The UN Poll Redux

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

A while back I discussed the UN Global Poll regarding what people around the world think is important to them. At that point there were about six million respondents. The people taking the poll are asked to choose (just choose, but not rank) the six issues that matter most to them from the following list:

















When I wrote my last post, climate change was running dead last. I went back yesterday to check on the poll. The poll is ongoing, you can go there and vote if you wish. There are now over nine million respondents … and yes, climate change is still running dead last, and well behind its nearest neighbor:

un-survey-overview-9-millionFigure 1. UN Poll results, all groups.

So I decided to drill down into the data a bit. I started by taking a look at the difference between men and women on the issues listed above:

un-poll-different-priorities-men-womenFigure 2. Differences between men and women. Values are the percentage of respondents who listed that item among their choices for the top six. Lines connect men’s and women’s percentage of responses regarding the same issue, and are labeled only at the upper end. Blue labels and lines show items which women considered more important than men, while red items are those that men found more important. Ends of colored lines show the percentage values for women (left ends) and men (right ends).

The top three results are interesting because they are common to most groups. You can see that men put more weight on jobs and women put more weight on healthcare and education, but as Figure 1 shows, those three far out poll all the rest.

Women also put much more weight than men on affordable good food, protection against violence, and sexual equality (steep blue lines). Men on the other hand put much more weight than women on political freedom, better roads, and phone access (steep red lines).

And action on climate change is at the very bottom for both men and women.

While that was quite interesting, I actually had set out to look at the differences between the poor and rich countries on these matters. The UN divides countries into four levels, from poor to rich, or in their terms, from “Low HDI” (Human Development Index) to “Very High HDI” countries. To simplify and clarify the changes, I’ve just used the first and last categories, the poorest and the wealthiest countries. Here are those results:

un-poll-different-priorities-poor-richFigure 3. As in Figure 2, but showing the difference between priorities of the poor and the rich.

There are some interesting things going on here. First, education is number one for men, for women, for the richest countries, and for the poorest countries. In my opinion, this shows the good judgement of the human race worldwide. Or perhaps it just means that I agree with the rest of the world … education roolz.

Next, the steepness of all the lines shows that the differences between what is important to people in rich and in poor countries are much, much greater than the differences between men and women on the same issues.

Next, the top three issues of all groups combined (Figure 1), as well as of both men and women separately (Figure 2), are education, healthcare, and jobs. All of those are far less important to the rich than the poor. Also, many other things like phones, reliable energy, good roads, and political freedoms are not very important to the rich. The people in rich countries don’t find those things important for a simple reason—generally they already have those things, so they have the luxury of worrying about other items.

Next, it’s clear how environmental concerns are something that only the rich can afford. “Protecting forests, rivers, and oceans” ranks high among the wealthiest countries, well above job opportunities … but it is second from the bottom for poor countries, just above climate and a ways below the next issue above it.

Finally, climate change. The people favoring action on climate change, almost to a man or woman, claim that they are doing this for the poor … but it appears that the poor didn’t get the memo. For them, as for the world in general, climate change is dead last. And in the poor countries, only 13% of the people mentioned it, a very small percentage. As far as the poor are concerned, they’d rather people spend money on any other of their many problems before putting it into climate change.

Moving on to the claimed beliefs of the rich countries, the following are samples of what has been the narrative for some time now. First from the US:

Saying that climate change ranks among the world’s most serious problems — such as disease outbreaks, poverty, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on all nations to respond to “the greatest challenge of our generation.”

Next, from among our Cousins across the pond, the artist currently known as “Prince” favored us with his views on the matter, viz:

Tackling global warming is the biggest challenge facing the world today, Prince Charles has said, urging governments to act on climate change before it is too late.

Finally, from Obama’s Press Spokesman Josh Earnest we have:

1. “The point the president is making is that there are many more people on an annual basis who have to confront the impact, the direct impact on their lives, of climate change, or on the spread of a disease, than on terrorism.”

2. “The point that the president is making is that when you are talking about the direct daily impact of these kinds of challenges on the daily lives of Americans, particularly Americans living in this country, that the direct impact, that more people are affected by those things than by terrorism.”

3. “I think even the Department of Defense has spoken to the significant threat that climate change poses to our national security interests, principally because of the impact it can have on countries with less well-developed infrastructure than we have.”

So the folks in the rich countries are supposed to believe that climate change is a greater danger than terrorism. However, according to the responses of nine million people, it’s the folks in the rich countries who didn’t get the memo. Rather than thinking that action on climate change is more important than terrorism and that it’s the biggest challenge facing the world, in reality action taken on climate change is less important to the folks in rich countries than sexual equality or affordable food. And action on climate change is far less important in the wealthiest countries than clean water and sanitation … this is good news. It shows that there still is some sanity on the planet. Not everyone is chanting the alarmist mantra, “The sky is falling! A couple degrees of warming will kill us all!”

Short version? If someone thinks they are helping the poor by fighting the dread CO2, according to the UN the poor would beg to differ. The people in the poor countries have shown clearly that they would prefer it if people who want to help would instead put their valuable skills and their hard-earned money and their precious time into any of the other fifteen items on the UN list before tackling climate change. Climate is not only number sixteen at the bottom of their list, it’s way below the rest in the opinion of the poor. The only reason it is not number seventeen is that there were only sixteen choices on the list …

And even the people in the richest of countries don’t buy the claim that climate change is the biggest problem facing us, nowhere near it. Heck, climate change doesn’t even make it into the top half of the issues that people in the wealthiest countries think are important.

So. While the US is often claimed to be an outlier because so many folks here (including the President-Elect) think climate change is not a significant issue, it turns out that most folks on the planet agree with the President-Elect that climate is down at or near the bottom of the issues that matter. The existence of some fabled large constituency in favor of action on climate issues seems to be a creation of the media … dang, a fabled constituency that is actually just a creation of the media, where else have I heard that lately? But I digress …

Given that we have a limited amount of time, money, and resources with which to work on these issues, it seems to me that we should focus our effort on the real problems that people have identified as making a real difference in their lives. In order, the top ten issues worldwide are education, jobs, healthcare, good government, food, protection against violence, clean water, unemployment insurance, roads, and sexual equality. If people truly care about the poor, pick one of those issues and go to work. It’s what I did for a good chunk of my life.

Once we’ve solved those challenges, we might think about spending billions on CO2 mitigation … or not.

But until then? Not so much.


As Always: Let me please request that to avoid misunderstandings, you QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU OBJECT TO. This lets everyone know the exact nature of your objection.

In Addition: If you think I’m using a method wrong, or using a wrong method or dataset, please further the discussion by showing how to use the method in the right way, or by linking to the correct method or dataset. Simply saying “Willis, you’re wrong” doesn’t help me (and undoubtedly others) learn how to do it correctly.

183 thoughts on “The UN Poll Redux

  1. Always enjoy your posts, and very interesting take on priorities. However, can we find a better representative of the east side of the Atlantic than Prince Charles?

    • I disagree. Poncy Prince Charles is an excellent choice.
      1. Extremely privileged (rich as Croesus)
      2. Completely disconnected from the real world
      3. Constantly lecturing his subjects about whatever idiotic idea comes into his head (architecture, anyone?)

      • My favourite example of Prince Charles’ foolishness was flying from his home to open Adnam’s new carbon-neutral facility in Southwold – a round trip of 400+ miles by helicopter…

      • Hivemind: And totally in the control of Sir Laurens Jan van der Post and his views on environment etc. Charles was too weak to figure it out for himself – and never has.

      • Aye, jorgekafkazar!
        Long Live The Queen!!
        May his Highness, the Prince, relinquish the Crown to his son.
        May the bulldog return to guide and protect jolly Britannia!

    • The UK is prevented from choosing better as Charles is one of the pompous, pampered national pets, that may live long enough to be their King. Won’t that be entertaining? Brits that see him as a Monty Python character should gaze into a mirror. Blaming a pet for what it was trained to be is petty.

      • Not that I hold Charles in any high regard, but I do feel for the guy in that his sole purpose in life (right now) is to kill time whilst waiting for his mother to die so he can start the job he has been groomed for his entire life.
        How soul-destroying is that?
        Yes; he could abdicate the throne and go off somewhere talking to plants in-between his stints as a tampon, but being king has been drilled into him from Day One. He probably can’t conceive another option in his life. Especially since he is now 68: he is already past retirement age before he starts his job as King.
        He is a pest, a nuisance, a do-gooder busy-body with far too much time on his hands, and will quite probably be one of the least-respected monarch for quite some time. And I also feel sorry for him.

      • Better the jug-eared, pompous, puffed-up, buffoonish dullard should have followed his great-great grandad Edward VII’s lead and spent his time waiting as a fashion plate, gambler and womanizer. Edward was 59 when his mom Victoria died. He himself only lived to age 68. Maybe not enough exercise and too many cigars and baccarat games and too much wine, women and song.

      • Prince Charles’ views are honestly held, and expressed as they often are in tartan and plus fours on a celtic hillside, they carry great weight with a large part of the population in which talk of environmental matters evokes a warm response in the bosom. In fact he has gradually assumed a sort of guru position on the subject.
        But to those of us who actually know something of how the natural world works, his utterings are a source of acute embarassment, even when he happens to be supporting our position. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say anything which is not either trivially correct, or fundamentally wrong.
        His dad labours under a similar raft of misconceptions, but at least he has a cynicism and a sense of humour with which to temper it. PC takes himself overly seriously. But he is still a force to be reckoned with.

    • I remember the time when a much younger Prince Charles was involved in some ceremony involving some British soldiers. He found a wad of British money of a few hundred pounds on the ground. It apparently had been dropped by one of the British soldiers. Prince Charles pocketed the money and said maybe the one who lost it would take better care of his money in the future.

  2. It’s odd that mobile phones and internet access appears so low on the list. I’ve seen it written, I think in these pages, that one of the biggest recent drivers of economic growth in Africa is the ability to find new markets thanks to the spread of mobile phones. Perhaps those people who have access are satisfied, and those who don’t, don’t realise what they are missing.

    • Mobile phones and internet access appears low because most people have it, even in poor countries. So they don’t bother.

      • Already have internet access and mobile phones? I doubt it, but obviously, the people that “voted” in this poll do have internet access. The problem with putting a lot of weight in the poll as telling what people really want is the simple fact that the vast majority of the people in this world do not have access to the poll. It is, therefore, more an indication of what relatively “privileged” people think, and not what the world population thinks. To that end, I would bet climate change would be dead last still, and jobs would be ahead of better education if you took everyone into account.

      • The point is surely that most people who engage in an online poll have mobile phones and internet access?
        It doesn’t matter which country they are from.

    • heard suckerberg raving down in peru or wherever
      saying the poor need internet for employment
      then quoted abysmal ALMOST ONE job per 1,000
      spilt my coffee laughing

    • Internet access is only a problem if you don’t have it or very limited. But in that case you don’t get to participate in the poll, so your opinion is not registered. The real poor of the planet are not represented in that poll. Actually most participants from Third World countries are students that are doing it as a class exercise. That’s one of the reasons education ranks so high. They are the people that are getting some education so they understand how important it is. Again, the uneducated masses that don’t care much about education and worry about the next meal are not being polled.
      Terrorism is a problem blown out of proportion to justify international policies (while in part is a consequence of international policies). In OECD countries far less people die of terrorism that of any other cause like domestic or gender violence. >90% of the victims of terrorism occur in non-OECD countries, mostly Third World.
      Scientists have failed to provide evidence that climate change is an outstanding risk and that we can do something about it. If we were polled on the importance of planetary defense against asteroids it would come dead last, but if we had evidence that an impact was likely in the next 50 years it would top the chart.

      • Javier
        “Terrorism is a problem blown out of proportion to justify international policies (while in part is a consequence of international policies).” Kindly provide support for these statements.Since you were vague I can pick. In particular demonstrate how Terrorism is in any part a consequences international policies to combat terrorism. Accepting your assertion “>90% of the victims of terrorism occur in non-OECD countries, mostly Third World.”proves that our attention to the problem is not out of proportion because we are successful. By your logic successfully defending against something proves there was nothing to defend against.

      • Bob, There simply is no publicly available metric for “success” regarding “terrorism.” “We” have no accurate idea about how successful our institutions are at preventing terrorism. The story in the west (especially the US) has been – since 9/11 – that we need to give up some of our freedoms (privacy, most of the Bill of Rights, …) to be “safe.” In fact, any one that wants to “terrorize” the US has a pretty much an unlimited scope, but the incidents we actually have heard of are limited in both scope and number. You can get all the normal hand waving about 9/11, but that was literally a foreign attack on the US. At least half the “prevented” incidents that have appeared in the media are the same – foreign nationals attempting to act on someone else’s territory. When you get down to it, airplanes and US driver’s are scarier. The only place where “terrorism” is a major factor is in the Middle East and there the terrorists are attempting to establish a territorial identity. The short form is that the biggest “terrorists” are the media and the governments who encourage us to be afraid of foreign terrorism and urge us to give them more “entry” into our lives and access to our thoughts and incomes.

      • Flyoverbob,
        I see you are not paying a lot of attention to what is happening in the planet you inhabit, and are swallowing hook, line and sinker of the propaganda that you are being fed. I wish you are very young so there’s hope for you. But you need to run your own searches in internet instead of demanding proof, when your beliefs are challenged.
        The Western World has a tiny part of the casualties by terrorism:
        Muslims Are the VICTIMS of “Between 82 and 97% of Terrorism-Related Fatalities”: US Government
        A look at the top 10 countries with more fatalities from terrorism shows that 9 are Muslim countries, and the 10th has Islam as one of its main religions.
        And what do the two top countries have in common? They both have been invaded by the USA. Iraq didn’t have much of a terrorism problem prior to the US invasion. It is clear that the policies to combat terrorism, are actually feeding it, and Muslim countries are paying the price, while Western governments get a great excuse for their attack on liberties, and attempt to control oil producing countries.

        • Javier, your history is more than a little off. The current wave of terrorism by Muslim salafists started with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian revolution, not the response to Saddam Hussein.

      • Javier, you are using bad logic almost everywhere.
        In regards to Afghanistan they have always had lots of terrorism.
        As to Iraq, prior to the war, we really don’t know what was going on there. Regardless they had a despotic dictator who was killing more Iraqi’s than the terrorists are now. Secondly, the big increase in terrorism didn’t happen until your side forced the US to pull out.
        Finally, you seem to be under the delusion that if we don’t do something about terrorism, they will be content with killing each other and leave us alone.
        That has never happened in the past and it won’t happen in the future.

      • 10 years ago I lived in Tanzania for 7 years. Nearly everybody had a sim chip – sold for 1 US$ and inserted in phone of their frieds or neigbours if needed, price fo a cell phone was starting from as 20 US$. Charges were low and they could choose to pay per second – making very short calls to save money. This was unpolite for Africans, but everybody accepted it.
        All along the highways you had acess to the net. People far away had to climb a mountain however.
        Remember- this was 10-15 years ago – so I think telephone acess is no problem.

      • MarkW,

        you seem to be under the delusion that if we don’t do something about terrorism, they will be content with killing each other and leave us alone.

        The data says that whatever we are doing we should stop doing it immediately, because it is making things worse, not better. Perhaps Trump will have a clearer view on this issue. Obama was a disgrace despite his promises and his Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing and continuing the failed policies of Bush II.

      • As far as the poll and it being a third world challenge; as far as I can make out, the poll is not limited to one person, one vote. One can vote often; or at least I’ve voted more than once from the same computer.
        I agree with Javier’s main point that terrorism is used as rationale to increase regulatory burdens upon law abiding free citizens.

  3. Having lived in Africa, I can assure you that what most men want is a job, and what most women want is a refrigerator.
    Infant diarrhoea is a major killer.

    • I bet a leftwing billionaire could buy a lot of refrigerators. Instead, they want to spend their money trying to rig elections around the world.

  4. What is remarkable when you look at the stats is that climate change is last despite the fact that over 50% of the respondents are in the 16-30 age range, one where you would have thought the climate police would have persuaded them of its importance. Hope for the younger generation yet !!!

  5. It’s fair to say that this is the easiest policy decision Trump will make. Kill climate change funding, make it fast and take no prisoners. The left is controlled by activists and massive climate action hurts their base of working class people proportionately harder. Look at Ontario, Canada, where the premier (governor) has now apologized that her zeal for renewables is causing people to decide between putting food on the table and turning on the lights. I suppose if you’re a conservative maybe you should be hoping the left holds on to their suicidal positions on climate change.

    • Before dropping the axe, he needs to get the actual information out to the public. Get NOAA to admit they’ve been doctoring data. Prove what we all know. The true acolytes won’t believe him, but they don’t matter.

      • Absolutely NOT! That would be the worst possible thing that could be done! Hearings can take years. In the instances where he can he should immediately remove ALL funding for all Global Warming research. Then Congress needs to get the alphabet soup administrations under oath, with the stipulation by the president that false or misleading responses will bring dismissal and claw back proceedings.

    • There is no climate change funding. Obama stole that money from an infectious disease emergency fund. Congress controls the money and will not
      ‘ratify’ the Paris deal. Trump doesn’t really need to do anything imo, except drain the NASA swamp.

  6. Fantastic piece of work. Every politician, celeb, civil servant, etc. should be required to read and understand this data.

    • Politicians read? They have staff to do the reading, editing the purpose into a one liner. Just as ‘committee’ work eliminates ferret discovery. Much easier to go with the flow – get in line with the seniority wrangler, remuda and ranch hands behavior. Reading is a start.

  7. I suppose most people are going to follow Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in one way or another. However people rank issues dependent on their impact at any one time, which can vary with a persons situation or he acuity of the event. Climate change is not going to bother anyone unless they see first hand the impact. Unemployment is much more of an issue if you do not have a job and persecution is critical if you are being treated unfairly. Like many things there is a large degree of subjectivity in these things which can vary over time.'s_hierarchy_of_needs

    • “Climate change is not going to bother anyone unless they see first hand the impact.”
      And, as there has been little or no impact for them to see first hand, they aren’t going to bothered about it, are they?
      Which is exactly what the survey says.

  8. I see a link that explains why Trump won and Clinton lost , what matters to the elite don’t rate to the struggling masses .

    • The Democrat party has the problem that it promises great things to the working people at election time and then betrays them later. The working people have figured this out.
      If Trump does not betray the working people, it may be a long time before the Democrat party gets another chance.

      • Commiebob. I’m thinking the same thing too. I think that much of the Democrat party and the MSM knows it too. That’s why they were so nuts on this election. If the economy picks up quickly it will be very apparent were the problem lies.

      • You can add the GOPe as well. They used and then betrayed their base as well giving rise to the “Uniparty” label. Again, hence Trump.

      • James, I’m not so sure about the Democratic party piece. David Brock was on NpR this morning. He is still concerned that racism is the big bogeyman, not economics, jobs, gov’t responsiveness and Hillary’s lies. He will be convening the big donors (Soros, Steyr, Gates, etc.) In Florida in new year to plan strategy against GOP.

      • John,
        At this point, that’s one of few things that they have left to work with … “stop the racism (and similar behavior), stick with us … the other side hates you because you are [fill in the blank] and you will never get a fair chance with the other side..
        If the republicans (& Trump) can work together, and not do anything stupid to give the dems (& media) a chance to get their current narrative rolling, then the dems are out for quite a while. Given, of course, that the economic climate stands or improves.

      • John MacDonald November 22, 2016 at 9:46 am
        … He is still concerned that racism is the big bogeyman …

        It’s way easier to vilify the other side than to admit that your side might have a problem.

      • Flyoverbob: “Never, NEVER underestimate the Republican elites ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”
        But this time, we aren’t dealing with the Republican elites, are we?

  9. I think that ‘Action taken on Climate Change’ is a very high priority issue. But the priority is to stop the utterly futile policies which are driving up energy prices, endangering the supply of despatchable electricity, and ensuring that the developing world cannot break out of poverty. So, how would I complete this survey without my ‘vote’ being taken to imply that I want more such policies ?

    • David
      How you can look at the survey an say climate action is a very high priority is a mystery.
      Good grief.

      • I think David was saying the eliminating the AGW funding and emphasis is a top priority but the UN poll didn’t give people that option.

      • Rhoda R, November 22, 2016 at 9:19 am
        I think Javert Chip was addressing a specific point. Please note: “I think that ‘Action taken on Climate Change’ is a very high priority issue.” Why would the UN include anything that is not on its agenda? Eliminating is never a UN priority.

      • mikerestin
        November 22, 2016 at 5:35 am
        Those stupid, ignorant masses saw through Hillary and the dems and that’s why Trump won.

        “stupid, ignorant masses”? I think you mean deplorable irredeemables. 🙂
        Or maybe the masses are not as stupid or ignorant as the Dems/Hillary thought!

    • Ah yes, another leftist who believes that it’s only an education if it results in you agreeing with him.
      I’ve been asking this for a couple of weeks. Why is it that you are so convinced that a degree in Women’s Studies means that someone is “educated”?

    • rovingbroker
      A good education is not available in the US because they are too busy indoctrinating the kids to be socialist and not spending any time teaching them anything. One of the reason I voted for Trump.

    • The main reason many can’t get a good education is because they are offering too many ‘Studies’ courses and calling it an education. And it goes without saying that educators that teach such courses are a complete waste of time

    • rovingbroker,
      In the United States an education is available to everyone that wants it.
      The qualifier “good”, allows for a very subjective interpretation of whatever you are trying to say. You should think about what point you are really trying to make. Indoctrination does not equal good education.
      AND, in the USA a QUALITY education is available to anyone that has the intellectual capacity for it, and actually is willing to work for it.

      • In the sixties in Germany peple from all classes could get an academic education. Nowadays children of poor parents do it very seldom. It’s no matter of money, Even university is free. They get sorted out in the educational system. Which means the get discouraged, getting always the message: You are not good enough. Imagine what this does to child if heard for many years.

  10. I think the global warming activists will claim that climate change is the underlying factor affecting the other 15 concerns on the list, and people are just too stupid to realize it. So-called fixing the climate will fix everything else…just trust them, then have a consensus.

    • David L: largely, I suspect you are correct; your keyword being “activists”.
      However, more precisely I characterize them as “cultists who largely are in no need of data, nor evidence, nor scientific logic and reasoning, nor etc … or who are only selective of the same. They do not need such as they are true believers. As such their strident attitude pervades so much of their view of humanity.
      For them, it seems the misguided foundation of their beliefs is the heavy emphasis on the “A” in AGW … or, should I be more PC and refer to this notion as ACC, that is, Anthropogenic Climate Chante?
      [By AGW, here I mean a concept that humanity is the primary driver of climate change. Yes, of course, humanity has some impact on climate change … but from all that I have seen so far, and, I admit that like most “regular” people, where I have not evaluated this comprehensively, I can see no compelling reason to believe that humanity is a primary or even a secondary driver.]
      Further, I say misguided because it seems to me that, regarding the science of it all, these activists have some misunderstanding, or, perhaps willful disregard, of first principles … principles that many of us learn — or, at least used to learn before the PC invasion — in or before the 8th grade, the last year of primary school here in the USA.
      To wit: AGW, or however one wants to label it, is “believed” by many of these misguided activists to be a scientific “law”; whereas, it is not even a scientific theory; a theory being, in a simple sense, a notion which has been established by accurate models of prediction … which, in turn, have been demonstrated to be workable repeatedly by the investigation of time-tested empirical observations.
      AGW, at this point, under first principles, can only be considered at best, as a scientific hypothesis … as there is no workable model of prediction. As such, humanity being the primary driver in AGW, may or may not be true.
      In view of this fact, in conjunction with the fact that there are many scientific theories for which there is less than 100% consensus, it is laughable on its face that AGW, that is, human = primary driver AGW, is purported that 97% of scientists believe in AGW.
      Note: there may be a political consensus, am I am not even willing to bet on this, but certainly there is no such scientific consensus regarding AGW. I, for one of many, consider this AGW notion to be part of the Big Lie of the globalists.
      I believe that many people, not all, look similarly at this AGW notion and that we are seeing such herein the public opinion sampling statistics. Nonetheless, this is what these activists believe and their minds are closed to any discussion or actions to the contrary.

      • AGW doesn’t even meet the criteria of a hypothesis, because it cannot be validated by experiment. There is no “control earth” and “variable earth” to test the AGW idea. It is therfore a mere conjecture or an educated guess.

      • I’ve talked to a lot of so called environmentalists who take the line that if it’s change, and it’s caused by humans, then by definition it’s bad, and must be fought.
        Degree doesn’t matter. If it’s detectable, it’s too much.

      • Despite a few insignificant semantics, I doubt you will find anyone, here, who disagrees with your comment. Consensus could be implied… but we all just hate – that word… so much. The real story is the painful journey through “consensus science” to reach the easily stated skeptical view. 🙂 GK

  11. Willis, very nice analysis.
    But then we already knew that Climate Change Action is not to help the poor of the world, in fact it is just the opposite.
    As per Agenda 21 and those Agenda that have followed it it is all about depriving them of Cheap Energy and Cash to improve their lot.
    As we also know that there are a lot of REAL problems that they need help with.
    It would appear that this should be compulsary reading for Women, there is no point in including the Very Rich, the UN & politicians as they have already bought into Globalisation.

  12. Don’t worry no doubt the NOAA will be asked to look at the figures and they will ‘adjust’ them so climate change comes out at the top.

  13. Willis said “Given that we have a limited amount of time, money, and resources with which to work on these issues, it seems to me that we should focus our effort on the real problems………….”
    I think we should also identify why we are limited to the level we are. There are plenty who want jobs, there are plenty of natural resources in the world. Plenty of scope to help the poorer to help themselves. The UN needs to think hard about action to increase globally, targetted aid for sustainable self improvement in the poorer parts of the world. What are they scared of or constrained by?

    • The UN had a narrow pre-configured task. When the task was accomplished (WW2) this .org type entity re assembled the parts into today’s bureaucratic inefficiency. Perhaps the issue is treating symptoms first and continuously. I have a 1926 National Geographic magazine with a front page and interior story about the crisis of clean drinking water disaster in Africa. Still going on today – does strategy and problem solving have connected roots?

  14. Fascinating! If you scroll down the page and look at WHERE the votes come from, surprise! Nigeria produced the most votes. I know of many Nigerians wanting to provide me with a very comfortable retirement if only I would pay them a small sum of money for access to $millions.
    At the top they show you what age group produced most of the voting: 77% are 30 years or younger. I can only speak for myself, but when I was under 30 years old climate change was about the least important thing on my mind. I was very aware of it, it just wasn’t that important in my struggle to make a living. Considering the source of most of the voting and their age I’m not the least bit surprised at the results.
    Then if you scroll some more you find that 83% of the votes come from mostly very poor countries, China being the exception. (Although China is still relatively poor, especially for those not living in the cities)
    I was also struck by the obvious illiteracy of the writer: ” The people taking the pole are asked to choose”
    I wonder what they did with the pole once they were done with it. I can think of one very useful application of it.

    • Avocado November 22, 2016 at 5:40 am

      I was also struck by the obvious illiteracy of the writer: ” The people taking the pole are asked to choose”

      Avocado, a gentleman would have simply pointed out the typographical error, perhaps with the addition of some humor, as a couple of people did above.
      An unpleasant person would have done the same, but included some snark instead of the humor.
      However, it takes a true jerkwagon to claim that a typo is a sign of “obvious illiteracy” …

      I wonder what they did with the pole once they were done with it. I can think of one very useful application of it.

      Congratulations! You’ve made it to the top of your chosen profession! Let me invite you to take the pole yourself.

      • Green on the exterior, green through the first inside layer, and then completely full of hard brown.
        Maybe Avocado is a better descriptor than Watermelon.

        • I learned San Francisco is ideal for avocados. A friend owns a house in the Mission District, and in his tiny back yard is a compost heap, from which a discarded avocado pit volunteered a tree 50 feet tall inside ten years.

  15. Not sure what any of this should have to do with the UN. Although I can certainly imagine them twisting it into all sorts of nightmare scenarios, and heavy-handedness overreach.

    • Griff, thanks for reminding us that lefty hack fanatics not only produce surveys that show Hillary winning the election, but on climate as well.

    • To quote something like professor Brian Cox and his refuation of temperature adjustment when he said “This is NASA”….well I think the same could be said “This is the UN” …..1 in 9 people polled put action on climate changes as most important. 1 in 9. Your poll from the Washington Post only shows that it was biased, whether deliberiately contrived or just a case of the readership bias it matters not. It is biased and unrepresentative of the world population. Unless of course you think the UN is not a worthy organisation….then perhaps we should ask for our money back from COP22.

    • Griff, you need to start actually thinking for yourself, it is much more gratifying in the long run.
      If someone interrupts your routine and asks you “Do you support X?” when “X” has no material affect on your present circumstance, you are very likely to answer “Yeah, sure, whatever” just to get rid of the pest. Many folks who answered “yes” undoubtedly didn’t even know what the Paris accord was about.
      Polls are the most useless contrivance (need any recent examples?), unless you want to construct a poll question to support your particular POV, then they are very useful indeed.

    • Griff November 22, 2016 at 6:03 am

      71 percent of Americans support the Paris deal, including 57 percent of Republicans

      That’s obviously hogwash. There are few Americans who could identify one single component of the “Paris deal”, and a majority likely never heard of it.
      Heck, even the article notes this, saying:

      Note that the Paris agreement is so new that not all Americans may have even heard of it, but the one sentence description here is an accurate (if very brief) one.

      Really? Accurate? Their “one-sentence description” they say is accurate is that it:
      “… calls for countries to collectively reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases”.
      My “one-sentence description” of the Paris deal that I say is accurate is that it:
      “… calls for wealthy countries to collectively send billions to third world despots under the farfetched claim that the money will not end up in Swiss banks but will somehow make the despots reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases”.
      You can see the problem, Griff. The respondees are NOT answering a question about the Paris Accord. They are asking a question about a rainbows-and-unicorns false DESCRIPTION of the Accord.
      So the best you can say is, yeah, people liked the Pollyanna “everything is wonderful” DESCRIPTION, but they have no opinion on the actual Accord.

  16. Most people are going to follow Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in one way or another. However people rank issues dependent on their impact at any one time, which can vary with a persons situation or he acuity of the event. Climate change is not going to bother anyone unless they see first hand the impact. Unemployment is much more of an issue if you do not have a job and persecution is critical if you are being treated unfairly. Like many things there is a large degree of subjectivity in these things which can vary over time.'s_hierarchy_of_needs

  17. Great analysis, Willis. The small and shrinking community of climate change extremists has built a very expensive echo chamber. Reintroducing this community to reality is not merely good for their mental health. It will also free up the time and resources that this community squanders in maintaining their echo chamber for productive efforts. Thanks for using such interesting data to make this important point.

  18. The Left has no intention of going quietly into the night. Their march is to a Hunger Games type political system. An authoritarian system where the elites of the like-minded “enlightened” class controls the entire economy and political system, a nobility-fuedal system.
    The climate hustle (what they call “action on CC”) is just one of several propaganda and control tools they employ. As their attempts fail (Brexit, Trumped climate action, so on) they will resort to more desparate and divisive measures.

    • “After Brexit and Trump, the Left Must Stop Playing By The Rules”. (Jonathon Freedland, The Guardian)
      A friend’s daughter is attending university, on academic scholarships, a very smart lass indeed. Recently she said she agreed with one of her professors (and, apparently, Paul Krugman) that the ideal form of government is an enlightened and benevolent dictatorship.

      • When did the Left last play by the rules? Hillary didn’t during the debates, she cheated by getting the answers in advance just like some dumb high-schooler …

      • When push comes to shove, socialists always go for totalitarianism. Since they know what is best for you, they won’t tolerate letting the peons have a say in the outcome.

      • “…she agreed with one of her professors (and, apparently, Paul Krugman) that the ideal form of government is an enlightened and benevolent dictatorship.”

        I agree with that on one condition: That is get to be The Benevolent Dictator. And I promise I’ll only serve a 4 year term if you let me go first.

  19. Quoting comment in reference to:
    Figure 2. Differences between men and women.

    Women also put much more weight than men on affordable good food, protection against violence, and sexual equality (steep blue lines). Men on the other hand put much more weight than women on political freedom, better roads, and phone access (steep red lines).

    The above noted results are not the least bit surprising to those who have an understanding of human evolution and the Inherited Survival Instincts that are different between the males and females of many of the animal species.
    The above sexual driven difference is “rooted” in the Survival-of-the-Species Instinct whereby the female will, more likely than not, make an emotional decision (to protect the offspring) rather than a logical decision, …….. whereas the male will, more likely than not, make a logical decision rather than an emotional decision.
    As stated by another person a week or so ago, to wit:
    The female is “ruled” by emotion first and logic second
    Don’t mess with Mommy’s baby, …… or you will be in big, big trouble.

    • Citing another’s opinion does not make that opinion fact, just common. My take is, there is a rational division of labor. The woman shields the child while the generally larger stronger male confronts the threat. Emotion is a normal universal human trait.

      • The following is pretty much evolutionary fact that manifests itself throughout most of the higher animal species.
        The female’s decision-making is “ruled” by emotion first and logic second
        And therein the above is the “root cause” for the present-day complaints by females (and supporting girly-men) that they are being denied promotions to managerial positions in business and industry because of an imaginary “glass ceiling” that the males are at fault for the placement thereof.

    • OTOH, it’s a myth that women marry for love. Women marry for power and resources. Men marry for love. Don’t ask me to substantiate, simply my opinion, and a hard-earned one.

    • My cousin told us in 1956 that the first order of business of a US Communist regime would be to put a woman in the Presidency.

    • “Don’t mess with Mommy’s baby, …… or you will be in big, big trouble.”
      That’s right! Every one of the women’s priorities focuses on her family and protecting it.
      Women give more priority to their children than they do to their husbands, according to a study I once read. 🙂

  20. Let’s hope that the President Elect is shown theses stats. so that it makes it easier for him to fulfil his election pledge and withdraw all expenditure related to the AGW confidence trick.

  21. The UN survey is similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which has been fairly well debunked. Both approaches are situational. Catch a person on a cold windy day, when they missed lunch, and they will respond differently than when you catch them on the beach at Hilton Head. In the former case they will focus on basic dimensions of survival. In the latter they will focus on altruism, meaning of life, blah, blah, blah … I would guess that the different response due to gender has a s much to do with situational variation in the measurement as with reliable difference between men and women.

      • the different response due to gender has a s much to do with situational variation in the measurement as with reliable difference between men and women.
        That’s easy enough to prove, …….. via a simple study of “gender responses” to being served Divorce Papers and/or the subsequent divorce litigations.
        The female’s emotional decision making before, during and after “divorce litigations” is an all-consuming mental exercise.

  22. Oh No. Are you being “Political Correct” dividing what men and women think and poor/rich nation. Watch out the PC police will put you in jail. (sarc off)

  23. Very informative article. Even discounting for methodological concerns of such an online poll, should not this give pause to those advocating the spending of $ trillions to influence the temperature by a few tenth of a degree supposedly to help the poor of the world? Many of these other concerns should have priority, and as we all learned when managing our allowances, money spent for one thing is unavailable for other things.
    The Trump administration will take a lot of flak for pulling back from Pres. Obama’s climate pledges. Would support and funds for some of these higher priority items, directly not through UN, and maybe tied to bilateral trade deals be a way forward? Maybe modeled after Pres. Bush’s support of anti AIDS work in Africa.

  24. Thanks, very interesting. I was curious about age differences in the U.S. by age and was surprised by the results of my quick check. As you moved from the youngest to oldest respondents the concern for climate change increased relative to other issues.
    >15 came in 11th, 16-30 came in 10th, 30-45 was 9th, 45-65 was 8th and for those over 61 it was the 6th highest issue.
    I would have thought that the framed long term risks of climate change coupled with their generally more progressive orientations would have made climate a more salient issue for younger people. But perhaps other progressive issues are a bigger priority to them. On the other hand, maybe the younger people are more removed from the 70s and not as sensitive to the issue as many older people who still identify with that counter-culture.

  25. It’s simple; The damn dirty deplorables keep messing up their “climate communication”. But no matter; the rich “liberal” elites know what’s best for everyone, and the planet.

  26. Thanks, Willis. Your figs 2 and 3 are of exemplary quality, well labelled and captioned. Can you correct the typo in line 3 as I would like to send the link to some friends?

  27. A truly smart politician – say one who is comfortable ignoring the “prevailing wisdom” – will see instantly that he can free up a lot of money for other projects by slashing all of the funding climate projects are getting, and he will pay almost no price among the voters for doing so. Somebody is always upset when programs are cut, so if a President, say, wants to free up money and move it to some of his real priorities, this is where you get it. Obviously.

  28. Willis ==> It would be interesting to see at least one more set of charts — what poor country women want vs rich country women, and the same for men. This chart might show why many humanitarian and charity efforts miss the mark — women/men from rich countries decide what the women/men in poor countries need.
    When all the economic classes are considered combined, there is surprisingly little difference between the opinions of men and women — differences of only a few percentage points — many within the margin or error, I suspect.
    From my experience in humanitarian work, women in poor countries want the things that help keep their families (read: children) safe and healthy and want reliable, dependable work for their men and for themselves — this last does not mean “better, higher paying, jobs” but rather just steady work providing a predictable paycheck without the constant threat of arbitrary termination.
    Note that millions (literally) of poor rural Chinese have flocked to China’s manufacturing centers to live in rabbit-warren conditions to take advantage of just that kind of “steady-paycheck job” — one member of the family working in a distant factory, saving up to bring the rest of the family in the future.

  29. I always enjoy posts by Willis, and this is another great yet simple analysis.
    A point to note about the differences between rich and poor. Even the people from ‘poor’ countries that responded to this poll apparently had access to a computer with an internet connection. I am sure there are many more ‘poor’ people without such access who had no opportunity to make their opinions known. But I feel sure that they would have placed action on climate change as low if not lower than the 13% that Willis found.

  30. Samuel C Cogar
    November 22, 2016 at 6:25 am
    “Quoting comment in reference to:
    “Figure 2. Differences between men and women.””
    Samuel, I’ve had to duck for cover a few times in stating that we have too many women in politics and this itself leads to evermore socialist leanings. I used to be big on women’s lib, but with time, I’ve not been happy with the priorities of those who have taken on the top political jobs. They are definitely predisposed to “nanny governments”.
    I grew up with tough, very smart women in my family and, of course there were the few like Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Benazir Bhutto and a very few others who got to the top political job in those days. These days, there are no such types at the top (hmm…not so many men there either come to think of it – probably eating too much tofu). I have some hope for Theresa May, I guess, but I’d be happier if women were to exercise their energies in championing some of the top things on the UN poll list and leave political economy to men. I’d probably make an exception for Janice Moore, though, a tough, smart, classy girl who graces these pages often.
    Re the poll: the reason the UN and its fellow lefty demagogues are at odds with real folk is they have been dealing with the kleptocratic heads of the poor countries who see CC as another way to get showered with cash to stuff into real estate in NYC and palaces in southern France.

    • @ Gary Pearse
      I almost missed reading your post …… and glad I didn’t.
      And you are absolutely right about the fact that ….. “we have too many women in politics and this itself leads to evermore socialist leanings”.
      And far worse yet, Gary, ….. “we have far, far, far too many women Administrators and Teachers in Public School Education and this itself leads to the youngest of the generations being subjected to socialist brainwashing”.
      And thus the reason that American students are now “sucking hind tit” on the world ranking in Math, Science and Reading.

  31. I think a fairer poll would be to give a person fifty issues and have them rank their top ten. Climate change would then likely not show up on the radar screen at all.

    • That’s sort of been done, with C.C. ranking 31st or 32nd out of 32 issues. But asking to choose the top ten will certainly filter out C.C. entirely, yep.

  32. The reason that climate change is more important to the rich is because the governments of rich countries are the ones selling the propaganda for their political agenda(climate change) as a marketing tool so they can justify sending money from their countries to the poor countries via paths like the Green Climate Fund……..supposedly to fund such things as the poor countries adapting to (human caused) climate change caused by the rich countries burning fossil fuels.
    However, the last 4 decades have featured the best weather/climate in ~1,000 years with a corresponding, beneficial increase in CO2 and slight, mostly beneficial warming.
    Sea levels have continued to increase close to the rate of the past century ~1″/decade. Heavy rain events have also increased a bit from the slightly warmer atmosphere/oceans which allows the atmosphere to hold more moisture.
    However, violent tornadoes peaked in the 1970’s(mostly a US item), global tropical cyclone energy peaked in the mid 1990’s, global drought is down a bit and the earth is greatly greening up, along with crop yields and world food production soaring(with CO2/weather a plus).
    So if the benefits have greatly outweighed the negatives from increasing CO2, in the undeveloped countries, how is it that the developed countries need to send billions to undeveloped countries to adapt?
    Build bigger storage bins for larger crops (-:

  33. There is something odd about the poll reports seen by following links Willis has provided. If you toggle between the Americas and Central America there is a minor swap of the first two most popular categories. Even the numbers don’t change much. I’m skeptical of the entire thing now.

  34. Rovingbroker writes: “A good education is not available to many in the US which may in part explain why Trump won.” Um… what? Are you familiar with the failed “Trump University” which bilked students of their money and pretended to provide an education? Anyone who voted for Trump in the hopes that good education would be provided has been taken for a fool…

  35. Willis Eschenbach
    “The artist currently known as Prince”. Left me rolling on the floor.
    Eugene WR Gallun
    PS — Now I have this vague hope that if Charles ever does ascend the British throne that the media will always refer to him as “the King formerly known as Prince”.

    • Yeah, Gene, I had to put in a plug for the Purple one …
      For those wondering what the joke is, the musician Prince once got into an argument with Sony, his music label. He was unhappy and wanted to leave. They said (correctly) that they owned the rights to his name so he couldn’t record for anyone else. Weird, huh? Gotta love the music business.
      Prince being Prince, he simply changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, called himself “the artist formerly known as Prince”, and kept recording. Once the Sony contract ran out, he resumed his own name.
      I cannot, however, take credit for applying the sobriquet to Prince Charles. You see, he actually is an artist, and when there was a show of his watercolors here in San Francisco, the local newspaper referred to him as “the artist currently known as Prince” … and for me at least, it stuck.
      Best regards,

  36. There is a big difference between asking someone what is important to them and asking them what needs action taken. In terms of what is important, Protection from crime and violence has to be number one for just about everyone, because if people were being murdered all around you then jobs and healthcare and education would take a back seat to trying to stop the murdering. As with access to clean water, if don’t have it then getting it is more important to anything else on that list.

  37. I see a lot of insincerity in claims that we must act on climate change for the sake of future generations. I saw one estimate (exaggerated no doubt) That the cost of climate change will be 1.9 Trillion dollars a year by the year 2100. Why would people say we need to take action on stopping a possible future cost like that when they aren’t asking for action on the trillions of debt we are already passing onto future generations that is REAL and not some estimate for 80 years from now? Why is our current national debt not getting 1 /10th the attention as something we need to fix for future generations but a POTENTIAL cost of similar magnitude decades from now requires we do something about it right now? And thats all the threat of global warming is, is cost. No one is going to die from a sea level rising fractions of an inch faster per year than it is right not, it is just going to cost money to deal with it. So if passing on costs to future generations is a problem why aren’t these warmists demanding action on the national debt? Because we’ll start by cutting that climate change grant budget, thats why.

  38. Funny thing, when given a choice between acting on issues that are real, and a fake although much-hyped one, most people choose real issues. Go figure.

  39. from the article: 2. “The point that the president is making is that when you are talking about the direct daily impact of these kinds of challenges on the daily lives of Americans, particularly Americans living in this country, that the direct impact, that more people are affected by those things than by terrorism.”
    The flaw in this argument is there is no daily impact on people’s lives from the climate behaving abnormally. If you asked most normal people about the impact of climate change on their lives, they would say “what impact”? What are you talking about?
    Obama’s spokesperson is assuming too much in saying human-caused climate change is affecting people’s lives for the worse. There is no change in the climate caused by humans. If you say there is, then show it to us.

    • OTOH if you asked them to name an impact of terrorism on their lives? “Hell, that’s easy. Airport security.”

  40. It’s interesting that this UNDP poll is still “open”. When it was originally launched (early 2013), it was supposed to run for two years:

    From now until 2015, we want as many people in as many countries as possible to be involved: citizens of all ages, genders and backgrounds, particularly the world’s poor and marginalized communities.

    Mind you, the PR fanfare surrounding the launch of this survey also declared that:

    the era of making decisions about global issues behind closed doors with little citizen involvement was coming to an end.

    See: NEWSFLASH! Action on climate change voted bottom of world’s priority heap
    And we know just how well that has worked out, don’t we?!
    The other interesting thing about this particular poll is that contrary to an implied promise to share the results with the designated High Level Panel honchos, they didn’t. Instead, the UN powers that be decided that the results of a 24 hour 10,000 participant shindig would be more to their liking. See:
    UN survey participants: one-day 10,000 trumps two-year 8 million plus
    But as I had discovered in March of 2015 – while exploring the voices, visions and values of the UN – via the magic of media manipulation, the UN had already succeeded in linking (and elevating) “Action taken on climate change” to three “Proposed Sustainable Development Goals”:
    Promote sustainable industrialization
    Promote sustainable consumption and production patterns
    Promote actions at all levels to address climate change
    So perhaps the one-day 10,000 party was to come to the aid of a flailing and failing UN agenda that nobody wants or needs?!

  41. Goldrider…. “somebody needs to bring this (priority ranking ) to the attention of Mr. Trump ” .
    With respect Goldrider , Trump knew what the publics priorities were and the Democrats demonstrated once again they didn’t .
    The Democrats catered to there hedge fund greenie backers and Trump listened to the people fed up with
    the insular and ineffective Washington establishment .
    The Democrats counted on their historic base for blind undying loyalty but for decades screwed those people as they sold out to lobbyists. bankers and hedge fund billionaires .
    Trump will “Make America Great Again ” and next time obliterate the same Democrats (Ok except California ) who are nothing more than a name to rent . How they kept any union support while openly declaring they were firing union workers is mind blowing .
    The blast of fresh air coming to the USA is long overdue .

    • Democrats are also the party who started the ”cannabis is harmful” commodities scam to promote nylon and other oil based products by Mr DuPont, Amber.
      Think of the untold number of blacks and hispanics turned into criminals by Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratically controlled, Senate AND House, when they made that law.

  42. Anyone who ever believed ”the signts is sownd!” deserves to be compared to the intellectual buffoon Prince Chuck The Dense.

  43. I recall a photo of an African woman kneeling over a fire in a smoke filled hut. If she survived childbirth years she might live until 50-55 probably to die from pulmonary disease. And Environmentalists want to keep her from having central station, cheap coal fired electricity.

  44. Great article. The comparisons may have been more dramatic – and clearer – if you had used bar charts. I put it in my file.

  45. I forsee an abrupt change in those numbers in the very near future. Many of these issues are closely connected to the consequences of global warming. Poor people doesn’t care, because they doesn’t know what whe are subjecting them to, and rich people think we have lots of time before this affects us, knowing well that the poor will yet again be the ones that gets screwed first.
    “Education rulez” you say, and judging from the polls the whole world agrees that ed. is lacking. That should be a clue that the majority doesn’t jave the knowledge to protect their own interests.
    If science was dictatet by the oppinions of the majority we would still have been in the dark ages, and the people behind sites like “The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change” would not have, nor need an internet to spread their propaganda.

    • Frode Haugsgjerd November 22, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      “Education rulez” you say, and judging from the polls the whole world agrees that ed. is lacking. That should be a clue that the majority doesn’t jave the knowledge to protect their own interests.

      Wonderful. Another one of our well-educated betters has arrived. Fortunately, HE has the knowledge that foolish people like us people lack.
      You see, friends, in Frode’s world, anybody who is against his climate alarmism just “doesn’t have the knowledge to protect their own interests”.
      Fortunately, help has arrived. Frode has graciously agreed to tell us all just how we should be living our lives and how we can protect our own interests, which is good because obviously we’re all far too dumb to know how to live this complex life in the Frode-approved manner.
      This may come as a shock to you, Frode, but for many of us, we don’t need your advice and guidance, and we don’t want your advice and guidance. We are people who hear “the world wants education” and think about ways we might help in that.
      You are a man who hears “the world wants better education” and concludes it must mean that people are too uneducated to make up their own minds and luckily, you’re just the man to fill that obvious need …
      And you obviously haven’t noticed, but just exactly your brand of elite arrogant paternalism has fouled the climate argument from day one, as our climate betters tried to tell us what we should be thinking about climate … and it was that same elite arrogant paternalism that just lost Hillary the Presidency.
      And while I can understand her missing every obvious sign … are you gonna just blithely and blindly follow HIillary and her acolytes and dance over that cliff edge with her???

    • “Many of these issues are closely connected to the consequences of global warming. “
      You mean like extended growing seasons, 13% more green cover in arid areas and ongoing almost exponential increase in the production of basic foodstuffs?
      Yes, as the impact of those starts to bite, the number of people who are concerned about a bit of warming is going to decrease fast.

  46. Upon re-reading, there’s one further point I’d like to make.
    Look at the difference between the rich and the poor regarding “reliable energy at home”. For the poor, it’s in the top eight out of sixteen … and for the rich, it’s tied for dead last.
    When I was a kid, inexpensive electricity to the home and the farm was still seen as a lifesaver. Now, “caring” people go around trying to make electricity expensive … unthinking cruelty toward the poor.
    The poor understand the crucial part that energy plays in freeing the housewife and the farmer from endless drudgery … and sadly, the rich seem to have totally forgotten that lesson.

    • I agree, Oatley. Willis has a knack for simmering things down to their basics.
      His comment about energy and the poor reminded me of this:
      If you’re well fed you have lots of problems. But if your’re starving, you have only one problem…

  47. “The top ten issues worldwide are education, jobs, healthcare, good government, food, protection against violence, clean water, unemployment insurance, roads, and sexual equality”. Well, the South African ANC government has managed to blow the first SEVEN out of the water. And next year, there’s to be a ‘carbon’ tax for some reason (probably since our kleptocracy is running out of pocket money sources).
    Oh yes, and the government want to build more windmills and solar farms…

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