike Orcutt, MIT Technology Review, 12 August 2014

Green policies imposed by Brussels are endangering 1.5m UK jobs by saddling manufacturers with high energy costs, an influential group of business leaders has warned. A report published on Wednesday by Business for Britain (BfB), a Eurosceptic lobby group, says that EU policies are to blame for up to 9 per cent of costs on energy bills for industrial companies and warns this could rise to 16 per cent by 2030. Manufacturers are now considering moving their operations to countries where energy is cheaper, risking “devastating” job losses in the UK, it warns. Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 13 August 2014

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46 thoughts on “Newsbytes – Most Americans Don’t Believe Climate ‘Consensus’, New Survey

  1. Quoting the late, great Dr. Michael Crichton:

    “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

    “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

  2. I’m on vacation in Colorado and visited NCAR today. Lots of CAGW climate displays for public consumption – in fact, one would get the impression that climate is all they do. I tried to look for Trenberth’s missing heat, no luck…

    They DO have a beautiful taxpayer-funded, energy consuming facility in the foothills of Boulder. I can see how one would become detached from reality there.

  3. No one ever brings up climate in casual conversation. Most people just don’t care.
    People do care about maintaining their right to control their own destiny. Politicians only purpose is to inhibit personal rights to self-determination.
    therefore, if Al Gore makes a statement that there is global warming, the reality must be the opposite.

  4. EW3,
    Imagine what most Americans are going to believe if the next several winters are as brutal as the last, ANDthe electricity bills skyrocket as the EPA puts the thumbscrews to coal.

    Won’t be pretty for the CAGW Alarmists or their NCAR-GISS enablers.

  5. Many years ago in Australia a local science presenter ran for political office by forming a new party, its purpose to save the world from the looming global warming catastrophe. Later he commented that he received fewer votes than the Marijuana party.

    Nonetheless, in most Western countries there is a vocal minority, typically an urban elite, who view environmental issues with ideological fervor. With such a close balance between opposing mainstream political parties in countries such as Australia, they do wield disproportionate political influence.

  6. Here in New England, where we are already experiencing night-time temps in the high 50’s, the usual sounds of crickets chirping are muted, as they have been forced to don leg warmers…

  7. I find that survey results such as those reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette serve among other things to confirm AGW advocates in their self-regard. Rather than to trigger the kinds of faint doubts which cause the genuinely curious to return and recheck their assumptions, these numbers serve for them primarily as confirmation of their rare insight and accomplishment.

    I see at least some of this on all sides.

  8. Frank K. says:
    August 13, 2014 at 8:37 pm
    ——————————————————————————-
    just to make a distinction in the name

  9. Yes, it is cold here also in Southern Ontario. So cold that today we thought about returning to the Bahamas early but it is 110 there. It is a touch under 45 here in balmy Southern Ontario. Will I know fast enough to sell my house here, if this is the start of the next glaciation?

  10. WUWT @196,200,939 views at the time of this comment. Some are looking rather closely.

    Perhaps the rate of decline in the belief of CAGW is logarithmic in nature.

    Is it likely that in the near future the numbers of “believers” will correlate with the potential future effects of CO2 increases?

  11. milodonharlani said:
    August 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm
    …..
    “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

    Well said!
    In Science there is two understood axioms:
    * Any time’s science needs to rethink and revaluate old thesis from each period’s known facts when advancing analyse method and/or knowledge is put on the table.
    * Thesis in science never ever can be proven right, only proven wrong.

    That’s why concensus can’t be found in science. Even if 99 out of 100 scholars in a subject assume/reach same thesis to be true, that’s not the same as proving the thesis to be true.
    Remember tectonical plates

  12. The 97% consensus is limited to those who get government funding to expand government power.

  13. new paradigm to sweep away the old: CO2 is good. The Earth has been suffering debilitating bouts of Big and Little Ice Ages for too long.

  14. If there are any meteorologists here, I would like to ask you a question. It was a cloudy day here today near Vancouver B.C. so it was 2 C colder than normal (average). When it is sunny here it is above “normal”. My question is, what is the value in mushing cloudy and clear sky days together and calculating an average temperature when we here never have an average day during our summer time. Shouldn’t the meteorologists that report in the media be smarter than that and report the average for sunny days separately from averages for cloudy days?

  15. The problem as I see it is that the people promoting the global warming hysteria are by and large well off financially, and can afford to pay higher energy prices without changing their lifestyles. They think nothing of jetting off to Bali or Copenhagen for their climate conferences, while imposing their draconian energy policies on the rest of us. Fortunately, the common folk have caught on to their left wing, green fascism, and are no longer fooled by their rhetoric, especially as one climate prediction after another has failed.

    And politically, remember that we have the power the stop them at the ballot box.

  16. you can fool some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all the time. Lincoln

    Always been true, always will be true.
    Eugene WR Gallun

  17. “Only 41 percent of Americans believe that ‘most scientists agree that climate change is happening now caused mainly by human activities.’ ”

    A case where the public’s instinct is on the ball. You cant fool all the people all of the time.

  18. Hey, if a consensus is good enough for the climatologists then it’s good enough for the plebs….

  19. Manufacturers are welcome to come to Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.

    No concern in SE Asia about global warming or global cooling.

  20. The percentage of those believing that humans are the primary cause of the climate was even lower in the UK (26%) a few years ago…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/science/earth/25climate.html?_r=0

    A survey in February by the BBC found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41 percent in November 2009. A poll conducted for the German magazine Der Spiegel found that 42 percent of Germans feared global warming, down from 62 percent four years earlier

  21. This explains a lot about the Western political and education systems. The figure should be no greater than the percentage that vote for Greens. Actually, perhaps less than 80% of the Green voters since most of the “activiist” don’t believe it either. It does, though, take an enormous propaganda effort to garner working majority using other “causes”.

  22. ‘most scientists agree that climate change is happening now caused mainly by human activities.’

    Most scientist do not believe climate change is caused mainly by human activity but rather that humans contribute.

    Do trees contribute to climate change? yes
    Do volcanos contribute to climate change? yes
    etc etc.

    If most scientists believe man is the prime driver of climate change then science is over as a useful discipline.

  23. Anna Keppa says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm
    Here in New England, where we are already experiencing night-time temps in the high 50’s, the usual sounds of crickets chirping are muted, as they have been forced to don leg warmers…

    ———————————————————————————————————————–
    Woke up this morning in North Alabama to 58F. This is one of thew coldest summers we can remember around here. Broke several records (lows and low highs).

  24. “Many of today’s progressives not only are determined to protect their privileges, but seek to limit the opportunities for pretty much everyone else. -–Joel Kotkin, New Geography, 4 August 2014″

    Quote of the week.

  25. Consider these axioms: Most of the people are fools most of the time. Murphy was a stark raving optimist. Sturgeon’s rule: 90% of everything is crap. The laws of nature are indifferent to opinions. Very few politicians will ever tell the truth and when they do it is considered a gaffe. It is silly to expect some one who stands to gain by lies and deceit to tell the truth and go against their own interest for the common good.

    Truth and progress are statistical anomalies and only exist because of the relentless efforts of people of honor and integrity who are themselves anomalies.

    One can join the fight or when one gets old as I am, say, “Pass the popcorn and watch–this is going to be good!”

  26. joelobryan says: August 13, 2014 at 10:17 pm
    >new paradigm to sweep away the old: CO2 is good. The Earth has been suffering debilitating bouts of Big and Little Ice Ages for too long.

    What correlation are you trying to draw here? That CO2 can somehow prevent Big and Little Ice Ages? Of course CO2 is good, without it we have a lifeless planet.

  27. It is not just in USA. On a posting about Portugal climate change a note was made.
    The people have had enough of dramatized reports predicting an imminent climate apocalypse just around the corner. According to a Eurobarometer poll conducted in July 2013, a mere 4% of the European population now cites the alleged climate catastrophe as their most pressing concern. Moreover, the number is zero percent in seven European countries, including Portugal.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/05/surprising-facts-about-climate-change-in-portugal-why-the-climate-catastrophe-is-not-happening/

    A quick research led to me to comment.

    The most optimistic statement made –

    From the 2011 polling – Half (50%) of all Europeans think that climate change is one of the world’s most serious problems and around one in six Europeans (16%) think it is the single most serious problem.

    http://ec.europa.eu/clima/citizens/support/docs/report_2014_en.pdf

    Progress is being made.

    Drop from 16% to 4% in just 2 years.

    And from the June 2011 Special report – pg 14- QB3 From the following list, please pick the five main environmental issues that you are Worried about. (ROTATE – MAX. 5 ANSWERS) It is interesting to note the huge decrease of 23 percentage points of climate change since
    2007, from 57% to 34%. And that’s top 5 worries.

    http://ec.europa.eu/environment/pdf/EB_summary_EB752.pdf

    So when the IMF Chief Christine Lagarde say’s “Higher energy prices would prompt people to shift to cleaner fuels or more fuel-efficient vehicles on their own, Lagarde said, adding that they could also allow governments to lower other taxes on consumption or income to reduce the burden on people, or pay down more public debt.”

    Or they may be prompted to just stop believing.

    http://news.yahoo.com/imf-urges-higher-energy-taxes-fight-climate-change-152243700–business.html;_ylt=AwrTWf1bb9pTlFkAmZjQtDMD

  28. cedarhill says:
    August 14, 2014 at 3:55 am
    “This explains a lot about the Western political and education systems. The figure should be no greater than the percentage that vote for Greens. Actually, perhaps less than 80% of the Green voters since most of the “activiist” don’t believe it either. ”

    The top layers of the pyramidal structure of the Greens are watermelons who are in it for the power. The basis of the pyramid are True Believers. They actually WANT back into an age before nuclear tech, gene tech, fossil fuels – all at the same time. Make it vegan too. They have no idea what they wish for – but they honestly wish for it.

  29. I think we need to separate science from the formulation of policy based on that science.

    I agree science is not about consensus but theories which have not yet been proven incorrect. The longer that a theory remains unchallenged the more confidence is likely to be placed on it.

    Policy – economic, financial, energy etc, – does rely upon a confidence level and a degree of consensus without which no action should be taken on “scientific evidence” in isolation. Thus policy is a function of the level of confidence/consensus in a theory, and the consequences of action/inaction.

    However, changes in confidence/consensus levels inevitably lag new data and theories – they could not possibly be impacted by new data not yet evident!.

    Warming theories have been around approx 40 years and seemed to be supported by data for about the first 25 years. It is only in the last decade that it has become increasingly clear that the data cannot be confidently explained by existing models. It is unsurprising that unwinding the huge political, intellectual and financial investment will take time – this is starting to happen!.

  30. Only 41 percent of Americans believe that ‘most scientists agree that climate change is happening now caused mainly by human activities.’
    ===
    no surprise there…….
    There’s a consistent 40-45% of the population that are complete morons

  31. Yet we keep electing people who firmly believe the AGW orthodoxy. Why is there such a disconnect between the beliefs of the electorate and the policies of those they elect?

  32. Anna Keppa says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm
    Here in New England, where we are already experiencing night-time temps in the high 50’s, the usual sounds of crickets chirping are muted, as they have been forced to don leg warmers…
    ————————————————
    Thanks for the visual.
    I need a laugh.
    cn

  33. Eugene WR Gallun says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    “you can fool some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” Lincoln

    To which I humbly add a 21st century extension: “but you can fool most of the people most of the time.”

  34. Note the bait and switch:

    “Despite the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and caused by human activity, a new survey conducted for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette demonstrates that many Americans remain uncertain about the impact of climate change and the need for government action to address it.”

    The only consensus is that human activity causes some amount of global warming. There is no claim of consensus that climate change has a big impact or that government action is needed. Uncertainty about the impact of climate change and uncertainty about the need for government action do not contradict the consensus.

  35. @Eve says
    “Will I know fast enough to sell my house here, if this is the start of the next glaciation?”

    There is no time like the present. A lot of your fellow countrymen from places like “Winterpeg” are buying condos in Costa Rica. I know, because I talked to several of them when I was down there this past winter.

  36. Fear (cAGW) as a tool can only be used for a limited time. Stampeding people via fear is a failed strategy and cAGW is a narrative of fear.
    i) fear of floods
    ii) fear of rising sea’s
    iii) fear of drought
    iv) fear of hurricanes
    v) fear of tornado’s
    vi) fear of melting ice cap’s
    vii) fear of acidic sea’s
    viii) fear of your shadow . . .

    FRD “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.”

    Obama (or anyone) should be ashamed of himself for using fear as a strategy for governance.

  37. Anthony, there was another study published on the consensus discussed here:

    Survey confirms scientific consensus on human-caused global warming.

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/survey-confirms-scientific-consensus-on-human-caused-global-warming/

    The list of questions asked mentioned one about the respondents level of concern about catastrophic effects of climate change. But I couldn’t find that in the article itself. Anyone see what were the percentages of the responses to that question?

    See the list of survey questions here:

    http://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/cms/nieuwsberichten/Climate_Science_Survey_Questions_PBL_2012.pdf

    It appears as question 12:

    “Concern.
    How concerned are you about climate change as a long-term global problem?”

    However, I wasn’t able to find the question addressed in the article itself.

    Bob Clark

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