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40% of Australians don’t believe in man-made global warming (and boy are they irritated)

Posted By Joanne Nova On April 4, 2011 @ 6:05 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Who knew? CSIRO funded a 5,000 person poll last July and August and then sat on the results for months. Perhaps they were disappointed that only 50% of people thought humans have any role in changing the global climate? Worse, 90% of people acknowledge that the world is warming, and 40% have figured out that that the key issue is not whether it warms but whether it’s natural that matters, and it’s hard to call them deniers. How inconvenient.

Irritation hampers climate change science: The Australian, April 4 2011.

Poll of Australians, climate change irritates

Let me guess, Tim Flannery realizes that the more he explains the climate, in a one-sided staged discussion, the more people become skeptical, right? But then again, it could just be that the explanations are not credible. He’s closer than he realizes.

A lack of “credible information” is one of the main reasons that 40 per cent of Australians do not believe that humans have a role in global warming, according to the head of the federal government’s Climate Commission, Tim Flannery.

So despite a $100 million dollar federal department, a whole UN agency,  entire popular-science magazines being converted into full time activists, multiple glossy brochures, 13 million dollar advertising campaigns, community forums, school programs, teacher information, free school resources, and prime time media help on an almost daily basis, and Flannery still thinks the problem is that people lack “credible” information?

The real problem for Tim is that the people are getting too much of his kind of information. The more they get, the less they like it. Even without skeptics working online, the man-in-the-street knows that predicting the weather is damn difficult, the answers presented are too chumpy-chumpy clean cut, that there is no real debate, and any dissenters are marginalized and vilified (which is odd for a debate that is supposedly about science). The public can smell the propaganda. They are irritated by the one-sided fakery of the “conversation”.

What’s interesting is the divergence between trust in “government” (nearly as low as “second-hand car salesman”) and trust in “government scientists” which is conversely very high. No wonder the government wants to exploit the good-will earned by government scientists over the last five decades. It’s just a shame the good name is being squandered.

The graph mocks Flannery’s point about the “lack of credible information” in any case: the most credible people are (apparently) environmental groups and university scientists, which the climate team use in droves. Where can they go from here?

From the report comes the news that Gillard must dread: skepticism is spreading by word of mouth. Skeptics don’t need the mass media to get the message out, they are telling their friends.

People tend to trust their friends and family for information on climate change – for those who
don’t consider climate change to be human-induced, family and friends are trusted more than
every other source of climate change information except university scientists.

For Professor Walker, the problem is the grumpiness of recalcitrants (does he think perhaps some Valium would help?)

Professor Walker said the survey showed that many people in the cohort ascribing climate change to natural fluctuations were irritated by the issue.

“If your first response to anything to do with climate change is irritation, you’re unlikely to pay any attention to scientific information,” he said.

Once again, a CSIRO “scientist” gets the cause and effect back-to-front. Are you ignoring the science because you are irritated, or are you irritated because you know it’s not science, and they’re calling you names?

You’re irritated by lies, deceit and name-calling? You’re hampering the power-grab.

So let’s send a message to Professor Walker: Yes, in fact, we are irritated. As a psychologist, you’d think he could figure out that calling people names, “denier”, usually leads to irritation. If they want 40% of Australian’s to be less irritable, they can start giving us some real evidence, instead of force-feeding us the irrelevant kind where cause and effect are confused; where climate simulations are presented as if they are more real than the climate; where predictions fail, but the spinmeisters claim success; where key parts of the evidence go “missing”, and scientists avoid FOI’s and behave like Greenpeace activists, but nobody in public office minds any of it in the slightest.

They could also ask the ABC to let 40% of Australians have a voice on “our” national broadcaster. The problem for them though, is that overnight, the 40% would become 80%. And who would be “irritated” then?

The full survey is here (3.3Mb).

You can email Professor Iain Walker: Iain.A.Walker AT csiro.au

or The Climate Commission (Tim Flannery): Contact here and phone (02) 6159 7624

These people are trying to understand why “The Unconvinced” are irritated and they need your help. Please be polite. It’s so much more effective.

UPDATE #1: The Australian Labor party are being punished.

Polls just in show that the Labor vote has been dumped back down again:

Labor’s primary vote, which jumped to 36 per cent two weeks ago from a record low of 30 per cent, has slumped again to 32 per cent. This is the same level as Labor’s support after the summer parliamentary break and the flood and cyclone disasters.

The Coalition’s primary vote rose from 40 per cent two weeks ago to 45 per cent, the same level it was after Ms Gillard announced her intention to break an election pledge and introduce a carbon tax from July 1 next year.

UPDATE#2 : The CSIRO published a study projecting few cyclones, and smaller waves thanks to extra CO2.

So could extra man-made CO2 save us from Son-of-Yasi. (Why do I feel skeptical…?)

h/t to Stefan B.

UPDATE #3 – Link to the CSIRO page fixed —
http://www.csiro.au/people/Iain.Walker.html

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