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back to article US climate-change skeptics LOSING SUPPORT

Not only does a growing majority of Americans believe that global warming is, indeed, underway, but for the first time a majority have come to the conclusion that it's caused by human activity. "Americans' belief in the reality of global warming has increased by 13 percentage points over the past two and a half years, from 57 …

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Science is not democracy

It doesn't matter if 97% of Americans believe the Earth is flat and carried on a turtle - it doesn't change anything

, it will still be on the back of a terrapin......

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Anonymous Coward

It

It is easy to convince the Americans of pretty much anything and they will believe it, look how many points Mitt Romney is now ahead in the poles.

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Anonymous Coward

It may be true, the American is very worried about global warming but not for the man made reasons you think.

It's actually the worry of the effects nuking Iran will have. They think this may result in a temperature rise.

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Actually it would lead to a nuclear winter as all the dust thrown up from the nuke would block out the sun.

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Re: It

" look how many points Mitt Romney is now ahead in the poles."

Those darn right-wing eskimos/penguins!

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JDX
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Re: Science is not democracy

It doesn't matter if science follows the majority view or not. The importance of this news is that people act on what they believe to be the facts. What people believe shapes the world more than the facts do.

I know it's not like that when you're coding but dismissing an article as useless because "Science is not democracy" is just plain ignorant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It

" look how many points Mitt Romney is now ahead in the poles."

Nie obwiniaj nas, nie mamy nawet jak Mitt Romney! I wykorzystać krwawe nazwę poprawnie Delbert!

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Democracy is not science

which makes me wonder why figures like these are being cited in support of anything.

Oh, wait, they're not, are they? They're the PowerPoint version of asking the unconvinced "what's wrong with you?" instead of making a convincing argument.

Putting it another way, this resembles the sort of thing you'd see used to monitor the progress of a political campaign. I wonder why that is.

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Re: It

"As any Democrat will tell you - repeat the big lie often enough and people will believe it."

Do you mean to imply that unlike Republicans, Democrats sometimes tell the truth?

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Re: Science is not democracy

We are talking about a people whom a large amount of support the 'theory' of Creationism.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It

Ahead in the poles? Is he a champion downhill slalom skier as well....

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Mushroom

Re: It

Romney is behind in the poles (just!)

Given that 20% of Americans can't find their own country on an Atlas it is hardly surprising that a high percentage are ignorant about other things too.....

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Go

Re: Science is not democracy

"It doesn't matter if 97% of Americans believe the Earth is flat and carried on a turtle - it doesn't change anything"

It might not change the reality, but it is important.

It shows just how well the propaganda battle is going for the more evangelical sceptics, in that the media still seeks to paint a 'balanced' viewpoint and that a lot of people genuinely believe that scientists still aren't sure about it all.

It also might lead to a bit of a political shift. Politicians who have taken a sceptical line in the belief that it is getting them a lot of votes, might now decide to take a more moderate stance in the light of these figures. That in turn will further shift public opinion away from a sceptical line, as a sceptical line will increasingly be seen as a minority opinion. That said, this is US politics, so they'll probably keep on saying whatever their corporate multi-nation sponsors and lobbyists are paying them to support, rather than what the public genuinely believes.

Which is an interesting point itself: It might prove a good barometer on just how bent politicians are. Because surely only a paid-up lap-dog is going to be barking extremist-denial rhetoric knowing that only a minority of voters agree with it?

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Stop

"Actually it would lead to a nuclear winter as all the dust thrown up from the nuke would block out the sun."

Considering that we've already test-detonated far more nukes than it'd take to glass a sizeable chunk of Iran, I think you may be overestimating the ease of bringing about a nuclear winter.

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Facepalm

"...whom a large amount of..."

How in God's name do you get who/whom right, and then promptly fall flat on your face with 'amount' for 'number' and a hideously misplaced preposition? Give me strength...

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Meh

Cut to the chase

a) "It's just a demonstration of the success of the left wing propaganda machine making people believe in a fairy tale so that New Energy can profit"

b) "It's a demonstration that people won't be swayed by the right wing propaganda machine attempting to make people believe in a fairy tale so Old Energy can profit"

just indicate a) or b) as necessary, and move along...

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Re: Cut to the chase

c) surveys regarding climate should not be done during or after hot summers,

(I looked at that second graph and immediately wondered what time of year they asked)

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Devil

Re: Cut to the chase

d) Given n=~1000, margin of error = +/-3% for each of those lines. As such, all these graphs and incremental changes are completely useless to make any point one way or the other. Now, maybe re-normalizing the data into a shape more reminiscent of a hockey-stick would make for a more effective graph. ;)

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Boffin

Re: Cut to the chase

At least it proves the astounding fact that people's opinion actually change. Or at least their moods they have when filling in the questionnaire might vary.

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Re: Cut to the chase

Ot more probably that different people are asked each time, so the results are more or less meaningless; the sample size is also minuscule, so any extrapolation done from it is correspondingly useless. I also wonder how many of them can differentiate between climate and weather?

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Re: Cut to the chase

...and you can get big opinion shifts depending on how you ask the questions.

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Boffin

Re: Cut to the chase

"At least it proves the astounding fact that people's opinion actually change. Or at least their moods they have when filling in the questionnaire might vary."

Where as the human mind is great at recognising or discarding evidence given by way of expert advice of others so as to neatly fit our existing opinions, the wiring that runs from our own senses exerts considerably more sway.

Give America a hot, relentless Summer*, ask them a few questions during it, and regardless of the reason behind it, a lot of people are going to suddenly be coming around to the idea of global warming.

*Regardless of what weather the rest of the world is experiencing.

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Re: Cut to the chase

Not to mention how you select your sample...

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Anonymous Coward

No, that's cynicism, not scepticism.

Scientific truths are quite capable of standing on their own merits, regardless of their inconvenience, and there's no rational reason to dismiss them as political expediencies on one side or the other. Why not apply a bit of critical thinking on your own, even if politicians want to spin scientific theories for their own purposes.

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Holmes

Re: No, that's cynicism, not scepticism.

There are many rational reasons to do with profit to convince people that man made climate change is happening and only your brand of snake oil can stop it.

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Re: No, that's cynicism, not scepticism.

Of course there are always rational reasons to lie, cheat, and spin the truth for profit. But what AC said is "there's no rational reason to dismiss [scientific truths] as political expediencies". And I think she's right about that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, that's cynicism, not scepticism.

There's about a million times more relating to convincing people that it isn't happening though, which kind of trumps this hackneyed argument.

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Trollface

I drink Lewis Page's tearshake

I drink it up

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Re: I drink Lewis Page's tearshake

Since when has public opinion been right?

I believe that there are a substantial number of Muslims who believe women shouldn't drive/have education/show their face - it doesn't make it right. In the 30's, there were quite a few people who thought that Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini were the good guys - that wasn't quite true either was it?

Public opinion surveys prove very little - like any statistics, they are easily skewed - either accidentally through when/where/how/who was surveyed (try this survey at a Republican oil baron's convention!), or by design by vested interests (eg Scots Nats ask Sean Connery a well worded question).

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JDX
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Re: I drink Lewis Page's tearshake

You miss the entire point. People act on what they think is true.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I drink Lewis Page's tearshake

How to write a post if you're GitMeMyShootinIrons

1 - Assert that majority public opinion is often (usually?) wrong.

2 - Quote some minority held opinions as if this is somehow proof of this.

3 - Fail to notice your logic contradicts itself.

4 - ???!

5 - Profit/embarrass yourself.

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FAIL

Re: I drink Lewis Page's tearshake

"Since when has public opinion been right? I believe that there are a substantial number of Muslims who believe women shouldn't drive* /have education** /show their face*** - it doesn't make it right...blah blah Hitler blah blah...Public opinion surveys prove very little"

*This is an extreme minority view in Islam, supported by a total of one regime and about half a million people.

**This is also an extreme minority view in Islam, supported by warlords in Afghanistan who want to keep their subjects stupid and working in opium fields.

***This is also an extreme minority view in Islam.

Brilliant logic there: Assert that public opinion is never right by giving a bunch of examples that AREN'T PUBLIC OPINION, mentioning Hitler, and then going back to asserting that these were cases where the majority was wrong. I can only assume those shooting irons are firmly pointed point-blank at your own feet.

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WTF?

Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

I'm sure the Reg has covered Lewandowsky and his fraudulent "Skeptic Survey", so anything from "Climate Change Communication" academics is suspect. The fact that the lefties and greenies are supporting CAGW pretty much puts it in the same bin as Marxism and Malthusian crack pottery.

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FAIL

Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

"...I'm sure the Reg has covered Lewandowsky and his fraudulent "Skeptic Survey", so anything from "Climate Change Communication" academics is suspect...."

Indeed. In the interests of balance surely Rik Myslewski should point out that Global Warming surveys from the true believers are by now a by-word for lying and deceitfulness. Remember how the '97% of scientists believe..." figure was achieved?

Two things stand out. One is that the Global Warming supporters have comprehensively lost the scientific battle - unsurprisingly, since their warming scares do not match measured data, even with corrupt massaging of the figures.

The second is more interesting. In the 'climate scientists trusted' graph I note that the 'climate scientists' get first place in the 'strongly trusted' section. But they only get third place in the 'somewhat trusted' section. I wonder why this is? Could it be that the survey was biased towards the 'true believers' (who would all go for 'strongly'? The low figure fo 'TV weather reporters' (an obvious allusion to Anthony Watts) seems to bear this out. If we bothered to look in detail at the survey protocols I suspect we'll find that it's just another propaganda puff piece...

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Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

> In the interests of balance surely Rik Myslewski should point out that Global Warming surveys from the true believers are by now a by-word for lying and deceitfulness.

ref please. Because I don't believe there is any.

> Remember how the '97% of scientists believe..." figure was achieved?

I'm not sure what you mean and I'm not sure what you're getting at. Please elaborate. With refs.

> One is that the Global Warming supporters have comprehensively lost the scientific battle

Ref please. With stats.

> unsurprisingly, since their warming scares do not match measured data, even with corrupt massaging of the figures

Interesting. Refs please. With data.

> If we bothered to look in detail at the survey protocols I suspect we'll find that it's just another propaganda puff piece...

Better not bother looking and risk finding something that negates your viewpoint.

BTW what constitutes 'evidence' in your world?

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Alert

Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

"One is that the Global Warming supporters have comprehensively lost the scientific battle - unsurprisingly, since their warming scares do not match measured data, even with corrupt massaging of the figures."

This is true - and Rik Myskewski has not caught up yet.

But his FAITH is STRONG!

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Facepalm

Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

Why do you keep asking for 'refs'? Can't you read the original papers?

Or do you prefer not to read them so that you can still pretend to yourself that they are true? Kind of like the way the Team kept wasting McKintyre's time with variations of their hockey-stick paper so that they could still pretend to themselves that the stats were valid...?

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Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

Evening Dodgy Geezer (nee Elderly Geezer?)

> Why do you keep asking for 'refs'? Can't you read the original papers?

Ref = reference. IOW (meaning, In Other Words) a reference (meaning a link, pointer or some kind of source) to the original publications. So I *can* read them and decide whether your claims have any merit. I note you still haven't provided them. So please post them so I can decide where exactly the 'lying and deceitfulness' is, because I'm getting a strong inkling it's not where you suggest.

> Or do you prefer not to read them so that you can still pretend to yourself that they are true?

Ah no, you misunderstand, I wish to read them. But to do that I have to know where they are. Therefore my request for a 'ref' (which is a 'reference' - see above if you've forgotten already).

> Kind of like the way the Team kept wasting McKintyre's time with variations of their hockey-stick paper so that they could still pretend to themselves that the stats were valid...?

Excellent stuff! I do need to check this claim though. Ref please (quick reminder, a ref - meaning a reference - is means of identifying the research supporting your claim. By 'ref please' I am requesting such. By 'please' I mean this <http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/please>. This thing starting with "http://" is a URL. It works on the World Wide Web, which is kind of like a really biiiiiiig library with robot librarians. I understand academic papers supporting or refuting a claim often turn up on this World Wide Web, or WWW for short).

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Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

Evening Dodgy Geezer (nee Elderly Geezer?)

And good evening to you. Or rather, good morning! You have my title slightly confused - I was born 'Young Scallywag', and achieved the title of 'Geezer' through the passage of time - 'Dodgy' from my own exertions...

...I wish to read them...

No you don't. I can't believe that, for example, you have not followed the publication of the Lewandowsky survey or have any difficulty in obtaining information on why it is considered to have breached all reasonable norms of applying surveys - there's enough written about the accusations on his own blog!

Life is too short for me to undertake to re-educate all the warmists in the world. Google must be your friend here. Perhaps you can find out which is "The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change"? If you want to read something about the hockey-stick you might like to start with this - I'm sure it's available from a library near you:

http://www.amazon.com/Hockey-Stick-Illusion-Climategate-Independent/dp/1906768358/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&tag=wattsupwithth-20&s=books&qid=1268345567&sr=8-1

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That 97% figure

It is not clear in the article and there might be another "97%" figure floating about cyberspace. However, the original "97%" was a sad day in social science, quite like more recent Australian university fun. The initial "survey" by Doran and Zimmerman in 2009 had over 10,000 surveys sent out. Over 3,000 response were returned. However, the survey author apparently did not like the majority of the responders for some reason and "refined" the sample until he/she had 77 "actively publishing climate research." Of those 77 considered to be active "climate scientists" 75 considered anthropic influences to be an important element in the behaviour of the climate during the last half century. Thus 75/77 * 100 = 97.4%. If I recall correctly, and I may not, this broke shortly before the Climategate fun, which pretty much swamped the available band width.

Worse though, the specification of "actively publising" highlighted a point that appeared later in the Climategate battle. The emails show that the active AGW theorists were actively working at preventing opposing views from being published. This included threatening to take "important" papers to more friendly (to the A in AGW) venues if certain author's papers were published. At the same time the "friendly" reviews that allies received have occasionally been so bad that papers have been withdrawn for appallingly bad work. Just this summer Gergis et al was withdrawn. It purported to discuss warming in Australian climate where it was shown that really poor - or very biased - data selection had a strong influence on teh result. The biases were so blatant that the paper was permanently withdrawn.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

Hang on BlueGreen, you want references? Sorry I just had to laugh at a MMCC supporter demanding evidence, data, proof, etc. Maybe you should be refused and if you demand via FOI we should delete the information because you should take our word for it! Or cant scientific process be suspended when the shoe is on the other foot?

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Go

Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

"Two things stand out. One is that the Global Warming supporters have comprehensively lost the scientific battle"

Two: That perception bias is alive and kicking the crap out of reality in some people's minds.

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Facepalm

Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

"The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science "

Oooh, goodie: I can tell from the title that I'd get a nice, un-biased, non-predetermined, balanced viewpoint from there!

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Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

... I can tell from the title that I'd get a nice, un-biased, non-predetermined, balanced viewpoint from there!..

You don't have to read it. But if you won't, you can hardly complain that we don't give you references. It's packed full of them...

There is little point providing references for and going over all the fraudulent misrepresentation which is Global Warming continually. But it's worth pointing out new instances as they come to our attention. I see that TallBloke has recently done a little bit of work on how Antarctic Warming data has been manufactured here:

http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/roger-andrews-how-nasa-giss-manufactures-warming-in-the-antarctic/

You will find that the real Antarctic temperatures are remarkably flat. But the data only goes back to 1955. So GISS took the data from only the peninsular (which did show warming) and used that to project warming back to 1945. Then they took earlier data from the South Orkneys (at 60South - not in the Antarctic at all!) and used that to project warming back to 1905.

This is how you get Global Warming. It's standard practice in the well-paid business of manufacturing scary data...

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Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

The point is not to get a balanced, unbiased viewpoint, because there is no such thing. Even scientists who are committed to truth, being human, will often fight tooth and nail for their favoured theories.

The point is to get opposing views, together with their best aguments, so you can decide between them.

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Stop

Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

"You don't have to read it. But if you won't, you can hardly complain that we don't give you references. It's packed full of them..."

Then it's not a great reference unto itself really, is it? It's a secondary source. So is a blog.

A paperback with a sensationalist title as never really a source unto itself. It's going to be a bunch of spin with some cherry-picked quotes, which cites other sources (hopefully primary but often secondary sources: It's amazing how often paper-back theories cite each other as references in an enormous circle-jerk).

Both sides do it, far more than they should do. Their perception is that it strengthens their position, but really it weakens it.

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Stop

Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

..Then it's not a great reference unto itself really, is it? It's a secondary source. So is a blog...

Actually, I was never claiming it to be a reference unto itself. It's a history. It makes a number of assertions and provides references to back them up. Another thing this argument is full of is people making statements about what they think the other side's position is, and then disproving that strawman. By now, 'calling for references' is simply a rhetorical trick which just degenerates into smearing the relevant paper's author(s).

Meanwhile, the science proceeds slowly. We have only just got our MWP back, after 10 years of warmists trying to prove that it never existed. During that time there has been no new work developing AGW theory - instead all the AGW work has been aimed at shoring the theory up in the face of ever more inconvenient data. As each explanation of why the theory 'temporarily doesn't work' fails to convince, a new one is offered. And now that's running into diminishing returns...

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Holmes

Re: Considering the Lewandowsky scandal ...

Side?

Personally, I'm not 100% convinced either way. (Though I have a predication towards believing that 7 billion little parasitic bastards sh1tting as hard as they can into any natural environment and short-sightedly consuming every resource as fast as they can is going to screw things up pretty badly in the end. )

I'm just a risk assessor who sees humanity's future success as the risk of failure.

If there's only a 5% chance of frying yourself by sodding around with your house's electrics and not turning the Mains off, a rational person doesn't say "I'm 95% sure I'll be fine, so I'll take the risk, pass me the screwdriver and another can of beer".

Though I'm not sure why I should really give a sh1t, based on the fact that I'm childless and live in a nice comfortable Western country. So I'm alright, Jack.

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