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“Moral duty” poll: 57% don’t think UN Scientists can speak with authority on climate

Posted By Joanne Nova On March 4, 2015 @ 9:09 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

New study says going on about “moral duty” will convince the skeptics (Sure, load on the guilt trip)

Last weekend a Reuters IPSOS survey found that if you ask the right questions, a majority of Americans see climate change as a moral obligation. The brains trust  inferred from this that the climate propaganda groups ought to load up on discussing values to convince conservatives as if that might be the magic key.

“The moral imperative is the way to reach out to conservatives,” said Rev. Mitch Hescox, president of the Evangelic Environmental Network, a large evangelical organization that advocates for action on climate change. ”Talking in terms of values is the only way forward if we are to bring our fellow Republicans along.”

UPDATE: Results of the online poll 2,412

Thanks to Pat for finding the survey. How the full results change the picture. Half the population are skeptics. And most people distrust experts, politicians, and even UN scientists.

 Q6. Which of the following people, if any, do you think can speak with authority

about global warming?

  UN scientists 43%
  Bill Nye (the Science Guy) 31%
  Al Gore 18%
  President Obama 18%
  Neil deGrasse Tyson 13%
  Pope Francis 10%
  Democratic leaders in Congress 10%
  Republican leaders in Congress  9%
  Senator James Inhofe  4%
  None of these 31%

The public don’t trust anyone much. When asked “Which of the following people do you think can speak with authority about global warming?” Politicians from both sides rated very low: Democrat leaders,  10%; Republican leaders , 9%. But look out: Pope Francis scored the same, 10%. The public trust the Pope as much as the average politician.

But wait, here’s the real shocker: UN Scientists 43%. How devastating! 57% of people don’t think UN scientists speak with authority on climate change. Wow.

More than half the population are skeptical. Reuters didn’t report that 52% — of all respondents think climate change is mostly natural or are unsure. 47% think that human activity is mostly to blame.

Nor did they say that 46% didn’t think the Pope should even talk about climate change, and 49% think he should stay out of politics.

If these results are accurate (it’s only an online survey) it shows those pushing man-made global warming have pushed too hard. They have burnt through a lot of the credibility of the UN and “scientists”. Pushing the meme through the Pope isn’t going to help.

Sure I say, let’s talk about “values”– bring it on.

Warming kills less people than cooling. How about our moral obligation to help people dying of cold, or the 1.3 billion people without electricity? In Niger, Africa, 17 million people use less electricity than Dubbo, NSW, a town of 40,000. Children in poverty are suffering from lung damage now. The Greens priority is to spend billions to stop them dying in 2100 from seas rising at 1mm a year. How many people does expensive electricity kill? (How many birds does it fry?) Biofuels led to nearly 200,000 estimated deaths in 2010. Let’s talk about feeding corn to cars instead of starving children?

There are lots of ways the climate religion hurts us. Bad climate predictions kill people when authorities plan for “no snow” and run out of salt, or when they hold back floodwater in dams thinking that the rains won’t come. Researching pointless things means some people die who could have been saved. Fake markets feeds corruption, farmers die, rivers run dry and some are left homeless.

As I’ve said before the opportunity cost is the killer:

The real price is often invisible. It’s all the things we won’t do that we could have: $3.4 billion dollars spent on carbon sequestration is not just “money”, it’s 46 million people who didn’t get cured of blindness and another 100 million who won’t get clean water — some of whom will die from cholera or dysentery.

The highest moral imperative is to speak the truth about what drives our climate, to have free debate, open science, and honest disclosure of the uncertainties.

Does anyone think world leaders have no moral obligations? Anyone?

The Rev. Mitch Hescox appears to think the “moral”  message (ie. guilt trip) would be something to try. Where has he been for the last 3 decades?

The results were clear that approaching the issue of climate change from a moral standpoint could be more effective in swaying opinion, and this approach could even help unlock the endless debate in the United States.  Those invested in fossil fuels have been resistant to those that seek to reduce carbon emissions in the United States, much to the disappointment and alarm of climate scientists in both the United States and around the world.

The extended guilt trip won’t make any difference to skeptics. We’ve heard it all before. What we want is honest debate and real evidence.

As far as the survey went, who knows what the questions were, as Reuters don’t link to the questions or results. But 2,827 2,412 Americans were asked some things in February about the climate (See the update above). We know people are quite good at guessing what the surveyors want them to say and two thirds earned a jelly-bean that day.

Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said that world leaders are morally obligated to take action to reduce CO2 emissions. And 72 percent said they were “personally morally obligated” to do what they can in their daily lives to reduce emissions.

The Daily Science Journal repeats the results, but doesn’t have a link to the questions either. Not so “scientific” then?

Does anyone think world leaders have no moral obligations? Anyone?

So 30% of people think world leaders are morally free to pour out as much CO2 as they want? That’s a fairly assertive skeptical statement.

POST NOTE: How bad are these questions?

Question 10 asked Has the Pope’s views on climate change impacted you in any of the following ways? Paradoxically, 47% said “No”  that the Pope’s views have “not had an impact on my own views.” (It’s a double negative which may explain the paradox). When further prompted “I am now less skeptical of the scientific arguments about the existence of climate change”, fully 70% said “No”. So if half changed their minds, but 70% are not “less skeptical”, then the Pope made some people more skeptical. We’re at the overdone point and when even The Pope tells us to worry about the climate -- the punters know it’s junk-science.

The survey has the usual ambiguous loaded questions about “climate change” and “global warming”. Does that mean man-made climate change? Yes, if you are a UN employee; No, if you read a dictionary. Technically, I believe climate change is real (does anyone deny ice ages?) Any question with meaningless terms is not worth asking (unless you want a PR headline of the “right” kind).

The Last Word: Why didn’t Reuters give us the interesting bits in the press release?

Is Reuters a news service or a political advocacy group? These results were run through the half-truth sieve and only the parts that fitted the “story” were written up.

Here a result, below, that bundles people who “strongly agree” with people who “somewhat agree” and on a question that has a “most” in it. Is a somewhat-most, more than half, or less? The vagueness is then piled into a loaded sentence which includes a statement that was never in the question about mythical generic scientists saying it drives climate change.

Sixty-four percent of those polled agreed with the pope that human activities are largely responsible for the rising CO2 levels that scientists say drive climate change.

Readers of Reuters would not come away knowing half the population are skeptics, that 90% don’t think the Pope has any authority to speak on climate change, or that most of the public don’t even believe UN scientists do either.

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