EcoAmerica Poll: Climate skeptics are the majority, not the minority

Only 18 percent of survey respondents strongly believe that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful.

Yes you read that correctly, it is all in this article on the Nature Conservancy webpage. And that goes along with what was discovered in June this year by the newspapers UK Guardian and Observer, which reported that:

The majority of the British public is still not convinced that climate change is caused by humans – and many others believe scientists are exaggerating the problem…

The Nature Conservancy story citing 18 percent, is citing the American Climate Values Survey (ACVS), conducted by the consulting group EcoAmerica It also found that political party affiliation is the single largest indicator as to whether people see climate change as a threat.

It seems it is all political, as there are some other fascinating tidbits. For example:

  • Convinced it’s happening: 54 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Democrats.
  • Think that weather has gotten more severe: 44 percent of Republicans; 77 percent of Democrats.
  • Noticed the climate changing: 54 percent of Republicans; 84 percent of Democrats.
  • Trust Al Gore when he talks about global warming: 22 percent of Republicans; 71 percent of Democrats.
  • Trust environmentalists who talk about global warming: 38 percent of Republicans; 71 percent of Democrats.
  • Trust anyone who talks about global warming: 39 percent of Republicans; 75 percent of Democrats.

     

 h/t to Tom Nelson

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kim

The new Deniers are those denying global cooling.
===============================

Eve Stevens

That maybe because there is no manmade global warming. Unfortunately for the Brit’s they are in it now. Skyhigh electricity and gas prices and blackouts to come. Luckily we Canadians were not that stupid. We decimated the political party that dared to come to election with a carbon tax. However we still have these damn windmills forcing people out of their homes.

Raven

The partisen divide is most interesting and demonstrates what happens when political activists try to use to science as a club to silence critics who might agree that there is a potential issue but disagree on the appropriate economic and/or political response.

Rick Sharp

Looks like there is a small amount of hope, 29% of democrats didn’t believe Al.

Slightly Amused

Notice the use of the word ‘still.’
“The majority of the British public is still not convinced that climate change is caused by humans.”
That is: we need to do more!

We are the consensus!
On a darker note Eve, I do believe we Yanks are about to step into the black hole of change.

22% of the Republicans trust Al Gore???

Peter

The article goes on to spin the fact that the 18% are the “base” fighting AGW.

More about ecoAmerica, in their own words:
“ecoAmerica is a nonprofit agency that uses psychographic research, strategic partnerships and engagement marketing to shift awareness, attitudes and the personal and public policy behaviors of environmentally agnostic Americans.”
I’m not sure what “psychographic” means, or “environmentally agnostic,” but the whole thing smacks of pernicious propaganda perped by politically manipulative zealots.
Great Halloween story. Scares me!

D Caldwell

What’s really funny to me is that most folks I know don’t really care much about climate change either way. They’re just going about their daily lives and not paying the AGW issue much attention.
This info has got to be highly frustrating to the warmistas who have spent such a huge amount of resources on increasing awareness.

Kum Dollison

NF3
The researchers found concentrations of the gas rose from about 0.02 parts per trillion in 1978 to 0.454 parts per trillion in 2008.
It would probably be lower if many skeptic reporters weren’t as inaccurate as the supporters.

Jeff L

Not surprising at all to any one who has looked into this the slightest bit.
It’s actually encouraging though. Although many probably don’t believe AGW is real for the wrong reasons (political), it will hold at bay those who do believe in AGW for the wrong reasons (also political) so in the end the science & the right answer for the right reason has a chance to succeed.
It is really a fascinating psychological observation. Why ? Fundamentally, the liberal psyche is a guilty psyche (IMHO) & the idea that mankind has caused all these problems plays right into it. Of course, the conservative psyche is an optimistic psyche (also IMHO) – which would play into the idea of there is no way humans could have a negative influence. This whole topic would make for an interesting thread outside of this one.

Mike Bryant

“18 percent of survey respondents strongly believe that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful.”
Now that IS scary… One in five are following the IPCC line. Those guys and gals are the cheerleaders. Not that many years ago no one even knew what climate change was.
We have a few of these people commenting on this blog, and some have really done their homework. Maybe someone should be doing skeptic workshops all over the world like Al Gore does.

CanuckInMI

“22% of the Republicans trust Al Gore???”
Didn’t John McCain just recently say he had a lot of respect for Al Gore?
Climate skeptics can’t win this election.

Leon Brozyna

That explains this new article in TIME:
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1853871,00.html
So now that it’s climate change they’re dumping the greenhouse and opting for an overflowing bathtub.
Quick, somebody call Joe the plumber!

John D.

Climate is non-partisan! This is not encouraging, especially considering the dismal level of science literacy among the general American public. By the way, what does belief have to do with it? Belief belongs in the realm of churches; data either support conclusions or they do not. No need to believe; I’ve always wondered how so many of you could be so certain, regardless of your “side”. It’s a big, complicated world out there.
Hopefully agnostic,
John D.

Mongo

While I’m happy to know that there are more skeptics than the MSM likes to acknowledge, they are not doing anything to counter the madness that our representative government is trying to unleash on us.
With the bottom falling out in the election – there is going to be hell to pay wrt to this subject when it comes to policy and it’s effects on us, the voter, regardless of the fact the science is far from settled and even spurious.
Personally, that small vocal minorty who believes so fervently in AGW/ACC is more powerful more active than the lazy majority.

F Rasmin

Well Democrat followers would suggest that Republicans are all ignorant. What is an answer to that ?

F Rasmin

Just remember folks, no matter who wins the election in the USA, we have plenty of room here in Australia for the disenchanted! Every time there is an election in the USA, immigration enquiries for here soar (despite the language barrier!).

TerryBixler

I did a poll of one. I guy in our office who believes that the Arctic is currently melting faster than ever before. He believes that the globe is warming. He isn’t sure about wind power but believes that solar power is good (never heard of NF3). He will vote Obama to help his 401k, IRA and fix AGW as well. Those are the facts, not very scientific but he does know about the solar minimum as I have convinced him that maybe it is real, but he thinks it is probably only a minor curiosity.

dennis ward

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20081015_ncdcglobaltemps.html
/// NOAA: Ninth Warmest September for Global Temperatures
October 15, 2008
The combined global land and ocean surface average temperature for September 2008 tied with September 2001 as the ninth warmest since records began in 1880, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
Temperature Highlights
* The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September was 59.79 F — this is 0.79 degree F above the 20th century mean of 59.0 degrees F.
* Separately, the global land surface temperature was 54.50 F — this is 0.90 degree F above the 20th century mean of 53.6 degrees F, tying September 2004 as 11th warmest on record.
* The global ocean surface temperature of 61.86 F tied September 2001 as seventh warmest on record and was 0.76 degree F above the 20th century mean of 61.1 degrees F.
Global Highlights for September
* Arctic sea ice coverage during September was at its second lowest extent since satellite records began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Average ice extent during September was 1.80 million square miles, which is 34 percent below the 1979-2000 average and is part of an 11.7 percent decline in extent per decade over the past 30 years. The record lowest extent, set in 2007 was 1.65 million square miles. ///

As with every survey, the wording of the question can influence the outcome. Those with a particular row to hoe have a tendency (consciously or subconsciously) to skew their question so as to increase the likelihood of the answer being what they want to hear.
Any survey from a partisan grouping is, therefore, particularly interesting when the result is the opposite of what they want to hear. It suggests to me that the numbers against their position are probably larger than their survey indicates because “question bias” has operated.
What fun.

savo

Shhhh! They’ll start thumping their tubs even louder.

Paul Maynard

Unfortunately, although the majority of the British may not believe in AGW, 99% (or that’s what it seems like) of the people who rule our lives do. That’s why we are extracting (covertly) £1 bn each year from electricity bills to subsidise windfarms in order to comply with stupid and hypocritical EU tagets. That’s why we have a climate change bill before parliament. That’s why you we have stupid politicians talking about a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions and that’s why the useless BBC does not deserve its £3 bn poll tax.
Enough venting. Apologies.
Paul

Bobby Lane

John D.,
Belief has everything to do with it. Belief comes before everything else. For instance, you believe your senses are reliable. You believe that data either supports the conclusions or it does not. It is true that believing or not believing will not change what happens in reality. For instance, I could strongly disbelieve it will rain at the World Series game tonight because I might believe it is the Phils destiny to win the World Series without having to go back to Tampa. But that would not change, no matter how strongly I believed, whether it was actually going to rain or not. But belief does determine behavior. For example, if you are strongly convinced that humans are causing global warming, you might deface the stacks of a power plant to protest that. Furthermore, you might also testify on behalf of defendants who did that, stating that they had reasonable justification for their actions because they are fighting for something larger – to save the world. Data is data, but you have to believe it is reliable – or have a reason if you think it is not. Belief is everywhere. To believe is to be human. What you believe in is your own choice, but you must believe in something. Believe me or not.

JimB

Tom in Texas (20:24:52) :
“22% of the Republicans trust Al Gore???”
Scares me that anyone believes him.
CanuckInMI (21:06:59) :
“22% of the Republicans trust Al Gore???”
“Didn’t John McCain just recently say he had a lot of respect for Al Gore?”
I think it was even suggested that McCain would appoint SurlyAl (Sureal Al?…dunno) to his cabinet.
Amazing that both candidates “believe” in this. How much of the belief is based purely on attempting to get votes? All of it, imho.
Jim

Pierre Gosselin

I haven’t taken a close look at this survey, but I seriously doubt its findings.
Europeans in general see it as a fact that CO2 is harmful.
In Germany it’s tough finding anyone who disagrees with AGW dogma.
And just take a look at the speakers to appear at the next NIPCC convention.
It was only possible to find two outside of the Anglo-speaking countries. Not a single one from Denmark, Russia, Holland, Spain, Italy, China, India, South America, Germany, Japan etc.!
The sceptic movement indeed appears, and underservedly so, to be a Manchester Capitalism effort.
Is anyone thinking about PR at the Heartland Institute?

Pierre Gosselin

From IceCap
http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/licence_to_dissent/
I’ve been warNing about this long enough. Dissenters – brace yourselves!
Next year, websites like Anthony’s may not be around.

Demesure

Trust Al Gore when he talks about global warming: 22 percent of Republicans; 71 percent of Democrats.
Trust anyone who talks about global warming: 39 percent of Republicans; 75 percent of Democrats.

I’m shocked to know the shopkeeper nextdoor is more trustworthy on GW than Al Gore.

moptop

This is all just more evidence that the press has sold out its credibility for political reasons, and it ain’t coming back. Favoring a small number of politically motivated scientists who, just as a coincidence, favor the kind of huge taxation that the majority of the press favor, what a coincidence.

Richard

How about instead of asking what people believe ask them what they are willing to pay from their own pocket to back up their belief. Fine to say that corporations and government’s should do something but end of they day the public pays.

andyw35

It’s blatently obvious that the UK should try to get off it’s addiction to Russian gas and oil and if it takes the global warming banner to do it than so be it.
A canadian writes :-
“Unfortunately for the Brit’s they are in it now. Skyhigh electricity and gas prices and blackouts to come. Luckily we Canadians were not that stupid”
Are we that stupid though? I now drive a car that would have been taxed a flat rate at £180 but due to government enviromental concerns I get to pay £20. The government paid for my attic to be insulated so I got that for free. My new environmental car does 50mpg, my old one did 25mpg, cars are getting more frugal due to governmental pricing bands for CO2 emissions as well as cost of fuel. The government is also helping paying for pensioners and disabled peoples boilers to be changed to more efficient new ones.
STUPID? No, personally economically better off on the back of “green” is not stupid 😉
As for this figure of only 18% of Americans agreeing with AGW I will point out that this is a much smaller amount than the number that believe in flying saucers, evolution is bunkum and God created the world in 7 days and that the twin towers was blown up by explosions so Bush could invade the middle east.Which I think tells us more about people in the USA rather than whether AGW exists or not 😀
Regards
Andy

Paulus

Pierre, you say: “In Germany it’s tough finding anyone who disagrees with AGW dogma.”.
Well I live in Bavaria, south of Munich. And quite honestly I can’t find anybody who particularly cares about climate change, one way or the other.
I asked my teenage son the other day what his classmates think about it. He told me 1 of the girls is a member of the Green Party, but otherwise it’s of no interest to them at all.
But his teachers – now that’s a different matter. They would all appear to be true believers, including the science teachers.

JimB

Richard (02:26:14) :
“Fine to say that corporations and government’s should do something but end of they day the public pays.”
It always amazes me that so many people in the U.S. completely miss this point. Listen to any politician that wants to tax “Big Oil” and you’ll hear cheering, but no one there can explain to you how this is going to lower prices. In fact, they can’t explain why this increased tax won’t just get passed along in the sale price of the product.
It’s the same problem with understanding “climate change” claims. You just have to be willing to ask that pesky “next question”, which so many never do.
Jim

Paulus

Come to think of it, I don’t know anybody personally in the UK either who cares about climate change – except for one friend who is a member of Friends of the Earth.
I asked him what they discussed at their local meetings, and he said: “Football”.
“Yeah, right” I said – “But all joking aside what do you really discuss?”. “No, I’m not joking, we talk mainly about football”.
His group are pretty active as well. Last year on his way to flying off for a short walking holiday in Switzerland, he had to undergo the indignity of walking past his co-members picketing his airport, much to both our amusement.

Alan Chappell

Paulus/Pierre,
I live in Pinneberg (Hamburg 25km) of those that I know, no interest, its a political subject that will cost us money said a friend. In Italy (Rimmini ) Climate Change ? laughter.

Alan the Brit

Slightly Amused/Eve Stevens/Mike Dubrasich/Paul Maynard:
Some of us try to think things thro! I always believed that those who shout loudest in an debate/argument are always in the wrong, they know it, that’s why they shout!
The whole thing is quite frightening. We are told not to dissent from the official viewpoint. The whole rationalé is to control the populace with fear, raise taxes, every totalitarian system does so right or left. The UK government & its Green relatives have bought into this big time, so it will be very difficult to change viewpoints, to avoid huge embarrassment, huge salaries going down, huge budgets being reduced & cut, & reputations being lost, very difficult to face losing these things once a little empire has been built off taxpayers funding!
The planet is cooling, has done for 8 years, is “predicted” by a computer to do so for another 8-10 years, yet this is “perfectly in keeping ” with the understanding of Climate Change. Makes no sense to me. If a crack in a building opens up one year, then closes the next, it says to me it is very likely (95% IPCC) a cyclical movement. If the climate warms over a period of time, then cools over another period of time, then warms again, then cools again, it surely should say something to a “climate scientist”, although to be honest, climate science is in its infancy after all, despite what some would have us believe. The AGWers in the UK take the Gorean stance that the debate is over therefore we must all go along with the story that it’s all done & dusted. Yet the climate still seems to have a mind of its own, & doesn’t want to play ball with the climate models.
As to the Politically Correct clap-trap that this group come out with they have certainly been studying the PC brigade over here in the UK. The jargonese is quite delightful & meaningless of course, but it sounds terribly technical & important. A bit like Anthropogenic (yes it’s in my little dictionary) as opposed to Man-made, why use simple when complex sounds more important! Sounds like the sort of stuff an administrator would use, when a technical bod would tend to opt for a simpler definition.
BTW, had difficulty logging on yesterday about 6:00pm GMT, was there a problem with the site or just one of those things? I was mildly alarmed after reading some of the blogs about restricting freedom of access to non PC AGW sites, I thought for a moment they’d put it in place already! God forbid.

Alan the Brit

Oh deary deary me.
Just looked at the BBC website Science section, they’re running a re-cycled (well done stops the environmental damage) story, to accompany a new one, apparently it’s the ice thickness chaps, that’s the big issue now, from a EU funded (who else) University College London study reveals. The story talks about 2007 ice but vaguely implies 2008 is involved somewhere along the line but I couldn’t work it out from the thread. The follow-up story is a re-hash job from September 07, along with a recent re-hash of arctic ice at tipping point dated August 08. They really are running out of things to report about.
The story I read doesn’t say too much about when exactly all the satalite measurements were made, & over what time period, whether winter or summer ice, etc.
How is the ice doing right now?

Tom in Florida

Andy:”Are we that stupid though? I now drive a car that would have been taxed a flat rate at £180 but due to government enviromental concerns I get to pay £20. The government paid for my attic to be insulated so I got that for free… The government is also helping paying for pensioners and disabled peoples boilers to be changed to more efficient new ones. ”
The only government money is OPM, other people’s money. The things you get for “free” and the payment help the government engages in are paid for by someone else. Someone who first has to earn that money so the government can take it away and give it to people like you. But then, everyone who is on the receiving end of “government money” ignores this and will always vote for those who promise it. This is how liberty and freedom die, a slow socialist death under the pretense that government is there to help not control. The USA is going to go through this in the very near future. Thank the Foundering Fathers that we have a 2nd Amendment.

[…] Watts Up With That? Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 […]

Paul Maynard (23:55:10) : “Unfortunately, although the majority of the British may not believe in AGW, 99% (or that’s what it seems like) of the people who rule our lives do.”
That’s pretty much it, in a nutshell. It’s not that ordinary folks here are stupid, (most people I know are concerned with matters like family, work, money, food, etc, and don’t rank global warming highly as something to get particularly excited about, even if they vaguely believe it.) It’s the government, media and NGOs who aggressively push AGW at every turn. If only one of our political leaders (Boris Johnson??) could just stand up and say “My position is that manmade global warming is a load of absolute bollocks” it would be very heartening.

Oh heck – I’m a republican !!?

Arthur Glass

‘Belief belongs in the realm of churches; data either support conclusions or they do not.’
Belief as in ‘faith’ is, as St Paul saith, ‘the testimony of things unseen’ and certainly has no place in natural science. However, that is not the whole story about the way the noun ‘belief’ and the verb ‘believe’ are used in English. In ordinary usage, ‘belief’ that a proposition is true or false implies a high level of confidence without asserting 100% certainty. For example, until a few years ago, the overwhelming majority of mathematicians believed that Fermat’s Last Theorem was true. The theorem has, finally, been demonstrated to be true, i.e. knowledge has been substituted for belief.

Pierre Gosselin

Paulus,
I agree that there’s lots of apathy among the masses in Europe on the subject. But the elite who form public opinion, i.e. the media, intellectuals, academia etc. are huge proponents of the scam. I live not far from Bremen, and both my children at school had to watch Gore’s garbarge at school.
In fact the German Minister for Environment, Sigmar Gabriel, distributed 6000 AIT DVDs to all the advanced A-level high schools here.
And honestly, if you ask to average Joe on the street, he thinks CO2 is a pollutant. They’ve been indictrinated for a number of years now.
Again, aside, this Heartland Institute would be well-advised to include the rest of the world in its March Conference. Otherwise it’ll just end up looking like a big country club pow-wow for Manchester capitalists.
I do hope them Republican boys realise that. I like their science. BUT the way it is now, the Conference’s overall appearance would make Diversity want to puke. It can hardly be called a global conference.
Where are the:
Danes?
Isrealis
Russians,
Indians,
Africans
Germans
South Americans
Japanese
etc.
Hello! It’s a global problem ladies and gentlemen.

BUT the way it is now, the Conference’s overall appearance would make Diversity want to puke. It can hardly be called a global conference

Ahh…. the “D” word. I thought you were going to point out there are practically no women! 🙂

@Pierre Gosselin (05:57:03) :
Conferences cost money to attend and funding for AGW supporters far exceeds funding for AGW skeptics. We don’t all get to go to Bali.
The issue of international participation may very well be one of international researchers not being able to afford to attend the conference rather than the conference organizers not seeking international participation.

Mike Bryant

“Richard (02:26:14) :
How about instead of asking what people believe ask them what they are willing to pay from their own pocket to back up their belief.”
Excellent question for the 18% who believe the worst.

[…] more and more people are refusing to buy in to their chicken little “theories.” See Anthony Watts for the […]

Sean

I am an optimistic person by nature and I look at the “green” movement to be as much about money as about the environment. If I can be environmental green and keep more of my financial green, it gets my support. So more insulation in my house, a higher mileage car, light bulbs that work more efficiently, I’m all for it. I’m even a bit more tolerant than most of higher energy costs because I know there are things I can do to reduce energy consumption and at least break even and possibly come out ahead. However an environmental movement that can blindly push for reduced carbon footprints that in the long run will have so little impact is mindless. An envirionmental movement that blindly pushes biofuels as costs for food goes up to the point people are pushed deeper into poverty and some to starvation is heartless. I think if we continue down this path much futher, we’ll have a Winston Churchill moment but on this topic he’d be saying, “never have so many, paid so much and accomplished so little” in their effort to control the climate.

[…] more and more people are refusing to buy in to their chicken little “theories.” See Anthony Watts for the poll. Sphere: Related Content If you liked my post, feel free to subscribe to my rss […]