Poll: majority of British say they are being snookered

The London Times conducted a broad poll. In it was an interesting question:

The government is imposing ‘green taxes’ as an excuse to raise money rather than to help save the environment

The answer was quite telling:


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Gary Gulrud
March 16, 2008 8:21 am

I’m reassured that the non-elites in GB understand human nature. At the same time it is too late for them, they did not manage a Bill of Rights and have no prospects of gaining one.
Europe will see class warfare in my lifetime.

March 16, 2008 11:50 am

This is pretty interesting considering the degree to which the British have been propagandized. I wonder about the results of a similar poll in the US, and I wonder even more why one hasn’t been done.
Next week, maybe?

March 16, 2008 12:05 pm

Our Bill of Rights is a couple of centuries older than yours. Naturally, yours is modelled on ours.

March 16, 2008 12:05 pm

Oops, make that one century older than yours.

March 16, 2008 12:12 pm

And the British Government has just announced an extra £3billion of new green taxes. We pay nearly £5 per gallon of unleaded – that’s almost $10 – most of which is tax in one form or another!! Is it any wonder we feel we’re being fleeced. And don’t get me started on the EU.
Keep up the good work. You do science a great service.

Bruce Cobb
March 16, 2008 1:35 pm

Well, I’d say they were snookered. Now they’re just getting screwed. Feel badly for them, and can only hope people here in the US will take notice so as not to go down that road.

March 16, 2008 2:18 pm

God must have turned His face away from England. There’s no other way to account for that many morons.
No sane person could look at charts of solar output, compare them to temperature cycles on Earth, Mars, or Neptune and doubt that global temperature changes are largely driven by periodic changes in the sun.
catholicfundamentalism.com thinks that England is going to be destroyed because they’ve taken to worshipping pseudo-intellectual idols.

Peter Thompson
March 16, 2008 5:21 pm

England, and Canada will be destoyed through simplistic shallow lefty self-loathing, for no other reason than they find thoughts such as these “deep”. I guess to them, they probably are, sigh.

March 16, 2008 6:27 pm

God must have turned His face away? Global temperature changes largely driven by changes in the sun? What are you saying and what evidence do you have?
I really don’t think England has a greater share of the world’s morons than any other country. Just because they’ve been duped into supporting supposedly eco-friendly laws doesn’t mean they’re entirely stupid.
While there certainly is a Solar cycle, the evidence that human activity has accelerated global warming is overwhelming. See the graphs here: http://www.whrc.org/resources/online_publications/warming_earth/scientific_evidence.htm
Look at the rising temperatures and the increasing levels of CO2 emissions.

Andrew Duffin
March 17, 2008 12:30 am

Asad: “Look at the rising temperatures and the increasing levels of CO2 emissions.”
And look at the last eight years with continuing rise of CO2 and no warming.
Maybe it’s not so simple?

March 17, 2008 1:23 am

One can agree with the IPCC, as I do, and also believe that the gvt is raising green taxes more for the money than any long term environmental outlook. We are after all talking about a gvt so stupid that it went to war in Iraq, claims ID cards would help against terrorism, and wastes billions on the PFI.

Paul Clark
March 17, 2008 2:47 am

“With friends like these, who needs enemies”?
Are these comments supposed to be moderated? If so, does the moderator think that national slurs have a place here?
Paul, a British “moron”.
REPLY: Paul, my apologies if the comments offend. I usually edit them when on a personal level, I didn’t think a national one would bother anyone. I was wrong on that count.

March 17, 2008 3:35 am

@BillAdams: “God must have turned His face away from England. There’s no other way to account for that many morons”
I must say it makes a change from being called a moron and a “f***wit” for expressing AGW-sceptical views on the UK Guardian’s “Comment Is Free” blog.
Course, I now live in Germany, so your comments probably don’t apply to me, born and bred though I was in England.
Incidentally, even given the Guardian’s extreme views on Global Warming, I’d say roughly half the posters on CIF still express sceptical views.

Bruce Cobb
March 17, 2008 4:22 am

With friends like these, who needs enemies
Paul’s complaint seems to suggest that all, or most of the comments here are slams against the British people, when in fact, there is only one that does so-that of BillAdams. Methinks he doth protest too much. In the future, I suggest if he has a problem with a particular comment he address that comment in particular, not disparage everyone here, who have shown the utmost empathy for the British people.

March 17, 2008 5:41 am

Global warming aka Cognitive Dissonance.
The might of human stupidity is a wondrous thing to behold but with as result like this, my opinion of the British public has just taken a significant upturn.

March 17, 2008 6:26 am

I agree Asad, GB hasn’t got the market on morons sewed up, but it does seem as though they gravitate toward certain parties; Laborites in GB and Democrats in the US. I see that you like that outdated info from government (taxpayer) funded entities. I wouldn’t bet the family farm on Woods Hole propaganda, they’re operating with an agenda and you could find yourself homeless.

Paul Clark
March 17, 2008 6:34 am

[Bruce: I didn’t mean to include you in my complaint; apologies. I used the plural also to include Peter Thompson’s implication that we are incapable of deep thought. But anyway, thanks for the response, Anthony, I’ll get back in my box now.]
Perhaps I might be able to put some context on this result for non-British readers. Firstly, the Conservative voters are pretty much guaranteed to say that anything the Labour government does is for the wrong reasons, even though they have proposed ‘green’ taxes themselves. Note that because of their current overall popularity, they have skewed the total percentages.
The Lib Dems (a minority party, stuck that way because of our antidiluvian voting system) are even keener on high green taxes, and probably take the same view as the Conservatives about the government’s real aims, but are swayed by their own greater commitment to the principle.
The interesting figure is the 45% of Labour voters who believe their own party is doing things for the wrong reasons. But you can’t tell from this whether they support the idea in principle…
… but you can from the rest of the figures, not quoted above. 45% overall support increased taxes on flights; 68% support increased tax on gas-guzzlers.
So my take-home message from this is that the UK public broadly *support* the principle of green taxes, but they distrust this government’s motives, and are (if you read the rest of the poll) generally complaining about the high levels of tax and fuel prices which are actually quite independent of the green tax issue.
My apologies to anyone whose view of the British public will have to be readjusted downwards again, but politics this side of the Atlantic really is quite different.

Bruce Cobb
March 17, 2008 6:57 am

the evidence that human activity has accelerated global warming is overwhelming. That’s a joke, right?
Look at the rising temperatures and the increasing levels of CO2 emissions.
OK, now I KNOW you’re joking. Good one, Asad.

March 17, 2008 8:30 am

It’s easy to look at the IPCC and agree with them when you look at what they say and not the rhetoric and hype. They don’t say a whole lot, just use a lot of words. They can teach Michael Moore a thing or two about leading people to make inferences that go way beyond the information available.
~.7C of warming over 30+ years, ~90% certain that just over half is due to human activity and feedbacks, IIRC about 60% of that is attributed CO2eq and feedbacks. That puts anthropocenic GHG warming at about .07C a decade.

March 17, 2008 8:33 am

[with a 10% chance it’s much less]

March 17, 2008 8:39 am

“God must have turned his face away from England”?
“England, and Canada will be destoyed through simplistic shallow lefty self-loathing, for no other reason than they find thoughts such as these “deep”.”?
And we were not duped. We never had the chance to vote on it, and most of our laws are made by the French now anyway. Don’t blame the British, blame the British Government. Besides, do these kinds of essentially racist slurs have any place on a scientific blog? Moderate more carefully, please, I take extreme offence at this gross generalisation.
REPLY: While I appreciate what you are saying, you’ve gone and done the exact same thing on your own blog http://woofkitty.blogspot.com with this:

“It is with great pleasure, therefore, that I discover that all Christians are by definition Cretins! And I quote:”

I’m sure there are some Christians out there who are offended as well. But let’s just cut each other some slack rather than start a flame war.

Gary Gulrud
March 17, 2008 1:51 pm

dearieme: I stand corrected re: the Declaration of Right and augmenting acts, I was indeed ignorant in this matter.
At the same time the differences are sufficient to recast the force of the argument: The protections afforded to an Englishman against the power of their government unilateraly and tyrannically wielded are inadequate. So much so, that we regard your present and future with alarm, no offense intended.

An Inquirer
March 17, 2008 2:36 pm

Perhaos quite a few people will not notice the irony or humor in your comments and your post. Therefore, for clarification purposes: Asad pointed to an old pro-AGW webpage that relies on Antarctica ice core analysis to demonstrate the relationship between CO2 and temperatures. Although the webpage calls for drastic action based on this relationship, more careful analysis demonstrates that temperature increases have preceded CO2 increases. Also, as has been pointed out, the relationship between CO2 and temperature has been especially strained as of late.

March 18, 2008 3:21 am

Paul Clark: “Perhaps I might be able to put some context on this result for non-British readers. Firstly, the Conservative voters are pretty much guaranteed to say that anything the Labour government does is for the wrong reasons, even though they have proposed ‘green’ taxes themselves”
I read a couple of weeks ago that the Conservatives had quietly dropped their plans for “green” taxes, as they were turning out to be not at all popular with the voters. And as for Labour, their “green” budget last week involved increasing taxes a bit on “gas-guzzlers” and charging for supermarket carrier bags. Just what impact this is likely to have on Global Warming wasn’t made clear.
And what about our very own dear Chancellor here in Germany, Angela Merkel, at the EU meeting last week. Yes, she’s very much in favour of really drastic reductions in C02 – but definitely very much against if they’ll have any sort of impact whatsoever on the German car industry.
I think there’s a lot more of us sceptics around than is generally admitted.

Alex Cull
March 18, 2008 9:01 am

There are plenty of sceptics here in the UK; not everyone has bought into AGW catastrophism. I think that for every earnest, trendy middle-class individual seeking a “carbon-neutral” lifestyle, there are multitudes who either disagree with the alarmists or (more likely) who just quietly ignore the whole debate. The general indifference to last month’s Energy Saving Day says it all, really. George Monbiot is an anomaly.

pablo an ex pat
March 18, 2008 1:02 pm

As an ex Pat I am heartened that the folks in the Old Country have woken up to the scam that is global warming. They know that the taxes and restrictions have a lot more to do with Social Engineering and Control than saving anything.
Now that the AGW panic is finally starting to come to an end I am looking forward to the day when we ask the moaning minnies for the AGW Brigade to leave our collective houses and to watch that the frontdoor doesn’t hit them on the backside on the way out.
Attached piece from the Daily Telegraph on the next crisis, the burgeoning middle class. It used to be, and in my mind still is, a good thing that people got on in life and lifted themselves out of poverty. Now it’s going to be a problem or so some say.

feduptothebackteethwith AGW
March 21, 2008 5:14 am

Firstly, lets stop the personal attacks in all forms it sereves no purpose whatsoever but to put peoples backs up. I’m a Brit & a Christian (most of the time) & I don’t take offence easily fellas!
Most Brits are confused over it all. We’re greened out over here or at least I am. Some say it is some say it isn’t. The NIPCC is the source to look at as they seem to be the only organisation taking a “professional scientific” viewpoint, a calm, cool, considered look at the science without the political intrigue from bureaucratic interfering &/or environmental well intentioned but totally misguided meddling. The IPCC is a politcal construct, the NIPCC is not.
And as for taxes, when all the politicians & government scientists & bureaucrats stop flying thousands of miles around the world to exotic places to talk about reducing “carbon footprints” & CO2 emissions, then the world can take AGW seriously. Yes the British Govt is raising money for moneys sake, with little effort to reduce emissions when we all get £1.00 per household to solve the problem! I have a problem with anyone who shouts too loud about a particular subject, in this case CO2 emissions.

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