A New Climate Change Policy Attitudes Survey

UPDATE: – Users have reported (and I’ve now experienced myself but it was not present in the test runs I made) some sort of web posting error at the end of the survey, so I’ve disabled it and notified the author. Don’t waste your time for now. Apologies – Anthony

I have examined this proposal for survey, and finding it far superior to the tabloid like polling efforts of Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook, and at the request of the researcher, decided to run it here. This survey has been through test runs and has been adjusted based on those runs to weed out typical polling bugs, and it is being administered on a professional polling platform. As far as I know, there has been no last minute bait and switch ethics approvals because the poll I see today is nearly identical to the one I first viewed weeks ago, except for some minor tweaks due to the beta test results.

A text logo for Ohio State University
Logo for Ohio State University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the primary researcher, Ajay Singh at the Ohio State University:

Researchers from the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are conducting a study to better understand the relationship between the level of support for climate mitigation and adaptation policy alternatives, how individuals view the role of government in society, and the role of science in policy making. Researchers are looking for people to participate in an online survey who search for and read climate change information via blogs and websites. The survey asks a series of questions regarding roles and responsibilities of policy makers and scientists, perception of the risks of climate change, belief in climate change, accuracy and validity of climate science, trust in government and other institutions, and a series of climate mitigation and adaptation policy alternatives. If you would like to participate please click on the link below:

[SURVEY LINK REMOVED – Users are reporting an error at the end, and I’ve experienced that error myself today. I’ve told the author of the problem that seems to be preventing users from sending the results. When I first tested the survey, this problem did not exist – sorry for the inconvenience. ]

The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete however you may take as much time as you wish. The survey is anonymous however, the survey software tracks IP addresses to protect against people taking the survey more than once. This information will not be used in the analysis of the survey results.

Results will be used to develop two doctoral dissertations and journal publications. Results will be provided to Watts Up With That? and participants who ask for results at the end of the survey.

Funding for the survey is provided by internal funds of The College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. For more information or questions please contact Ajay Singh at singh.353@osu.edu.

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Joe Postma
October 16, 2012 10:17 am

The questions are “leading questions” from which they will be able to make conclusions that are highly unwarranted.
For example:
Impacts resulting from climate change are:
1) Highly unlikely
2) Highly likely
Throughout all time changes in the climate have always had impacts, BY DEFINITION. Anyone with a brain with register “likely”, because it is impossible for a climate impact to have no impact. The question is a complete tautology, from which they will likely conclude that belief in alarming climate change is well supported by the public even though that’s what no reasonable skeptic actually meant.
Maybe the questions will get better, but so far this is shaping up to be a complete fraud of a survey.
REPLY: It would help to not think like a “sky dragon slayer” when answering these questions – Anthony

October 16, 2012 10:18 am

Started but don’t know if I will complete it, the questions are terrible.

Lance Wallace
October 16, 2012 10:23 am

Two doctoral dissertations? From one survey? Doesn’t fit with my understanding of a doctoral dissertation, which should show not only mastery of the subject matter but the ability to conceive and carry out original research (by one person).

Chris B
October 16, 2012 10:24 am

Sorry Anthony, I got a third of the way through and it looks like the same sort of survey as the rest w
here any answer points to CAGW. Without proper choices my answers do not reflect my understanding of Earth’s Climate and how or why it changes and Man’s role.
They just seem to want to know what makes Winston tick.

Chris B
October 16, 2012 10:26 am

Joe Postma says:
October 16, 2012 at 10:17 am
The questions are “leading questions” from which they will be able to make conclusions that are highly unwarranted.
Bang on!

October 16, 2012 10:30 am

I gave up when the questions were obviously assuming the participants are US citizens. Is it meant for a world audience?
REPLY: if you had bothered to stick with it, you’d get to that section that deals with that.

October 16, 2012 10:34 am

Hmm…I did the whole thing and then got an error at the end as my responses were submitted.

October 16, 2012 10:36 am

As the previous posters have pointed out, the survey is extremely biased, the questions assume Climate Change is happenning (and all our fault)
Very badly worded, if this is the level of expertise required for doctorates nowadays I’ll enter my cat for one, even though he’s probably overqualified

October 16, 2012 10:36 am

Sorry, I have to disagree. This survey is almost as stupid as the Lewandowsky one. I started and soon gave up. In one question, we are asked on a sliding scale
Impacts of climate change will primarily be felt by
… myself and others like me
… others unlike myself
with no option to say ‘neither’. Some of the questions are also US-centric.

October 16, 2012 10:36 am

My major issue is all of the questions ask about “climate change” if like me you belive climate is changing and always will be it makes it very hard to answer many of these questions regardless of what percent you attribute to human activity unless you attribute 100% of change to GHG emissions.

October 16, 2012 10:36 am

Gave up part way thru – too many unanswerable questions.
E.g. “If the United States, along with other countries, adopts policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions the severity of climate change impacts will be lessened.”
So agree means imapcts will be lessened, and disagree means impacts wont be lessened.
Where’s the option to say there are no severe impacts?

Ian W
October 16, 2012 10:39 am

I sent the following email:
“I have just looked at your survey.
Unfortunately, as you use the ‘newspeak’ shorthand ‘climate change’ when what you really mean is anthropogenic climate change your survey is meaningless. If a new ice age were to start, that would be a climate change, and it would be catastrophic. But it would not be anthropogenic. So your questions on the impact of ‘climate change’ can be answered truthfully that it can be catastrophic – and you will immediately take that as meaning the responder believes anthropogenic climate change is catastrophic; which is NOT the case.
I think you should define your questions a lot more tightly. If you mean climate change caused by antrhopogenic emissions, then say so. If you mean natural climate change then say so. “

Tom Stone
October 16, 2012 10:39 am

I wonder if Lonnie Thompson drafted the questions.

October 16, 2012 10:40 am

I started it but got fed up with so many questions about how climate change WILL affect me. Also, it’s designed for US citizens and I have no idea whether democrats or republicans are best able to reduce the effects of climate change.

David, UK
October 16, 2012 10:41 am

The following question:
Which of the following do you think will be most effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
has a logical disconnect from the following answer choice:
There is no effective way of addressing climate change
Logically the last option should be: “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions has no proven benefit” or at least an option for “none of the above.”
As it stands it makes the logical leap from “reducing greenhouse gas emissions” to “addressing climate change.”
So I’m somewhat stuck! I guess if one really wanted to reduce emissions then Federal Government would be the answer. That is, a dictatorial, draconian Federal Government, so I’ll pick that one.

Lance Wallace
October 16, 2012 10:41 am

I have now looked at all the questions and conclude that this is not worth one Ph.D., let alone two.

October 16, 2012 10:42 am

Me too, re the error message about an incorrect link

Pamela Gray
October 16, 2012 10:43 am

Climate change from short and long term weather pattern variations kill and make to prosper, depending on which way they swing. Climate change based on the anthropogenic portion of CO2 makes for late night jokes. Not taking the survey because I refuse to pin a target on my own rear end.

Seran King
October 16, 2012 10:45 am

Same thing… I got an error at the end:
“Unfortunately the link you received is not valid. We apologise for the inconvenience.”
A wasted 20 minutes…

October 16, 2012 10:45 am

[snip – you were free to decline, but don’t take it then complain about “rights” sheesh – Anthony]

October 16, 2012 10:45 am

The questions were loaded.
“The effects of climate change will be felt locally or remotely ?”
What if there are only minor changes ?

October 16, 2012 10:47 am

@Matthew Hoy
So did I!
After answering the question “is climate change happening/man made”, the rest of the surveys asks me about all the effects of climate change + what I think we should do about it.
Surely a better survey would ask us why we don’t think AGW will happen?

Brian Gulbranson
October 16, 2012 10:47 am

I received the same error message

October 16, 2012 10:48 am

I also completed the entire survey (with all the leading questions) but received an error at the end when I submitted my answers. Up to that point I thought everything was fine. arggg…..

Joe Postma
October 16, 2012 10:48 am

Finished it. Many of the questions were actually completely unanswerable because they implied things that were not realistic. Everyone knows what I mean..maybe other people can post examples here for others to see.
For example, the questions on science informing politics… Yes, ideally we would all like that. Ideally if we applied science to politics we would have “Star Trek” and flying cars within a few months. But as we have seen (read “The Delinquent Teenager, for example), when humans try to mesh science with politics what happens is that the ideologies of those doing so infect the science with politics, instead of the other way around. Science is produced to support the politics which means it was never science in the first place. The only way science and politics can go together is if we have a bona-fide and completely 100% independent judicial body which puts the intended policies and claims through prosecution and judgement by appropriate jury.
Just another survey put together by an intellectual amateur with an agenda he’s not even aware he has.

October 16, 2012 10:48 am

I don’t like this survey. For example, if, in earlier questions I assert that I believe that there will be few if any impacts of climate change, then why pester me with questions about the impacts of climate change? I already said I don’t think there will be much of any.
I gave up at the question asking me to rank all of the disasters (Hurricanes, wind storms, wild fires, heat waves, etc.) If I put everything at the bottom of the list, I’m still ranking things I believe are fantasies in a scale from 1 to 9. Just because I ended up with Heat Waves at #2 doesn’t mean I think there will be heat waves.
The entire premise of most of the questions seems to take human-caused climate change as a given, and there will be negative consequences of a changing climate for everyone. I don’t believe either of those things. All changes will benefit some, and disadvantage others, as has always been the case throughout the entire history of the planet. And what about the questions asking me about what Republican or Democrat politicians believe? I know what they SAY, but I have zero idea of what they BELIEVE.
Whoever came up with this needs to rethink the strategy.

October 16, 2012 10:49 am

I had an error at the end as well.
It clearly assumes CAGW as a fact — those assumptions are built into the questions.
The most bizarre question was to rate my stance on “Moral Issue” from liberal to conservative. How can their be a liberal or conservative stance on a moral issue?

David, UK
October 16, 2012 10:51 am

Another question makes no sense:
The following are natural disasters that are predicted to increase if the climate changes. Please rank the following disasters according to what you think you are MOST VULNERABLE TO if the climate changes. 1 represents most vulnerable, 8 represents least vulnerable. You can click and drag each label.
One option is “I’m not vulnerable.” But “I’m not vulnerable” is not a natural disaster, so how does that fit in? If I believe I am indeed not vulnerable, do I drag the option “I’m not vulnerable” to number 1 or number 8? Sorry, but how the hell did this survey pass quality control?

October 16, 2012 10:52 am

Like so many other climate surveys, this one looks like it is going to be more revealing about the state of mind of the designers than of those of whoever can stomach completing it.

Gerry Parker
October 16, 2012 10:53 am

Unexpected error at the end.
The questions leave something to be desired, but better than the others I’ve recently seen. I agree that numerous questions did not have a place for what I believe, but maybe that will be clear from the analysis.
Gerry Parker

October 16, 2012 10:54 am

I just assumed climate change meant man made global warming and answered accordingly.I refused to state my income.I got an error message too at the end,so I don’t know if mine was received.

Dan B
October 16, 2012 10:59 am

Anthony, I think Lewandosky’s survey has significantly increased your tolerance of flaws in survey’s. I completed the survey but increasingly felt that AGW/climate change were considered one and the same by the authors. Also got the error message at the end.

Dan B
October 16, 2012 11:00 am

survey’s should be surveys.

October 16, 2012 11:01 am

I did the whole survey, and while it is better than the Lewandowsky one, there were still numerous questions that were worded such that I could have answered truthfully at either extreme depending on interpretation or various assumptions. Some of my answers would on the surface appear to conflict. I expect it will be very easy to draw false interpretations from the responses.

October 16, 2012 11:01 am

I wish they had asked more questions to do with CAGW and AGW versus natural climate change. I got the error at the end as well. I also believe this survey made it tough to relay my view of climate change as opposed to global warming and the anthropenic factor in that.

Joe Postma
October 16, 2012 11:02 am

Anthony seriously you go through and dig on your guest commentators? That’s a little silly and ridiculous.
You don’t need to defend your posting of the survey.
The survey didn’t have sufficient room for skepticism and the questions usually came pregnant with a lot of assumptions.
REPLY: You stated “a complete fraud of a survey”. I think you’ve overstated the case based on an emotional response. Be as upset as you wish. – Anthony

Sun Spot
October 16, 2012 11:03 am

Many of the questions are leading they assume you believe in AGW.

Doug Huffman
October 16, 2012 11:04 am

Completed. Hyperbolic questions got equivocal responses.

October 16, 2012 11:05 am

I persisted because they gave options for strongly disagreeing when it came to government policies.That’s the only value I saw in it.I

Doug Huffman
October 16, 2012 11:06 am

Yes, error on confirmation and of request for results.

October 16, 2012 11:06 am

Error at the end. Wonder if it was a browser thing? (Mozilla here). I won’t take it again…didn’t hate it, but I commented about the presupposition of CAGW.

Joe Postma
October 16, 2012 11:07 am

Dan B says:
October 16, 2012 at 10:59 am
Anthony, I think Lewandosky’s survey has significantly increased your tolerance of flaws in survey’s.
Might be what’s happened!! 🙂
And Anthony, I am very polite here. Please remove your “dig” in my first post. My opinion obviously has a lot of support here and is not unique or original. If you’re not going to dig on every other skeptical commentator, then don’t do so on mine. It isn’t kind.

Old England
October 16, 2012 11:09 am

I agree with all the comments it is a badly written survey and does little to explore and discover what people truly think and believe. I think only a sceptic could draft those questions in an honest fashion.
Too many of the questions presuppose that man made climate change is happening – it would be better if there was an option to tick a box which states that you do not believe it is.
Equally questions presuppose that future climate change will be the increase of temperature when it may very well not be.

Joe Postma
October 16, 2012 11:10 am

Clavius says:
October 16, 2012 at 10:49 am
The most bizarre question was to rate my stance on “Moral Issue” from liberal to conservative. How can their be a liberal or conservative stance on a moral issue?
Because liberals believe that terminating a fetus because you find it inconvenient is a moral action, whereas conservatives believe that terminating a fetus for convenience is immoral.
Yes, humans and politics are that idiotic.

tom in indy
October 16, 2012 11:13 am

Got the error message at that link if it the link still works. Also, the question toward the end about where you live already had “rural town” selected. Leads me to believe the results might be biased toward “rural town”.
After reading comments above, some of you have been brainwashed to associate “climate change” with “man-made”. If you remove that link from your brain, then the questions seem more reasonable.

Tony McGough
October 16, 2012 11:14 am

Well, I got through the survey. The questions are not perfect, but are a lot better than some I have seen, and they eventually allowed me to get my point of view across, more or less. Except that the Democrat/Republican stuff was not very helpful for this Brit. So I answered those down the middle.
Give the thing a whirl, chaps – be patient with the questions, and answer even when you think there is a logical flaw. Your way of thinking will find its way into the survey if you persist.
Pity about the error message right at the end …

William Grubel
October 16, 2012 11:14 am

I’ve just finished the survey and I find it to be another ‘when did you stop beating your wife?’ set of questions. The assumptions underlying this survey about global warming (AGW) seem supportive of the alarmist world and leave little way for me to answer without appearing to support those assumptions. I attached the following paragraph to the comment section, but with the error at the end about bad links I have no idea if it was recorded. Oh well – another lost 20 minutes adventuring in to the realm of academia.
Sent in comments section of survey:
I had difficulty in choosing some answers as the questions exhibit bias. The evidence does not support CO2 or greenhouse gases as the cause of climate change, nor does the evidence support natural disasters are the result of or increased by global warming. Indeed, the temperatures and occurance of natural disasters both appear to be falling. The evidence does not even support the idea that global warming even exists as other than a cyclical normality in the life of the planet. The assumption that these things are true seem to be built in to the questions and lead to a ‘Hobb’s choice’ of answers that do not accurately reflect my opinion in this poll.

October 16, 2012 11:14 am

Ajay Singh (@The Ohio State University),
I could only get <10% through your survey before I declined to continue. Although I do not doubt your sincerity in trying to formulate objective questions which would allow a sufficient range of plausible answer choices that would fully allow for them (the answers) to represent fully a survey taker's positions, I find your survey does not allow for capturing fully my positions. I will not participate in a situation where there can be only an approximate capture of my positions. Sorry.
I sincerely wish you success in your academic pursuits.

Oso Politico
October 16, 2012 11:16 am

I second the comments above. I finished the questionaire, but mostly out of curiousity.

October 16, 2012 11:22 am

Agreed, a poorly written survey, especially when “climate change” is used where “man-made climate change” should be use. Since climate is always changing, how could I disagree that it would impact me and others around me?
The style is reflective more of a high school level education and not something I would expect to be used in doctoral research. What’s worse is the error at the end…I wish I read the UPDATE before finishing it!!! Oh well, I gave it a shot.

October 16, 2012 11:24 am

The non-consensus answers are typically broken because they are assuming a specific mindset. They are also in some instances making the assumption that the only justification for some types of action are to mitigate imminent disaster. I would support alternative energy tech if the market was not so corrupted by ‘trendy’ quick fixes, I drive a hybrid (but never a prius).

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