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Which country has the most skeptics? Australia tops name-calling, limited, biased, ambiguous survey!

Graham Readfearn, at Ecowatch, thought the USA would top the list. He was wrong:

Published in the journal Global Environmental Change, the study found that 17 percent of Australians were “climate skeptics.”

Norwegians come in second at 15 percent, followed by New Zealanders at 13 percent and then Americans at 12 percent. The UK tied for fifth with Sweden and Finland, where 10 percent of people were skeptics. The lowest ranked country for climate skepticism was Spain, where only two percent of people were classified as climate skeptics.

The real number of skeptics is much higher. A better, more accurate survey in Australia showed that about 53% of the Australian population are skeptical; I note they stopped that annual survey after getting these clear results.

This survey of surveys were more ambiguous than usual — “rising temperatures” from any cause is now man-made. The surveyors merely asked if you thought “rising temperatures” (magnitude unspecified) were “dangerous” , and so you know what to say, they added “for the environment”. All spin and attitude, otherwise meaningless. This is all so horribly confounded:

While the survey did not directly ask people if they accepted the science linking climate change to human activities, the respondents were asked how dangerous rising temperatures would be for the environment.

People who thought rising temperatures were “not very dangerous” or “not dangerous at all” and who also thought claims about environmental issues were exaggerated were classed as “climate skeptics.” While the authors accept in the paper that their approach was limited, they argue that the method enables them to do a valuable comparison of skepticism across countries.

Well that redefines “skeptic” somewhat. Anyway… people were more skeptical if their governments were untrustworthy, and if that is the “driver” we can thank Rudd and Gillard for Australia’s shining role in this inconsequential meta-survey:

Generally, the study found that climate skepticism tended to be associated with a lack of trust in governments and “positive attitudes” towards private enterprise.

Those who can compete and win will want to; those who can’t, prefer government-managed redistribution. I’m not putting a judgement on this, it is simply the way it is.

The group the “progressives” now love to hate:

Skeptics also tended to be male and tended to vote conservative.

What about the free will option — where people hear a theory and are unconvinced by irrational, contradictory arguments that break the scientific method. The globe stopped warming and paused when emissions were rising, the drought stopped and the dams filled, and the hotspot was never glimpsed.  Children still know what snow is.

Across all countries, the authors wrote that only three factors—“political orientations (conservative), gender (male) and being unconcerned about environmental issues”—were “relatively consistent predictors” of climate change skepticism.

Their cause and effect assumptions are back to front. I used to vote Green back in the days when I was unskeptical. Now I don’t. My skepticism could be considered a “relatively constant predictor” of my intention to vote for parties that are unskeptical. With more voters being swinging and less loyal than ever, the old assumptions about people being voters first and thinkers second needs to be reassessed.




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