JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Newspoll fails basic test of English: produces nonsense survey

The latest Newspoll test on climate gives out almost no useful information on what Australians think about carbon emissions, but definitively shows that Newspoll survey designers didn’t think too hard about the questions. Indeed the survey is so meaningless that sometimes sceptics and unskeptics would have to both tick the same boxes. Could this be a survey-bot at work?

THINKING NOW ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. DO YOU PERSONALLY BELIEVE OR NOT BELIEVE THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS CURRENTLY OCCURRING?

Isn’t the aim of polling to get answers that are not ambiguous?

Does “Climate Change” mean: a/ that the climate changes, or b/ that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are affecting the atmosphere?

I would have to tick YES for this question. Yes, I do think that ice-ages occur and warm periods do too, and that there is no static perfect temperature for the Earth, and that currently there is no reason to believe that the forces that have changed our climate for 4.5 billion years have suddenly, for the first time, reached a fixed unchanging stasis.

Presumably the 22% of people who ticked : “Not believe” were using definition ‘b’ above, and not the literal definition ‘a’. Instead of information [...]