Poll: 73% of Americans reject so-called AGW consensus (but you wouldn't know it from the headline)

Guest post by David Middleton

From The Hill

Poll: 70 percent believe in climate change

By Timothy Cama – 01/05/16 10:41 AM EST


A new survey finds that 70 percent of Americans believe the climate is changing.

The poll from Monmouth University, released Tuesday, found a stark partisan divide on most issues surrounding climate change, including whether it is happening, how serious it is and what should be done about it.

The research, conducted mostly before nearly 200 nations voted last month in Paris on an international climate accord, found that Democrats (63 percent) are much more likely than Republicans (18 percent) to see climate change as a very serious issue.

The poll provides another piece of support for actions internationally and by President Obama to fight climate change. Obama’s main climate policy, contentious new limits on carbon emissions from power plants, is due to be litigated this year in federal courts.

But the support is complicated. Pollsters found that only 27 percent of respondents agree with the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is the main cause of climate change.




Wow! 70% of Americans believe in climate change!!!  That’s as astonishing as saying that they believe in weather!!!

This is the real story:

“Pollsters found that only 27 percent of respondents agree with the overwhelming marginal scientific consensus that human activity is the main cause of climate change.”


Monmouth University Poll

100% – 27% = 73%

So, 73% of Americans reject the 52% consensus.


Gorebal Warming Poll
Pie chat constructed from Monmouth University Poll.

Note: In this post “AGW” is shorthand for “the standard definition of consensus: that most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic.

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January 6, 2016 10:30 am

This makes me wonder what the poll results would have been if these questions asked about “global warming” instead of “climate change”.

Reply to  Taphonomic
January 6, 2016 2:56 pm

I learned something from Dear Leader yesterday, that even a “large majority” of Republicans agree we need stricter gun control. “You see, that I didn’t know.”
“The great masses will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one”.

Reply to  brians356
January 7, 2016 3:55 am

Reminds me of one of my favorite observations. “He who l!es about one thing, will l!e about other things.”

Gerry, England
Reply to  brians356
January 7, 2016 6:00 am

Sorry, myNym but did you mean to write ‘everything’ where you wrote ‘other things’?

Reply to  brians356
January 7, 2016 9:54 pm

Sorry, no. If I were to hear “we want to take away all of your freedoms, and all of your money”, I would tend to believe it. So, no, not quite ‘everything’.

January 6, 2016 10:32 am

Climate change is not global warming – that’s why the schemers changed the name.

Reply to  marlene
January 6, 2016 11:17 am

Climate Change = Global Warming; it is only people like you that fall into the alarmist trap of not understanding that simplicity. They shoved Global Warming down our throats for a long time, but the temps didn’t follow the hyperbole of a boiling earth AND they knew the PDO was going to flip AND they knew the AMO was going to flip AND they knew about the low sunspot cycle.

Bryan A
Reply to  kokoda
January 6, 2016 12:20 pm

Not quite correct KOKO. Climate Change equating Global Warming is only in the political hype. Global Warming is supposedly Human Induced (though some human aspects certainly exist like Heat Island from urbanization) and Climate Change is what happens naturally as the Climate is never stable

Reply to  kokoda
January 6, 2016 1:01 pm

Bryan….you don’t get it. If you go back 20, 40, 60, etc., years and someone mentioned Climate Change to you, your thought process would equate that to natural climate variability. Today, that is Not the case. The alarmists hijacked Climate Change in lieu of Global Warming cuz they knew it wasn’t warming and for other factors I previously mentioned. The original premise WAS Global Warming and NOW, with their new name, an ice age is caused by the Magic Molecule CO2.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  kokoda
January 6, 2016 6:56 pm

No Bryan A, Climate Change is the replacement wording for Global Warming when warming failed to happen. You’re going by what you think it means, but Kokoda is correct, he has stated what it really means.

Reply to  marlene
January 6, 2016 2:31 pm

Yes I agree, the obfuscation of Global Warming and Climate Change was purposefully political.
“Schemers” is probably an accurate description, I might expand to say schemers made up in equal parts crooks and fools.

Reply to  Alx
January 7, 2016 11:27 pm

Please, please, please, please … Can we put this tired “global warming v. climate change” chestnut to bed once and for all? It’s been called “climate change” all along, friends. A few examples:
1. 1956: Gilbert Plass’ seminal study “The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change”
2. 1971: Barrett and Gast publish their important paper in Science entitled “Climate Change”
3. 1977: The journal “Climatic Change” begins publishing
4. 1988. The IPCC is established — and that “CC” means, well…?
Sure, the mainstream media may have used the term “global warming” more than they did “climate change,” but the scientific community has called it “climate change” for decades. Fair arguments are fair arguments, but B.S. is B.S., as any reasonable person should conclude.

Reply to  Rik Myslewski
January 8, 2016 12:33 am

And globaloney is globaloney, as any reasonable person should conclude…

Reply to  Alx
January 8, 2016 4:29 am

Re: “Karl et al. disproved ” [,,,]
Not even close. Scroll up to the top, and type in “Karl” in the search box. You will get a number of hits, such as:
Climate scientists criticize government paper (Karl et al. 2015) that erases ‘pause’ in warming

Julian Williams in Wales
Reply to  marlene
January 6, 2016 4:35 pm

The CAGW dogmatists have been allowed to extend their myths of evidence for AGW by controlling the language, and sites like WUWT have conspicuously failed to be as effective as they should be. This has happened because our side of the argument have never had a policy on words and wording.
When, ten years ago, the dogmatists stopped using CAGW and started to use new phrases like “Climate Change” and “Extreme Weather” they were reacting to teh obvious fact that the climate warming of the 1980- 2000 has begun to level off. They wanted to make a new link in the public’s mind natural extreme weather events (local cooling events, storms, droughts and floods) with the warming that had been recorded between 1980 and 2000, in this way they successfully managed to give the impression that evidence of CAGW was still mounting up. Their game play succeeded because we let them dictate the language of the debate.
The warming levelled off two decades ago. Monkton began to talk of “the 12year..15 year…18 year pause”, which became very threatening because everyone knows a pause might turn into a stop. So again they hijacked Monkton’s and called the “pause” a “hiatus”. Vocabulary.com defines a hiatus like this “Even things that go on for a long time take a break once in a while: one kind of break is a hiatus. If someone has to leave her job for a time, she’s going on hiatus. A touring band will need to take a hiatus if the lead singer gets in an accident. The key thing about a hiatus is that it’s an interruption of something that was happening, but it’s not a permanent break.”
The stupid thing is that even on this site we talk of the “Hiatus” and use the word introduced to imply that the warming will start up again. The correct neutral term was not pause, it should have been something like “a levelling off of the warming at the end of the last century”. How often is such language used on WUWT and how much more often do we call it a hiatus?
This site desperately needs a language policy that frames the debate in neutral language, words like hiatus should swept out of the debate because no one really knows that it is a hiatus, all we know is that their has been a levelling off which might become either a high point or a hiatus.

Reply to  Julian Williams in Wales
January 6, 2016 5:09 pm

Julian….+100; in order to ‘reach’ the general population, wordsmithing is vey important. Most don’t get it.

Reply to  Julian Williams in Wales
January 7, 2016 12:39 am

… sites like WUWT have conspicuously failed to be as effective as they should be.

Nothing is perfect.
Perfect is the enemy of good.
WUWT is pretty darn good IMHO.
Given the full court press being put on by the mainstream media and politicians it is amazing that the vast majority of the population is at least somewhat skeptical. WUWT deserves at least some of the credit for that. It isn’t a direct effect; most of the population isn’t aware of its existence. It works by providing a place for skeptics to recharge their batteries and get fresh information to counter the alarmists. They then go back to their communities and spread the word. I suspect that there’s a big multiplier effect.

Reply to  Julian Williams in Wales
January 7, 2016 3:42 am

Um, even pause implies a restart.
The correct word is “HALT”, for it IS halted until and unless evidense of a restart or drop arrives.

Reply to  Julian Williams in Wales
January 7, 2016 5:27 am

“and sites like WUWT have conspicuously failed to be as effective as they should be.”
I agree totally.
You and I should start another site and show Anthony et.al. how to do it correctly…
By the way, what’s your plan?

Reply to  Julian Williams in Wales
January 7, 2016 5:46 am

“This site desperately needs a language policy that frames the debate in neutral language, words like hiatus should swept out of the debate because no one really knows that it is a hiatus, all we know is that their has been a levelling off which might become either a high point or a hiatus.”
The temperature has plateaued or flat-lined now that we are in the climate doldrums historically.

Reply to  Julian Williams in Wales
January 7, 2016 5:58 am

It has always been true that he who controls the language will control the debate. That was a large point made by George Orwell in his essay on language.
George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946 https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm
The “global warming” minions admitted there was no ongoing CO2 caused global warming when they changed to “climate change”. Heck, the climate is always changing and always has changed. The moved the goal posts yet again. We lost that battle early on. Oh well.

Reply to  Julian Williams in Wales
January 7, 2016 10:08 pm

“We lost that battle early on.”
I would not agree. L!ars do have some advantage in that they can just blatantly make up whatever they choose to spew. Meanwhile, honest people, all too often, scratch their heads, and ask themselves “How could that be true?”
But, in the end, the truth will prevail. Physics is physics. We have not lost “the battle”. Their battle is against physics. They aren’t fighting us, they are fighting the truth. There is no winning that battle.

Reply to  Julian Williams in Wales
January 7, 2016 11:38 pm

@Julian Williams: “When, ten years ago, the dogmatists stopped using CAGW and started to use new phrases like ‘Climate Change’…” I beg to differ: the IPCC was formed in 1988, and that “CC” referred to … wait for it … climate change.
Argue all you might want in a reasonable fashion about AGW, the Karl et al. disproved “hiatus, Monkton’s — well, let’s be kind — unsupportable mathematics, and the like, but please don’t try to rewrite history, m’kay?

Reply to  Julian Williams in Wales
January 8, 2016 4:32 am

Re: “Karl et al. disproved ” [,,,]
Not even close. Scroll up to the top, and type in “Karl” in the search box. You will get a number of hits, such as:
Climate scientists criticize government paper (Karl et al. 2015) that erases ‘pause’ in warming

January 6, 2016 10:34 am

“Overwhelming scientific consensus” ??????

Reply to  Oldseadog
January 6, 2016 2:25 pm

Yes I don’t get that, some discredited or at least debatable studies do not a consensus make. So why is the media so lazy about simple basic reporting. Who in their right mind reports on scientific issues based on consensus. If we get consensus that the moon does not affect the tides, does that mean the moon no longer affects the tides? Apparently to the MSM, that is how science works.
Consensus is a tool for getting results in politics not science.
A more accurate statement is, “Many government leaders have reached consensus that warming caused by human activity is a problem, even though the science is not settled as to causes of climate change and whether the impacts of a warmer climate are beneficial, harmful or some combination of both.”

Reply to  Alx
January 6, 2016 3:09 pm

They are dishonest…period !

Ian L. McQueen
Reply to  Alx
January 6, 2016 5:57 pm

Consensus is a tool for getting results in politics and religion, not science.
There, fixed it. You’re welcome.
Ian M

Reply to  Alx
January 7, 2016 6:12 am

Reporters nearly always use consensus scientific opinion. When reporting on evolution they do not usually discuss creationist views. They conflate HIV and AIDS, not bothering to mention those few scientists that think HIV does not casue AIDS. The big bang and inflation are mentioned as events, not just as the majority view. Global warming is reported as occuring, the contrary view of a few scientists is not generally reported. This is all normal and how it should be. Unless the topic of the report is the uncertainty, then the consunsus view is usually assumed.
So we might expect some articles whether HIV causes AIDS or whether the Big Bang or Inflation really occured, focussing on the dissenters. There will be the occasional article discussing the merits of creationism, and there will be a some discussing the merits of AGW. But for most cases, the correct journalistic approach is to assume the consensus of experts is right.
That is different from the correct scientific approach. Here we must never assume anything is right. We must constantly question and investigate, until there is enough evidence for a consensus to emerge. If there is evidence discovered to convince a significant proportion of scientists that there is no AGW, then we will have a new consensus. Just as if enough evidence is discovered to convince a significant proportion of physicists that inflation did not occur in the early universe. Until then, we have the one we have.

Reply to  Oldseadog
January 6, 2016 2:53 pm

even if there is a consensus , what value does that actually have ?
what was the consensus on ?
how do we know there was a ‘consensus’ when we don’t even know the size nor make up of the group that is supposed to have this ‘consensus’ and or in fact if they do represent the majority which they would have to be a ‘consensus’?
lots of basic problems with this ‘consensus’ idea

January 6, 2016 10:49 am

I believe in weather. I don’t believe in catastrophical anthropogenic global warming.
Wrong questions asked as usual.

Reply to  Hugs
January 6, 2016 10:58 am

A better question to ask is ‘How would you feel if it is determined that climate scientists are horribly wrong about the effects of CO2 and the influence is really more beneficial than harmful?”

Reply to  co2isnotevil
January 6, 2016 7:07 pm

An excellent question!

Reply to  Hugs
January 6, 2016 12:08 pm

Self serving questions rather than wrong questions, but I agree with you that the politicians will deserve their treatment, when finally handed out by the peasants.
“Inspired by the sermons of the radical cleric John Ball, and led by Wat Tyler, a contingent of Kentish rebels advanced on London. They were met at Blackheath by representatives of the royal government, who unsuccessfully attempted to persuade them to return home. King Richard II, then aged 14, retreated to the safety of the Tower of London, but most of the royal forces were abroad or in northern England. On 13 June, the rebels entered London and, joined by many local townsfolk, attacked the gaols, destroyed the Savoy Palace, set fire to law books and buildings in the Temple, and killed anyone associated with the royal government. The following day, Richard met the rebels at Mile End and acceded to most of their demands, including the abolition of serfdom. Meanwhile, rebels entered the Tower of London, killing the Lord Chancellor and the Lord High Treasurer, whom they found inside”.

January 6, 2016 10:50 am

Couching the question to predetermine the answer. Sounds like something a lawyer would do.
YES or NO! Have you stopped beating your spouse! Admit your guilty! Accusation proved!
All intelligent people know that the climate changes over time.
The question that we disagree is over, Do human activities cause disruptive changes in the climate? Theory of some say yes. Real scientific investigation says not likely…pg

Reply to  p.g.sharrow
January 6, 2016 7:22 pm

There are many points actively contested.
From the very basic one of: Can CO2 warm the atmosphere all by itself?
To more general ones like: How much natural variability exists in the climate regimes of the Earth?
And ones that challenge the notions that CO2 increasing or the atmosphere warming are bad things, to be feared or avoided.
There is no one single question or disagreement.
It is more true to say that every single contention of the warmistas is, at the very least, highly debatable, and quite possibly completely erroneous.

January 6, 2016 10:53 am

It makes you wonder how the results would change if the key word “cyclical” had been used with natural change in the survey instrument. These results show that critical data analysis with imperfect data and irregular cycles is not being taught in college. I guess critical thinking did not make the cut in curriculum development for Political Science and History majors. Add that observation to the time capsule trinkets for the next few generations to look back on.

January 6, 2016 10:54 am

Whenever I run across someone who believes in CAGW, it doesn’t take long before they are either convinced they are wrong, or are consumed by reasonable doubt. The only ones who fail to see reason are those with a strong political bias which is the main reason why climate science is so incredibly wrong in the first place and unfortunately, many climate scientists fall into this category.

Tom Halla
January 6, 2016 10:56 am

As far as the (inadequate) records show–less than 200 years for small areas–there has been an overall wwarming trend. The problem is the deliberate attempts to cook paleoclimate studies, like the divinely inspired Michael Mann (there must be some reason for that puppy being so influential :)). There is no simple answer, and polls tend to declare there is one.

Fred Holby
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 6, 2016 1:32 pm

The warmers would have you believe that this started in the 1700’s with the end of the Dalton Minimum….they blame it on the start of industrial activity and the greenhouse gases we came to emit. Trouble is they don’t check their facts and more importantly neither does the media. The main gas that gets the blame is Carbon Dioxide but there is no increase until the early 1950’s. in the post war boom. Industrial output increased, CO2 emissions increased……but the temperature declined due to a solar minimum.
Just one example of an AGW epic fail.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 6, 2016 1:51 pm

There is a relatively simple answer TH to the majority of what the alarmists would have you believe is “man made global warming”.
“there has been an overall warming trend”
TH, if you were to remove the constant upward daily adjustments of the worlds temperature records by beureus of meteorology or their equivalents, all according to worlds best practice of course.
Just what have you got left of that “overall warming trend”?
Yes, “global warming” is certainly “man made”!

Leon Brozyna
January 6, 2016 11:01 am

Over-educated children embrace the silly idea the most. Give ’em a few years, until they’ve seen what accomplished liars their politicians are.

DD More
Reply to  Leon Brozyna
January 6, 2016 3:15 pm

There is also a significant difference in support for government action by age – ranging from 75% of 18 to 34 year olds
But ‘climate’ is an average of 30 years of weather, so unless they were a very aware group of 4 year olds, then they have not really experienced ‘Climate Change’ have they. Plus if they are aware of the satellite data, that has no overall change for 18 years.
What this study has revealed is the effectiveness of Propaganda & Psych-ops.
Create effective propaganda that changes attitudes This is achieved if people identify with a new or changed mission. Propaganda is used to extend this identification to increase popular support for a mission and provide points of convergence for transformative action.

The Institute for Propaganda Analysis (IPA) was created in 1937 to alert the public to political propaganda. The IPA identified seven basic propaganda tricks: Name- Calling, Glittering Generalities, Transfers, Testimonials, Plain Folks, Card Stacking, and Band Wagon. According to Combs and Nimmo (1993), “these seven devices have been repeated so frequently in lectures, articles and textbooks ever since that they have become … synonymous with the practice and analysis of propaganda.”

Propaganda Teams
Form Propaganda Teams by selecting and training persuasive, motivated people, who move within an organization and encourage people to support the organizational mission. Trained Propaganda Teams can provide a multi-stage persuasion program that integrates strategic planning with organizational attitudes. Propaganda Teams can also provide feedback about rumors and attitude changes. This role is fulfilled by secret police in authoritarian societies.
Psych-ops operations have maximum effect with people who:
– have little education
– accept information uncritically
– benefit from the proposed change
– want to believe the propaganda
– do not wish to understand their own motivations

January 6, 2016 11:03 am

Frankly what the public believe is so fickle anyway I couldn’t care or less. People believe what is happening in their back yard at that moment. If a cyclone devastates their country they will look for reasons why and suddenly everyone believes in climate change. If they have a long patch of settled weather then this AGW stuff is all rubbish. I think the more informed among us on both sides of the debate know these public surveys are as reliable as politicians to tell us what is happening.

Reply to  Simon
January 6, 2016 2:49 pm

Another monitor saved – just.
“As reliable as politicians.” Mmmmmmmmm . . . . .
As constant as the wind.
As invariant as the weather.
I live in England. We do get weather.
Auto, smiling!

January 6, 2016 11:07 am

In his lead post, David Middleton said,
“So, 73% of Americans reject the 52% consensus.”

Where did David Middleton get the “52% consensus” number from?

Reply to  David Middleton
January 6, 2016 11:56 am

David Middleton on January 6, 2016 at 11:45 am
– – – – – – –
David Middleton,
Thanks for the source.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 6, 2016 1:17 pm

David I’d like to point out something very important IMO that has been created out of whole cloth by eco-terrorists an shouldn’t be promulgated; the idea that a scientific consensus can be determined by polling scientists for their position on some issue (“Crest gives you whiter teeth”).
Scientific consensus is is formed by repeated experiments. A scientist presents a hypothesis (“human released CO2 raises the Average Global Temperature”) and proceeds with an experiment that both disproves the null hypothesis (“natural variation causes a rise in AGT”) and supports the hypothesis advanced. When that experiment is determined valid and repeated by other scientists, a scientific consensus is formed.
Scientific consensus is not a popularity contest and it isn’t a democracy. I think it’s importat to get that message out.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 6, 2016 2:18 pm

What, no “I-don’t-want-to-provide-the-information-because-you’ll-just-try-to-find-something-wrong-with-it” type response? You’ll never make it as part of the hockey team. 🙁

Reply to  David Middleton
January 7, 2016 6:55 am

“What, no “I-don’t-want-to-provide-the-information-because-you’ll-just-try-to-find-something-wrong-with-it” type response”
Which of course was precisely the response of embarrassing charlatan and mountebank Phil Jones of University of East Anglia CRU infamy when asked to provide his data.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 7, 2016 7:32 am

This is an interesting study. If we look at it closely we see that 83% of AMS members who are publishing in the area of climatology think global warming is real and at least 50% man made. The authors conclude that the results “Confirming all four hypotheses…that greater expertise, more liberal ideology, greater perceived consensus, and lower perceived conflict each predicted higher levels of certainty global warming was occurring, higher likelihood of viewing it as mostly human caused, and greater ratings of future harm.” (my emphasis). Yes, that does say that more expertise in climate (among other things) correlates to higher levels of certainty that global warming was occuring and that it was man made and dangerous.
The table is quite revealing. The overall “Yes, mostly human” figure is 52%, but examination of the table shows that if we use only those who are publishing in climate science, the figure rises to 73% (n=416). If we include the equally natural and man made, the figure jumps to 83%.
If we wish to argue what proportion of “experts” agree that global warming is real and at least 50% man made, I think the 83% is more accurate than the 53%, since the majority of AMS members are not experts in climatology. Of course, many climatology experts are not members of the AMs also.
There are some problems. They say “How to square this with the oft reported 97% consensus? Well, ‘climate scientists’ in these surveys typically includes economists, ecologists etc., nearly all probably representing second order belief.”
This is wrong. The figure for the categories they mention would be 82% – the proportion of AGU members that answered “yes”. The 97% figure comes from the subcategory of scientists that were experts in climate science and actively publishing or form surveys of published papers.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 7, 2016 9:53 am

In other words, those people who’s income relies on them believing that CO2 is a problem can be reliably counted on to believe that CO2 is a problem.

Reply to  MarkW
January 7, 2016 10:25 am

Bias is a human conundrum that comes in many forms, including WUWT itself.
Fortunately for WUWT, the facts supporting CAGW are at best very weak.
But, it was never about CAGW, was it ?
Warmists have moved beyond CAGW and are implementing Phase II.
IMO, the most likely candidate for stopping the alternative energy nonsense is a global depression.
We won’t be able to afford it.
Do you find it interesting that the timing of Phase II is running smack into a bloated fiat economy ?

January 6, 2016 11:16 am

What about independents which are around 40% of the country
Republicans and independents do not poll….they have caller ID, or hang up

Reply to  Latitude
January 6, 2016 11:25 am

nevermind….they included independents

Reply to  Latitude
January 6, 2016 11:46 am

Caller ID; the best invention since tin cans and twine.

Bryan A
Reply to  skeohane
January 6, 2016 12:30 pm

When I get a Pollster call, I just ask them to “hold on for a second and I’ll be right back” then I set the phone down and walk away. They usually disconnect in a minute or two.

Reply to  skeohane
January 6, 2016 2:51 pm

Pollsters, Marketeers and the rest.
If I’m feeling bad, I do the same, but with the computer playing something by Max Bygraves . . . .

January 6, 2016 11:39 am

I don’t know if ever there was a poll taken that wasn’t skewed simply by the the presentation of the questions or the order in which they were asked. None of the pollsters are exactly like Socrates engaged in a dialogue in search of truth.

January 6, 2016 11:40 am

I think it’s very clear from the ongoing sock puppet rhetoric that the “movement” is deliberately confounding climate change with cAGW. It would take a fool to deny that climate change happens, all the evidence we have in had support that. I don’t think anyone who’s graduated the 4th grade hasn’t been exposed to the idea of Ice Ages. There are children’s cartoons about it.
So the radical eco-terrorists try to label anyone who remains unconvinced of cAGW a “climate denier” even when they agree climate changes. If a person makes any attempt to explain the difference they fall back on the “take your meds” and “get out your tinfoil hat” methods of persuasive argument. From there the situation deteriorates into monkey house tactics.
Personally, I’ve decided the best way to deal with that is to keep presenting evidence (with references if necessary) until the true nature of the sock puppet is revealed. It isn’t necessary to make these people look like fools, they’re very good at doing it all by themselves if you can stay cool long enough to let then do it.

January 6, 2016 11:48 am

The correct answer for anybody answering honestly is “don’t know”. And only 1% gave that response. That so few answered honestly demonstrates how effective the propaganda campaign has been.
If I were answering honestly I’d probably say most climate change is due to natural causes. After all, nature has caused 100% of the climate change that has occurred during the 4 billion or so years that Earth has had an atmosphere. Only 8% gave that response. Another sign of how effective the propaganda is.

Reply to  Groty
January 6, 2016 1:37 pm

Actually, the science shows that CO2 is a bit player when it comes to climate changes.
Saying that most of the change is natural can easily be supported.

January 6, 2016 12:03 pm

Only one percent don’t know?

Scottish Sceptic
January 6, 2016 12:04 pm

It may be coincidence but the adverts on this page are displaying vacuum cleaner heads – which seems to say to me, that this scam is all over bar the vacuuming.

January 6, 2016 12:05 pm

27+34% = 61%. So 61% of Americans believe that warming is occurring, and that human activity is responsible for 50% (or more in the case of the 27%) of the warming. It is not correct to say that 73% of Americans reject AGW, because the AGW position acknowledges that natural causes of warming exist and can be co-contributors to the overall warming that occurs.

Reply to  Chris
January 6, 2016 12:16 pm

It’s about minuscule percentages of warming that might be attributable to human activity. In other words, we don’t trust the figures touted about from those who have vested interests in lying to us. There are close to 7 billion people living on the planet. So what, if temperatures did rise a little? Do you want to cull 3 or 4 billion, Chris?

Reply to  David Middleton
January 6, 2016 12:45 pm

Both equally is 50%, so 34% of respondents said that, and 27% said human activity represents 50.1% or more (meaning a majority). If you view that as a rejection of AGW, then why did 64% say they support the statement in question 7: In general, do you support or oppose the U.S. government doing more to reduce the type of activities that cause climate change and sea level rise?

Ian L. McQueen
Reply to  David Middleton
January 6, 2016 6:20 pm

Very unclear question. Probably intentionally. What does “this” in “or is this not happening?” mean? Are they talking about the change or the extreme weather and rise of sea levels?
Ian M

Reply to  Chris
January 6, 2016 1:39 pm

If the majority of the small warming over the last century+ is natural, then by definition, there is nothing to worry about.
The mythical consensus has tried to claim that most of the warming was caused by CO2.

Reply to  Chris
January 6, 2016 3:24 pm

Keep in mind “Climate change” includes land use changes driving changes as well. My reading of everything leads me to think co2 is a small player but we likely have measurable impact from all of the changes we made tot he landscape. So on such a poll Id be factored in with those who think humans likely changed the climate, but I doubt co2 was the issue.

January 6, 2016 12:09 pm

Is it asking too much to state when the poll was taken? and what percent were reached by landline phones?

Reply to  David Middleton
January 6, 2016 3:09 pm

Okay, then re-testing with another survey at the end of January can test for robustness since they are not asking the know-it-all respondents about weather.

Bruce Cobb
January 6, 2016 12:20 pm

Only 8% responded correctly that the cause of climate change is mostly natural, therefore 92% of poll respondents are morons.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 6, 2016 2:10 pm

I think that’s a general truth about polls.

January 6, 2016 12:37 pm

Let’s see, 10 C degrees of warming in a couple of decades at the end of the Younger Dryas, yeah I believe in climate change. What’s the IPCC predicting, possibly up to 2 C in a century? When the natural warming trend we’ve been in since the 1800s will account for half of that, should an IPCC prediction actually come to pass?
If the movers and shakers genuinely believed that mankind’s contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere will end human civilization in the very near future, they would be calling for the complete shutdown of any and all sources of human-produced CO2. However by sheer random happenstance it miraculously turns out that the problem can be solved simply by implementing a particular political faction’s statist agenda and turning all control over to them. We’re saved! :-/
No CAGW proponent really takes it seriously, so why should I?

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
January 6, 2016 12:38 pm

Several obvious problems with some of the questions:

1. Do you think that the world’s climate is undergoing a change that is causing more extreme
weather patterns and the rise of sea levels, or is this not happening?

Complex question. First the survey does not define “climate change” and this first question mixes together whether the never-defined “climate change” is happening with do the effects include more “extreme” weather patterns.

4. Scientists say that sea levels are rising and that many coastal areas will be under water in a
few decades. Assuming this is true, do you think the environmental and economic impact of
sea level rise will be mainly limited to coastal communities or will it affect inland areas just as much?
[emphasis added]

A blatant example of petitio principii (begging the question). The responses on this question can have no useful meaning in terms of what people actually think.

5. Some say that sea level rise will have an environmental impact on everything from the
weather to the quality of drinking water. How much of an environmental impact do you think
sea level rise will have in the area where you live?

A less blatant example; it really boils down to asking people whether they live in a coastal or inland location. Again the question is prefaced with an appeal to authority (“some say …”), which taints the responses.
The most important thing to know about any so-called opinion poll is: who paid for it? I could not get this information from the provided link:

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University
Polling Institute from December 10 to 13, 2015 with a national random sample
of 1,006 adults age 18 and older. This includes 654 contacted by a live
interviewer on a landline telephone and 352 contacted by a live interviewer
on a cell phone, in English. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the
survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for
region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information.
Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and SSI (RDD
sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence
that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus
3.1 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can
be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error,
one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties
in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of
opinion polls.

My unvarying response to phone invitations to “take just a few minutes” to respond to a survey is “no”. This is a good example of why.

John F. Hultquist
January 6, 2016 12:59 pm

This is such bad research and presentation, it reminds me of:comment image

January 6, 2016 1:03 pm

“A new survey finds that 70 percent of Americans believe the climate is changing.”
Phewwwww. Because “Ice Age”

Reply to  Mark
January 6, 2016 3:24 pm

comment image

January 6, 2016 1:19 pm

In my humble opinion, for realism, such a poll must be directed/asked in such a way as to determine how many of the respondents have actually properly ‘reviewed’ the subject under question. So, for example, questions like ‘How much independent enquiry have you made about climate change?’ would be useful to see discern those who ‘take MSM as gospel’ and those who ‘check for themselves’. Naturally, one might expect that those ‘higher’ educated may be more prone to checking what they are told (aka being skeptical!). Polling the general public in order to try and obtain some idea of ‘populus’ opinion of a serious matter is largely flawed due to the majority of the population being only ‘aware’ via MSM, etc. It may be apathy, of course, but for Mr and Mrs Average, getting their info from the news is far more likely to fit into their busy ‘average’ lives than obtaining independent, deep or meaningful enquiry. Such a poll seems to me to simply be a means to provide yet another tool for further ‘self flagellation’ of said populus! – hardly fair or realistic, is it? Just my view of polls in general…..

Reply to  Kev-in-Uk
January 6, 2016 2:00 pm

Agreed. If you sample under-informed respondents, you get a measure of media bias.
Best if the poll takers screened respondents for a few relevant scientific facts first.

January 6, 2016 1:53 pm

So many press releases play games with the words. This one reminds me of a Russian news article about the Olympics. It said United States comes in next to last and the Russians take second place. This was true but they neglected to mention that only the US and Russia were competing in the event. Unfortunately too few people look past headlines to discover the BS twist.

January 6, 2016 2:06 pm

There is an overwhelming consensus in the mainstream media that the most responsible way to report the news is to tell gigantic lies about almost everything.

Reply to  Merovign
January 6, 2016 2:25 pm

Of course the MSM tell the biggest porkies they can get away with. It’s no different to the tabloid newspapers in the old days where the Front Page ‘headlines’ were usually intended to help sales! (I suppose it’s still the same today, but I have not purchased or read a newspaper for some 25+years!). Modern MSM is the same, but obviously via different medium, clickbait articles are well known, as is the sensationalistic ‘on the spot’ ‘live’ reporting when anyone does anything out of the ordinary. It’s rather sad that pretty much all journalism now has to factor this into its very being, and each and every story has to be sensationalised. I am at least grateful that my 12 year old daughter has started to understand this for herself (perhaps with a little prompting!) and has indeed developed a healthy skeptical nature to the MSM in general. If only half the worlds adults could do the same!?

January 6, 2016 2:46 pm

As lawyer’s know, a debate using terms having different meanings is usually meaningless.

January 6, 2016 2:48 pm

4 Jan: Gallup: Lydia Saard: Government Named Top U.S. Problem for Second Straight Year
Graph: Most Important Problem Facing the US in 2015
Environment/Pollution: Yearly average: 2%

DD More
Reply to  pat
January 6, 2016 3:43 pm

Pat – here is an analysis of a similar poll on the subject from March.
From Gallup- March 5-8, 2015
Americans continue to name the government (18%) as the most important U.S. problem, a distinction it has had for the past four months. Americans’ mentions of the economy as the top problem (11%) dropped this month, leaving it tied with jobs (10%) for second place.Though issues such as terrorism, healthcare, race relations and immigration have emerged among the top problems in recent polls, government, the economy and unemployment have been the dominant problems listed by Americans for more than a year.
Economy in general * 11
Unemployment/Jobs * 10
Federal budget deficit/Federal debt * 5
Dissatisfaction with government/Congress/politicians
Poor leadership/Corruption/Abuse of power * 18
Immigration/Illegal aliens * 7
Poor healthcare/hospitals; High cost of healthcare * 7
Terrorism * 6
Education/Poor education/Access to education * 6
Ethics/moral/religious/family decline; Dishonesty * 5
National security * 4
Poverty/ Hunger/Homelessness * 4
Situation in Iraq/ISIS * 4
Foreign policy/Foreign aid/Focus overseas * 4
Race relations/Racism * 4
Here is Gallup’s list of problems. How many of the above do you consider to be the top problem and how many do you consider it is the governments handling that is the real problem. By my count Government or their handling or their meddling hits closer to 96% not 18%
3. In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?
Date———– 2009 May 7-9
Satisfied — 35%
Dissatisfied — 62%
Unsure – 3%
And this is the record lowest O-bama has been able to achieve for Dissatisfied on the direction of the country. all the rest were higher When every month of your Residency you have more than 62% of folks telling you are going the wrong way, it is a problem with leadership.

January 6, 2016 3:05 pm

Next time ask them why the heck they still have a land line phone.

Reply to  Resourceguy
January 6, 2016 4:29 pm

Because it doesn’t cost as much to have a land-line phone!

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Barbara
January 7, 2016 5:17 am

They are superior in other ways as well. Cell phone technology leaves a lot to be desired.

Vlad the Impaler
Reply to  Resourceguy
January 7, 2016 7:56 am

What’s a cell phone?

michael hart
January 6, 2016 4:10 pm

The research, conducted mostly before nearly 200 nations voted last month in Paris on an international climate accord,…

It’s kinda lame, isn’t it? The voters were never asked, in the voting nations.
And, in recent years, the climatariat have expressed frustrations that democracy fails because it allows too many people to not vote for what the global-warmers think is good for us.

January 6, 2016 4:12 pm

Thanks, David Middleton.
Some people cannot believe some other people cannot believe in “climate change”.

Reply to  Andres Valencia
January 6, 2016 4:43 pm

Because land-lines are cheaper!

January 6, 2016 4:42 pm

Here is a clip on this topic. the whole thing is fraud.

Pamela Gray
January 6, 2016 5:39 pm

The media discussion and surveys have all slipped into a religion instead of what should be the focus, some way of more accurately predicting near term (IE shorter than long term but longer than weather) weather pattern changes.
Surveys, anymore, make me want to hurl, spew chunks, lose my cookies, and barf.

January 6, 2016 6:18 pm

This is the result of a generation of brainwashing. Unfortunately I missed the brainwashing boat.

Reply to  Ryan
January 7, 2016 6:57 am

Does that mean you have a dirty mind?

January 6, 2016 8:01 pm

Well, if it is of any interest – the Hare Krishnas appear to now officially support action on climate change:
Which is especially intriguing when we consider that this is also the same organization which promoted and in some part still promotes the theory that the moon landings were a hoax. As revealed here:
Can somebody please throw this all together into an academic paper and get it published in a leading psychology journal?

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
January 7, 2016 6:58 am

I thought some warmist proved that only deniers believe the moon landings were faked?

January 6, 2016 8:31 pm

Government by and for the Demi Gods
Who elected that man ?
A great book called Obama Zombies followed the rise and first election of the current POTUS.
One of the underlying things that Obama’s handlers saw was an untapped source of votes that existed among the educated college type crowd, esp he ones going to fancy schools. These were the grandchildren of the most successful generation ever. If anyone knows a rich grandparent or two they rarely say no to their grandkids and turn many into little demigods.
So much of politics since Watergate has been a swinging of the pendulum back and forth. A dividing of the nation into nice little groups that respond well to backlash of previous extremes.
Obama carried the presidency on the backs of the above described group. They rallied targeted votes and accomplished something that in their minds made them extra special. They were going to right the wrongs of their forebears … at least in their minds, change the world. Funds would be diverted from the militaristic trend of the previous administration. Bush bad. Obama the savior, the uniter.
And so here we are. CAGW was one of their special issues. If you’re ever bored search around to see the ages of the folks who inhabit this administration. He rewarded them for their loyalty and now they have had a taste of how the ends justify the means. Dig even deeper and see the explosion of wordsmithers in this current administration. Message makers, handlers, spin experts.
The question becomes is their sufficient backlash to elect a new path ?
Will 2016 be the unraveling of a bloated market ?
Bloated real estate prices in favorite cities ?
Watch 2016 as the current president tries to hold onto the the financial house of cards with increasing tenacity. This is his achilles heel. If it goes down, the GOP will get elected. If not, the charades will continue because the masses won’t be pissed off enough.
18 to 35 year olds are running this country.
Marie Harf for President.

January 7, 2016 12:26 am

Interesting that the survey does not offer the option of ‘mostly natural but some human contribution’.
That’s the one I’d like to vote for……

M Seward
January 7, 2016 3:37 am

Just watching a show about sugar and the sugar industry lobbying and manipulating the funding for medical reseach into sugar related health issues. Similar to the big tobacco stuff. Big Green has learned its lessons’ well. There is a lot of irony as to where they learned them from I suppose but it still does not excusae the bulldust and propaganda such as the spin on the poll results mentioned in the article referred to.

January 7, 2016 5:07 am

I think only 1% of those surveyed answered this question accurately. Nobody really “knows”. Truth is not a popularity contest.
Politicization of science is the real problem for this issue (and many others). Both sides need to be humble when making claims about complex systems.

January 7, 2016 6:01 am

A suggestion
We could raise funds through this site to commission a real opinion poll by a professional polling company that asked the right questions.
How about that Anthony?

Walt The Physicist
Reply to  markstoval
January 7, 2016 6:50 am

It seems that, historically public opinion, including scientific community, is correct as much as it is wrong. Thus it is useless in evaluation of validity of anything. It was once widely believed that Earth is flat sitting on the back of some giant animals (wrong), or energy and momentum is conserved (correct – I hope), or Earth is in the center of Universe (wrong), or Einstein’s relativity (correct)…. Time will show whether public was right on the dark matter, dark energy, Universe expansion, string theory, Big Bang, man made global worming… In the meantime the majority (I hope I’m wrong here) of scientists are forced to compete for piece of bread instead of advancing science. This turns them be become corrupt by this struggle. And this corrupt majority presents their hypotheses as falsified and well established theories. So, I wouldn’t give my money for polling of anyone.

January 7, 2016 7:02 am

“Both equally” is a horrible choice, what is the chance of that? When asked to pick a team, don’t say the game ends in a tie. I have to put that response in the category of “I don’t know”.

Walt The Physicist
January 7, 2016 8:27 am

To David Middleton:
Yes formulated like that and it seems that public opinion matters. However, the funding for any research is distributed by the agencies that hire program managers who bring their biases with them. Biased program managers assemble panels that evaluate research proposals. These panels bring their biases (and “politics”) that, to no surprise, match biases of the program managers. In such way a clique is formed in scientific community. This clique controls funding, publications, and, finally, shapes both public and government opinions. Therefore, studying or relying on this secondary opinions is useless. We have to change current system for funding scientific research that leads to formation of cliques in science. And then opinions will compete and will matter. Read Lee Smolin “Troubles with Physics” for an example of current state of science. Also, Leo Szilard’s “Mark Gable Foundation” gives great insight into flawed system.

January 7, 2016 10:26 am

Thank you David for your article.
Two decades ago, the question was:
Is global warming alarmism simply false or is it fraudulent?
Now, after the Mann hockey stick fiasco, “Mike’s Nature trick”, “Hide the Decline”, the fabricated aerosol data used to false-hindcast the warming alarmists’ climate models, the Climategate emails, and the many false “adjustments” of the surface temperature data record, there is no question:
Global warming alarmism is clearly fraudulent – in financial terms, it is one of the greatest frauds of all time.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
January 7, 2016 10:48 am

Indeed, but I doubt most care. Perhaps fraud weariness has set in. While honest thinkers want the charade to stop, I wouldn’t doubt that many people are fine with a new energy paradigm that decentralizes. It will hurt if it costs them an arm and a leg.
If you doubt the above, think in terms of the real estate debacle. Most folk know that bankers ripped them off.
The public paid and still pays to fatten their coffers, yet most don’t squawk much as long as their house rises in value and they can keep on keeping on.
The fraudsters are diabolical in how they give a little to get alot.
I certainly don’t have the answers to show the nakedness of the emperor, but the more skeptics focus on the past fraud of CAGW research, the more the warmists make headway on a new energy frontier.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
January 9, 2016 9:50 am

I have worked in the energy industry for much of my career.
When challenged on this question by green fanatics, I explain that that fossil fuels keep their families from freezing and starving to death.
Cheap abundant reliable energy is the lifeblood of society – it IS that simple.
A few facts:
Wind Power is what warmists typically embrace – trillions of dollars have been squandered on worthless grid-connected wind power schemes that require life-of-project subsidies and drive up energy costs.
Some background on grid-connected wind power schemes:
The Capacity Factor of wind power is typically a bit over 20%, but that is NOT the relevant factor.
The real truth is told by the Substitution Capacity, which is dropping to as low as 4% in Germany – that is the amount of conventional generation that can be permanently retired when wind power is installed into the grid.
The E.ON Netz Wind Report 2005 is an informative document:
(apparently no longer available from E.ON Netz website).
Figure 6 says Wind Power is too intermittent (and needs almost 100% spinning backup);
Figure 7 says it just gets worse and worse the more Wind Power you add to the grid (see Substitution Capacity dropping from 8% to 4%).
In my province of Alberta, intermittent grid–connected wind power is paid 20 cents per KWh, 24/7 even when there is no demand for that wind power, whereas reliable fossil-fueled power is paid about 5 cents per KWh. In reality, wind power is probably worthless due to its intermittency, so the subsidy is not [20/4]=400%, it is INFINITE.
Same story applies to grid-connected Solar Power (both in the absence of a “Super-Battery”).
This was all obvious to us decades ago – we published similar conclusions in 2002.
Trillions of dollars have been wasted globally on green energy that is not green and produces little useful energy.
Today’s comment:
The following numbers are from the 2015 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, for the year 2014:
Global Primary Energy Consumption by Fuel is 86% Fossil Fuel (Oil, Coal and Natural Gas),
4% Nuclear,
7% Hydro,
and 2% Renewables.
That 2% for Renewables is vastly exaggerated, and would be less than 1% if intermittent wind and solar power were not forced into the grid ahead of cheaper and more reliable conventional power.
This is not news – we have known this energy reality for decades. As we published in 2002.
“The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”
We also write in the same article, prior to recognition that the current ~20 year “Pause” was already underway:
“Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
I (we) now think naturally-caused global cooling will commence after the current El Nino runs its course, prior to 2020 and possibly as soon as 2H2017. Bundle up!
Regards to all, Allan

Reply to  Allan MacRae
January 9, 2016 10:13 am

2012 Discussion: How can we make intermittent electric power more economic?
polski says: February 17, 2012 at 6:51 am
Let’s say that the subsidies are removed. Let’s say that many wind farms go bankrupt. Now what should be done with all those wind turbines. Is there an opportunity for some bright, hard working, free enterprise individual to somehow make a viable business out of all this mess?
What would a large amount of intermittent power be good for? Milling wheat, corn or soy? Water heating/treatment for local towns. Powering compressors to aerate lakes and sewage ponds?
Since they are so big and heavy would they not be difficult to just scrap and recycle?
Allan says::
You are on the right track polski. We probably cannot afford to take down these worthless eyesores, although maintaining them may not be economic either.
If we ever develop a “super-battery”, such as millions of electric cars plugged into the grid when parked, wind power may become more economic.
Other possibilities, such as those you have mentioned, are to use wind power for applications where its intermittent nature is not such a detriment. Large heating systems using hot water could be one such application, perhaps coupled to large industrial users. However, waste heat from coal and natural-gas fired power stations would probably be less expensive.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
January 10, 2016 3:59 am

Typo Correction:
In my province of Alberta, intermittent grid–connected wind power is paid 20 cents per KWh, 24/7 even when there is no demand for that wind power, whereas reliable fossil-fueled power is paid about 5 cents per KWh. In reality, wind power is probably worthless due to its intermittency, so the subsidy is not [20/5]=400%, it is ~INFINITE.

January 7, 2016 1:03 pm

Now ask how much are willing to pay.

January 7, 2016 4:54 pm

I find it amazing that 30% of those polled don’t know the climate is always changing. What kind of ignorance are we churning out of our schools? Of course the climate is changing. God help us if it ever stops. But that was never what the debate was about and as such the entire poll is crap.

January 7, 2016 5:05 pm

This confused poll is from a country where 40% of the pop rejects the theory of evolution, isn’t education wonderful !.

Physics Major
January 7, 2016 7:43 pm

The real question is what value is a poll? Either the climate is changing or it’s not. Collect the data and see what changes. You wouldn’t take a poll and ask “do you believe that gravity is changing?”

Reply to  Physics Major
January 7, 2016 8:15 pm

Physics Major

The real question is what value is a poll? Either the climate is changing or it’s not. Collect the data and see what changes. You wouldn’t take a poll and ask “do you believe that gravity is changing?”

You really shouldn’t take a poll of self-selected physics majors, give them a 92 billion dollar budget to find a new value for gravity and fund their future political power based on the question: “What is the cause of future changes in gravity?”
How many governments can 31 trillion dollars in carbon futures trading can the banking industry buy? How many government-run academics can the government buy for 1.3 trillion dollars every year in new carbon taxes? How many “scientists” can the federal government buy for 92 billion dollars, if one $25,000.00 payment for one project by one think tank corrupts a private scientist for all time?
The climate is changing. We did not cause it to change now or in the past. We cannot stop it from changing in the future.

clovis marcus
January 9, 2016 8:18 am

@Rik Myslewski January 7, 2016 at 11:27 pm d3nied the semantic switch from global warming saying science has always called it climate change.
It’s almost like Mann didn’t write a book called Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming
Or James Hansen didn’t say “Today I testified to Congress about global warming, 20 years after my June 23, 1988 testimony, which alerted the public that global warming was underway. There are striking similarities between then and now, but one big difference.”
Or Bill McKibben didn’t say “Since I wrote one of the first books for a general audience about global warming way back iin 1989”
Or John cook didn’t write a paper called “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming”
Rewriting history is much more difficult now isn’t it?

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