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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The invisible swinging environmental vote (20% of the population?)

There’s another more subtle message to politicians from the Gallop poll last week. The headline we discussed was that a whole quarter of the US are emphatic skeptics who don’t worry “at all” about climate change. But the other message is that if the politicans want to show they care about the environment, nearly every major environmental issue is more important to voters than “climate change”: 55% of the population worries about water pollution but only 32% feel the same level of concern for global warming.

On environmental concerns, climate change has the highest profile, but is consistently low ranking in the concern-stakes. People are much more worried about clean water, lakes and rivers, and air pollution rather than “climate change”. There is room here for either side of politics to step over the top of the supposedly greenest left wing parties and win voters by tackling real pollution rather than the fantasy kind. Any party that took serious action on rivers and water would earn environmental kudos and swinging votes. They wouldn’t win the die hard green vote, because those votes are not about the environment anyway. But true swingers shift between the major parties, and they are less [...]

One quarter of the US are now implacable skeptics of “climate change” fears

The new Gallup Poll is out. Most commentators are focused on the worried “a great deal” category, which is back to 1989 levels, but that’s largely noise. The important trend is at the other end of the spectrum, and seems to be missed. The only category with steady growth are the hard core skeptics, people who are worried “not at all”.  That’s doubled from 12 to 24%; the trend is up.  This is an unequivocal category. One quarter of the population are solidly, completely skeptical.

Given the 4% errors, there are only two clear trends in this table below. Firstly, those who had no opinion have now got one, and it’s skeptical. Secondly, the number of the most implacable skeptics has doubled.  After 20 years of propaganda the section of the population that is not buying the scare is steadily increasing. The size of the groups with variable levels of worry flicks up and down as people switch. But the numbers of those who worry “not at all” are steadily rising, and therein lies the death of the scare. It’s a one way ticket from being uninformed and worried to the “only a little/not at all” category.

The “enviro-scare” campaign [...]

Want to save tax and “save the world” from carbon? No Thanks say 92% of Swiss

These results are devastating for the carbonistas. In the lead-up to Paris, every time someone suggests “there is momentum”, remind them of this Swiss result. The majority of western populations do not want serious climate action, they don’t want to pay more for energy, and countries are not “picking up the carbon challenge”.

The Greens in Switzerland asked the Swiss to dump the VAT tax and replace it with a “carbon tax”. It would (in theory) mean  Swiss people could pay less tax overall, and save the environment at the same time. Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund endorsed it, and 92% of Swiss people rejected it.

Swiss Voters Reject Initiative to Replace VAT System With Carbon Tax

Roughly 92% of voters opposed the initiative, known as “Energy Rather than VAT,” while 8% supported the measure, according to preliminary results from 13 of the country’s 26 cantons.

The Swiss cabinet had recommended voters reject the proposal because it would likely have caused a falloff in revenue for the federal government. The current VAT tax, which ranges from 2.5% to 8%, generated income of 22.6 billion Swiss francs ($22.92 billion) for the federal government in 2013, according to [...]

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

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% [...]

Public are not buying science “experts” opinions: AAAS survey shows 30-50% gap

There is a large gap between what the certified appointed experts say and what the public thinks on GM, Climate Change, pesticides, ethics, and sigh, on evolution. The researchers were “surprised” that  a collective pool of university educated, largely government employed scientists have a different spread of opinions to the population at large.  On climate change half of the public are skeptics that man-made effects are dominant. In the AAAS, 87% of scientists think it is. But despite twenty years of propaganda the public are not buying their message.

UPDATE: Given that 48% of Meteorologists are skeptics and survey after survey shows that two-thirds of geoscientists and engineers are skeptics, the 87% figure “across the sciences” seems hard to believe. 3748 members of AAAS took the survey — and as A.Scott points out on WUWT in comments, only 7% of the respondents were from the Earth Sciences, and nearly half were “biomedical”. Link to the survey Questions. See TdeF in comment. H/t to Michael for the tip about Scott.

The answer is not more propaganda, it’s open public debate

To resolve the gap, scientists naturally think the public needs more education. But perhaps it’s the scientists who need [...]

Nine poll shows 69% of Australians “don’t believe” in man-made global warming

Channel Nine asked it’s readers “Do you believe in man-made global warming?” Over 122,000 people responded.

The final tally emailed to me this morning was:    Yes: 38,311     No: 84,240

The tally at 1:50pm EST.

As far as I know, the link to it was not posted on any major skeptical blog except possibly in comments (correct me if I’m wrong). In other words, the poll may be a reasonable representation of the web audience of one of our major free-to-air TV Channels.

A few weeks ago ABC Radio national did an online poll asking their readers if the IPCC was right about a four or five degree warming this century.   That was too extreme, even for ABC readers: 91% of 3101 voters said “No”.

A new US poll finds that even though most Americans identify with what would be called environmental values, hardly anyone thought climate change mattered. The Washington Post:

…”64 percent ‘feel a deep connection with nature and the Earth.’”  

Just 5 percent of Americans thought climate change was the most important issue in the U.S. today.”

Amber comments on climatechangedespatch: “5% must be the university profs and the [...]

Big lesson for Australia from US voters. Climate change is over as an election issue.

Remember how we were told people everywhere are “waking up to the threat of climate change”? Welcome to 2014. In Charles Krauthammers words “The National Weather Service has upgraded the election from tropical storm to tsunami, especially the results of the governorships. If you look at the bluest states in the country, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, all gone Republican.”

Australians may have missed what happened this week in the US (especially if they only watch the ABC). Climate Change is over as a voting issue.  Will Australian Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, get the message? Just last month he pledged to put carbon trading on the next election agenda (again). The conservatives across the nation must be cheering.

In the US, Tom Steyer threw $74 million into a campaign to convince voters to be very afraid and vote out the Republicans. Nearly all of Steyers favourite candidates failed. It was no accidental issue. The NextGen Climate Action Super Pac took Steyers money, and spent it all (and more) to push President Obama’s green agenda, specifically targeting coal “for extinction”. The Republicans supported energy of all kinds from coal to oil, fracked gas, and more pipelines.

This was the “biggest investment the environmental [...]

Gallup poll: Voters rank “climate change” last

Despite rallies in New York, despite the relentless propaganda, the people just don’t seem to be scared anymore. In the latest Gallup Poll, Climate Change is ranked 13th out of 13 issues. As the strident messages of doom roll out, 60% of the public simply don’t believe what the professors are telling them. Science has lost a lot of its aura and credibility.

The US midterm elections are nearly here, yet the poll shows that Democrats have clear advantages in areas that … not many people care about. A victim perhaps of their success in adopting the smug concerns of inner city university graduates?

Items to the right are considered more important.


46% of 70,000 Australians say they don’t believe humans cause global warming

Ninemsn (major network news in Australia) held a small poll on it’s home page on Friday, asking Do you believe global warming is man-made?

The ratio stayed roughly the same from start to finish. (Here, early on, it was 44% skeptical).

Matty  in Perth kept track of the tally, and while the poll seems to have disappeared off the home page (can anyone find an archive?) at last count it was 39,899 yes and 33,960 no which was 46% skeptic of a total of 73,859 votes.

Of course, these are unrepresentative, self selecting polls. It underestimates the number of skeptics. The latest CSIRO survey shows 53% of the Australian population don’t agree that “humans are causing climate change”. Nonetheless, we trust Nine news notices the large response of its own audience. There will be some major ratings wins out there for whichever commercial news service notices that almost everything they broadcast on climate change is a bore and a turn-off for half their audience.

And as far as the ABC goes, as I’ve said before, when it gives 50% of its climate budget and time to skeptical arguments we will know it is fulfilling its charter.

Image thanks to [...]

Half the world is immune to “expert consensus” they don’t think scientists know what they are talking about

The headline here is that nearly half the population don’t think climate scientists know what they are talking about. Effectively thse people are immune to the 97% consensus figure. Who cares if most “experts” agree, if the blind are leading the blind?  The most skeptical of environmental scientists were the people of China, Japan, and Germany. Two thirds of Swedes, on the other hand, still trust environmental scientists.

Ipsos Mori  conducted this massive survey. Though, like many international multi-lingual endevours, there are confounding conflicts in the answers. All up, 16,000 online adults based in 20 countries were asked some interesting questions, and sometimes their answers made sense, but unfortunately we just can’t be sure when. In China 75% of respondents think scientists don’t know what they are talking about; 51% think that current climate change is natural, but 93% think it is also largely man-made. So 42% think that it’s our fault but it’s also natural. I suspect there is a language barrier. The Chinese were simultaneously the most paranoid cynics and the most dutiful recyclers. They were the third most skeptical nation while being the single most fervent believers and both simultaneously. Perhaps someone who knows more about China [...]