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« Full retreat? | Main | The numptocracy »

UK opinion on climate

YouGov has just published its figures on UK public opinion on climate change.

...the percentage of people thinking that human activity is making the world warmer fell between 2008 and 2010, but has been pretty constant for the last 3 years. However, the proportion of people who think the world isn’t getting warmer at all has markedly increased – from just 7% in 2008 to 28% now.

Given that temperatures haven't been going up (and in the UK have become cooler, I believe) that's not surprising. However the survey also looked at some questions focused on the newer narrative of "climate change" rather than good old "global warming".

This month YouGov asked two questions in parallel, on two separate samples – one asking about the world getting warmer, the other asking about the world’s climate changing. It produces very different results.

  • 39% of people think human activity is making the world warmer. 53% of people think human activity is changing the world’s climate.
  • 16% think the world is getting warmer, but not because of human activity. 26% think the climate is changing, but NOT because of human activity
  • 28% think the world is NOT getting warmer. 6% think the climate is not changing.

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Reader Comments (14)

72% of people who watch the BBC think that 97% of scientists think that 100% of deniers represent 0% of . . .

Apr 5, 2013 at 9:46 PM | Registered CommenterGrumpyDenier

Every return for such a survey should be premised on at least a basic numeracy/intelligence test. Without such qualification there is a real danger that all that is being measured is the efficiency of the MSM "message machine".

Hence the constant "we need to communicate better"!

Apr 5, 2013 at 10:04 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Geoffrey Lean is having a bit of a moment...

Apr 5, 2013 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterCarnwennan

What are the percentages after adjustment?

Apr 5, 2013 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

(Unprompted), even my 80-year old aunt considers AGW as reported by the MSM, "is a load of old tosh".

Apr 5, 2013 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Surveys are largely useless unless they measure what people do rather than what they think. Part of the doing is educating yourself about the issue. If you don't know the difference between global warming and climate change you haven't even spent a tiny bit of effort on the subject. In that frame of mind, how hard would you work at the rest of it?

Just watched Sky news paper review and Guardian writer Paul Lewis was suprised to read in the Mail that much of our recycling is shipped abroad and then dumped. What? That's not news. How could anyone who can read be in any doubt this was going on?

Do journalists ever read news?

Apr 5, 2013 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Joe Public

even my 80-year old aunt considers AGW as reported by the MSM, "is a load of old tosh".
Which is why current government policy is to eliminate your aunt via fuel poverty ASAP.

Apr 5, 2013 at 11:56 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Princeton prof William Happer was, I think, right on the money when describing why some people still continue to believe fervently in AGW:

“There are people who just need a cause that’s bigger than themselves,” said Happer. “Then they can feel virtuous and say other people are not virtuous.”

Hence the reams of moralistic holier-than-thou rhetoric which streams from the halls of the Alarmists, they have to see themselves as heroes in this compelling drama.

Apart from the money and awards and jolly trips to places like Tahiti, Bali and Gstaad for meetings of the climate cardinals.

Apr 6, 2013 at 2:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

"39% of people think human activity is making the world warmer. 53% of people think human activity is changing the world’s climate."

reminds me irresistably of Josh Lyman on polling statistics:

Apr 6, 2013 at 3:31 AM | Unregistered Commenterjim

I suppose the survey was taken mostly in London where people are less aware of the weather and more subject to the propaganda. Out in the sticks, there's hardly anyone who doesn't think it's a load of tosh (unless they are a landowner trying to put up a wind turbine or a few fields full of solar panels, and then they are just selflessly trying to save the planet from the evils of all that CO2).

Apr 6, 2013 at 7:26 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

That's surveys for you. The people doing the survey are often less aware of the subject than the people they are interviewing, so are unable to frame a sensible question.

Is the world warming? What does that mean? Warming since yesterday? Since ten years ago? A century? The first thermometer?

"Climate change" is like the confidence bands on IPCC model predictions: so vague and imprecise that it allows for all manner of events/scenarios to be shoe-horned into the definition. Thus it gives a carte-blanche to all making prophesies of doom, an imagined stick with which to beat those who disagree, and a fig-leaf to hide embarrassment when a retreat is sounded. [And I say "a retreat", not "the retreat". "Tactical withdrawal" is probably closer to the truth.]

They'll be back when the weather warms up. Right now some of them are paying more attention to neo-nicotinoid pesticides.

Apr 6, 2013 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

People would rather worry about North Korea.

Waiting for them to shot first then America blast the c..p out of them and their clown Leader.

Apr 6, 2013 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

As with the infamous 97% survey, when you have a basic knowledge of the topic, it becomes possible to agree to any of the option answers. The truthful response would be to say 'don't know', but that just puts you in with the numpties who think that climate sensitivity is when you get sun-burn.

Apr 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

My (totally non-scientific) experience of the GBP (Great British Public) tends to work as follows:
Conversation with a stranger on - oh, I don't know - buying a particular new piece of gardening equipment, say - and the conversation strays to 'saving the planet'..
I espouse my view that the climate may be changing, but it always has - so not's let beat ourselves up about it..
Stranger - in a stage whisper - 'I totally agree with you...!'

Apr 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

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