JoNova

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


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


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Australian Environment Conference Oct 20 2012


micropace


GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Almost everything the media tells you about skeptics is wrong: they’re engineers and hard scientists. They like physics too.

In the mainstream media, skeptics are called Flat-Earthers, Deniers, and ideologues who deny basic physics. So it’s no surprise that they are exactly the opposite. A recent survey of 5,286 readers of leading skeptical blogs (eg here, WattsUp) shows that the people driving the skeptical debate are predominantly engineers and hard scientists with backgrounds like maths, physics and chemistry. Which group in the population are least likely to deny basic physics?  Skeptics.

I asked Mike Haseler for more details:

around half of respondents had worked in engineering and a quarter in science around 80% had degrees of which about 40% were “post graduate” qualified. Respondents were asked which areas they had formal “post-school qualification”. A third said “physics/chemistry. One third said maths. Just under 40% said engineering. 40% said they had post school training in computer programming.

Furthermore, the media “debate” is nothing like the real debate. Four out of five skeptics agree our emissions cause CO2 levels to rise, that Co2 causes warming, and that global temperatures have increased. In other words, the mainstream media journalists have somehow entirely missed both the nature of the skeptics and the nature of the debate.

The so called “experts” (say like Stephan [...]

Australia: more skeptics than believers, and few really care about “Climate change”

First up, despite the endless repetition in the media that the science is settled and the evidence is overwhelming, the latest CSIRO survey shows 53% of the Australian population don’t agree that “humans are causing climate change”. When the ABC gives 50% of its climate budget and time to skeptical arguments we will know it is fulfilling its charter. Right now, the ABC serves less than half the population. Secondly, even with 47% of the population agreeing that humans are “largely” causing climate change, many of these people still don’t think climate change will be that bad. The issue “Climate Change” ranks 14 out of 16 general concerns, and among environmental concerns a pathetic 7th out of 8. It seems a large section of the 47% think the warming will be minor, or even beneficial. The CSIRO has done another clumsy survey, the fourth in a series, still not learning that inaccurate survey terms make the results of most questions meaningless. The unmistakable bottom line from this is that only a minority of Australians think that humans are changing the climate in an important way. Most Australians are more concerned about their health, their income, their job, water shortages, or [...]

UK poll: 62% don’t believe in man-made climate. Educated high income classes more skeptical than unskilled

Last week a new ComRes/ITV poll came out in the UK. The poll of 2,047 people from across the country shows that the population is split roughly into thirds. A third are skeptics, a third are believers, a third don’t know. Overall about 60% of UK citizens are not convinced that humans are changing the weather.

What was also really interesting but unreported about this study is that the wealthiest and most educated are more skeptical and those with the lowest income or shortest education were more likely to believe that humans are affecting the climate. In the upper middle class 36% think the floods are due to human activity, and virtually the same percentage — 35% are skeptics. In the manual worker and less skilled social bracket 44% think humans are to blame, and only 28% are skeptics. The skeptic message is winning over the upper class, better educated bracket. Presumably the rest will follow.

Firstly, most people think the weather is getting worse (red bar) — 65% of all the population. This belief is most common in the lowest income and less educated bracket.

Figure 1: Results from the question “Weather in the UK seems to get [...]

A survey of skeptics by skeptics

Mike has been an active skeptic in Scotland, and has designed a demographic and opinion survey that I think would give us interesting results. It’s very reasonable, I hope you can take a few minutes (it is short) please try to finish it if you start it. – Jo

 

I am writing to you on behalf on the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum, we are conducting a survey of those interesting in the climate debate. The aim of the survey is to understand the nature and background of those interested in the climate debate online. It will provide an invaluable insight into the education and work experience of participants, test the relevance of politics in forming views and assess employment and social factors for their relationship with views on climate.

We would be very grateful if you would take the time to complete the survey. The responses are confidential.

The url is:  http://scef.org.uk/survey/index.php/868721/lang/en.

Australian skeptics outnumber believers say OECD. Globally, 63% don’t want their dollars spent on the environment…

The bottom line is that a third of people are concerned enough to be willing to act, a third say they are concerned but are only paying it lip service, and a third are openly skeptical.

What matters is that 63% of people around the world don’t want their governments to take any money from them to address environmental issues.

There is constant media spin that skeptics are a tiny fringe minority. (See Al Gore deny a third of the population. See the BBC call them mavericks and say they give too much weight to “fringe views”.) The marketeers pushing the meme know that many people are swayed away from “extreme” views and towards the dominant paradigm. Life is just “easier” if you follow the herd, so the big-scare campaign scores a free kick if the public believe that skeptics are rare. If the media reported the situation accurately, more people would be happy to sit in the “skeptical” camp as it would be perceived as equally valid.

As usual, those who believe in man-made global warming use every deceptive trick to push their policy, while skeptics simply benefit if the truth is told.

While skeptics just outnumber believers in [...]

Most Geoscientists and Engineers are Global Warming skeptics

When researchers Lianne M. Lefsrud and Renate E. Meyer asked geoscientists and engineers their opinion about global warming, they discovered that two thirds of them think that the current warming is mostly due to nature.

They also found out that skeptics are scientifically informed and in positions of power and influence. What they didn’t figure out is why this is bleedingly obvious once you start with correct assumptions. Even though the skepticism of well respected scientists matches the skepticism of meteorologists (think about that) the researchers assume the skeptics are “deniers”.

Of course, polls of scientists are not evidence about our climate. But it is evidence that one of the main forms of argument “97% of climate scientists say man-made warming is real” is not just meaningless, but misleading. It’s PR, not science. The endorsement of “science associations” is one of the main points of “evidence” offered by pro-carbon-market activists. But few of those associations ever asked their members, their endorsement is usually just a committee pronouncement from six networking types on the “climate policy” committee. And few researchers even ask “most scientists” what they think. The one large survey was done by volunteers (and done twice) and they found [...]