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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The Skeptics Handbook II

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Most Australians are skeptical: mankind is not main driver of the climate

The IPCC has told us in letters of fire for twenty years that humans are the dominant cause of climate change. But despite the unending propaganda 60% of Australians are not convinced. This fits with other better designed and much larger surveys by CSIRO showing that 53% of the population are skeptical, and a UK study which showed that 63% of British people were skeptical that storms and floods are probably man-made.

The IPSOS polls have been running for years, and are unashamedly pro-IPCC in leaning, but despite that obvious bias, and loaded, ambiguous questions, most Australians don’t agree that it is mainly our fault. The climate is changing but it is mainly or partly natural. IPSOS gloss over that, but if humans are responsible for less than half of “climate change” that makes Direct Action twice as useless. If natural forces caused more of the recent warming, that also reduces the scary projections.

The IPSOS Climate Change Report 2015 (Online poll, 1,063 people)

Q3: Which best describes your opinion about the causes of climate change?

Only 40% of Australians accept the IPCC position that mankind is the main cause of climate change (orange and red). | Click [...]

Youth are rebelling against climate dogma: at 18-20, nearly half in US are skeptical

The X-Gens will be the maximal climate believers. The worm is turning with an uptick in skeptical thinking coming from the late-Millennials (born after 1994) who are just now starting to reach a voting age*. This group was raised on climate dogma and relentless propaganda, and the age-old rebellion of youth is starting to kick in. The big-scare-campaign may have missed its moment; it’s been pushed too hard for too long. Not only have the PDO and other natural cycles rolled into unfriendly cooler-wetter zones, but the generational wheel is rolling too.

It used to be that the older the survey group, the more skeptical it was. Youth are easily fooled by passion and namecalling. But new evidence suggests the rebellion factor is kicking in: 20% of 18-20 year olds in the US are implacable skeptics, and 23% are  unconvinced. After twenty years of propaganda 55% of the generation “believe”, and only 12% are passionate. More of the same is not going to increase that. There is real hope here.

Data comes from Harvard Public Opinion Project. (PDF, currently not publicly available)

H/t  GWPF

Harvard Political Review “For Young Voters, Climate Change Takes a Back Seat“

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“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% [...]

Study shows skeptics know more about climate science than believers

UPDATE Dan Kahan has replied in Comment #54.

So much for the theory that skeptics are dumb or uninformed.  Fox News reports that a new study shows that when people are quizzed about climate science, the skeptics outscored the believers.

Dan Kahan at Yale did the study on 2,000 people, but with only nine questions, so there is limited insight here, but it fits with his previous study which found people who knew more about maths and science were more likely to be skeptical.  Readers of skeptical blogs (who chose to respond to surveys and list their qualifications in comments) are likely to have hard science degrees. The world is slowly waking up to the fact that the skeptics are more knowledgeable about science.

In a proper science quiz, the gap would probably be even larger. On two of the nine questions, skeptics got the science right.  But believers “outscored” skeptics at repeating the propaganda (which shouldn’t be a question in a survey about scientific knowledge). I’d like to see all nine questions (can anyone find a preprint or the paper?)

Skeptics get science right:

One question, for instance, asked if scientists believe that warming would [...]

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 [...]

65% of US population are skeptical that each flood drought or heatwave is mostly “man-made”

How big is the Green B-lobby? So big, whole research projects are devoted to better ways to push propaganda onto voters. In this case, it turns out that despite an international PR blitz to unscientifically link your car exhaust to extreme floods in Bangladesh (etc and so forth), 65% of the US public just aren’t buying it. Instead the study finds that people are actually not too bad at judging whether a season was warmer than usual. (Was anyone surprised at this after 500 million years of evolution?). Disappointingly, though, for those pushing the climate propaganda, the meme that man-made global warming is to blame for all heatwaves, snowfalls, floods, hurricanes, and reckless fish is not working.

“Only 35 percent of U.S. citizens believe global warming was the main cause of the abnormally high temperatures during the winter of 2012″

This is a cruel blow to climate change activists. They had pinned their hopes on generating fear among voters by trying to associate every storm and bad-hair day to man-made global warming. But two-thirds of the public are not fooled. Even when they “personally experience” abnormally warm winters, or even hear news of a whole series of severe [...]

Farmers and Ag advisors not convinced by climatologists

Just another survey that takes useful results, interprets with false assumptions, and produces mostly meaningless conclusions. Vale academia.

Farmers are a skeptical bunch, who watch the weather very closely– only 8% buy the whole article-of-faith that man-made climate is the dominant factor, compared to 50 – 66% of climate scientists.

Prokopy et al start from the unspoken assumption that climate scientists know what they are talking about (even though their models are abjectly failing) and try to figure out why farmers aren’t worried about climate change. At no point do they question that inbuilt paradigm and ask the opposite question — are climate scientists failing to convince farmers because the climate scientists are doing bad work? So they miss the obvious recommendation that climate scientists need to figure out the climate before they start the communications cycle. It’s a lesson in how important it is for all scientists to define their terms and state all their assumptions.

When Prokopyu et al manage to come up with a useful suggestion it’s largely by accident. They recommend two-way dialogues between stakeholders and climate scientists (what a wild idea). Can I suggest that climate scientists start by using English, instead of namecalling [...]

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 [...]

Only 3% of Americans name “environment” as top issue.

The Gallup poll results for May show the environment is not the most important issue for 97% of Americans.  Golly, but those naming the environment as the top concern tripled from 1% – 3% from April to May. It’s a blip up in a long term trend that’s falling. H/t to Brietbart.com.

How many times do people need to tell politicians that being a skeptic isn’t  the vote killer that some commentators would like you to believe? Even people who believe in man-made global warming just aren’t as concerned about the environment as they are about jobs, corruption, and the economy.

Which politician will make cleaning out corruption their trademark policy?

Where’s the balance?

According to some the media doesn’t report on climate often enough. But where’s the “balance” — if 97% of the public are more concerned about something else, perhaps the message should be something else?

For those all-knowing super intelligent beings who protest that the public won’t worry about the right things if you don’t tell them, we can only ask if 20 years of non-stop campaigns, reports, advertising, documentaries, and Nobel Prize winning (flawed) documentaries are enough?

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Public are terminally bored with climate. Anderegg denies devastating Climategate damage

The big news from this new study is no news — the public are more bored with climate change than ever, and the trend is down. The fever peaked in 2007, and the last great spike of interest was in late 2009 when ClimateGate finished it off. Though that’s not the way Anderegg sees it.

Anderegg infamously published the blacklist of scientists in PNAS, so we know he struggles with the scientific method. Here, flawed assumptions render the conclusions a wishful fantasy. Anderegg argues that ClimateGate was not a big deal, didn’t affect opinions much, and (yawn) climate scientists need to do better communication. He’s wrong. His study misses the major damage — by assuming that the public are a uniform block his research could never uncover that the real effects of ClimateGate were devastating and irreversible. The scandal changed the opinions that matter — those of the smart engaged thinkers and leaders. I noted at the time that ClimateGate had put a rocket under the layer of influential busy achievers like never before. Suddenly people who hadn’t taken much interest in the debate were fired into action by the fraud. The nodes of influence shifted – as I said [...]