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Saturday, November 06, 2010


The magazine Scientific American has been & still is a strong promoter of global warming scares. Perhaps it knows who supplies its advertising, since almost all magazines & newspapers make their profits there, perhaps not. Organisations do polls less to find public opinion than to attempt to lead it so when SA decided to run a poll among its readers on alleged warming they must have bee expecting the desired results (even though it is a badly designed poll allowing multiple answers which sometimes overlap). After all its readership is presumably largely scientists & we are told there is a "scientific consensus." So the results, edited to provide absolute clarity, must be a bit of a surprise:

3. What is causing climate change?
greenhouse gases from human activity 28.0%
solar variation 32.5%
natural processes 77.2%
There is no climate change. 6.14%

4. The IPCC, or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is:
an effective group of government representatives, scientists and other experts. 16.2%
a corrupt organization, prone to groupthink, with a political agenda. 83.2%

5. What should we do about climate change?
, we are powerless to stop it 68.0%
(this was the only negative option - there was no "no because it is a total lie" option - this shows SA's bias not the opinions of the readers.
Use more technology (geoengineering, carbon capture and storage). 15.5%
Use less technology (cars, intensive agriculture). 5.4% I suspect the use more technology is inspired more by the poll's assumption that something should be done than by any real belief - geoengineering doesn't demand action until visible catastrophic warming has started & practical CCS simply doesn't exist. Note that is 95% opposition to the Luddism which is the only option our politicians discuss - I think that can be referred to as a consensus)

6. What is "climate sensitivity"?
the degree to which global temperature responds to concentrations of greenhouse gases 30.9%
an unknown variable that climate scientists still do not understand 54.7%

7. Which policy options do you support?
increased government funding of energy-related technology research and development 36.9%
keeping science out of the political process 66.9%

8. How much would you be willing to pay to forestall the risk of catastrophic climate change
nothing 78.8%

So we do indeed have a scientific consensus that we should do nothing now to stop it, that the IPCC are simply a corrupt political, rather than scientific body & that the politicos should butt out, and the alarmists can't even claim the poll is biased, well not against them anyway.

PS This is the link to the Scientific American main page inviting participation in the poll - as you will see it is mainly directed at extracting negative opinions of Judith Curry, an alarmist scientist who nonetheless tries to discuss rationally. I assume they didn't give a lot of thought into what the results of what turn out to be the important questions would be. In polling it is normally assumed that once you have got the desired answers at the beginning people will be dragged along in the desired direction.

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Neil, you've linked to the poll at Surveymonkey, but can you also link to wherever it was on the SA website?
Thanks for this one, I shall annoy a great many bed-wetters with it,
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