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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cherry picking polls: global warming is real and we're causing it

Sou | 1:50 PM Feel free to comment!
There's a new article by Eric Worrall at WUWT - archived here, cached here. (Anthony seems to opted out of his blog again and left it as a notice board for the riff raff.) He's written about a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The report of the poll is called: American attitudes toward the Pope following his visit to the United States. What it indicated was that 16% of Americans think that global warming isn't happening, and 67% know that global warming is real.

But that's not what Eric wrote about.


Eric posted the second table from the report:


Eric seemed to think it meant something it didn't. He wrote:
Yet another poll has been published, which suggests that despite relentless media bombardment in the leadup to Paris, Americans are increasingly unconcerned about climate change.

There are a few things wrong with what Eric wrote. The most obvious is that he didn't put up any comparison with previous polls, so he has no grounds for using the word "increasingly".

The other thing you'll notice is that around 60 per cent of respondents are at least moderately worried about global warming, whereas fewer than forty per cent are not too worried or not worried at all.


Eric didn't post the first table. What it showed was that "only" 16% of respondents think that global warming is not happening, while around 67% know that global warming is real.

There is more:

  • We are causing global warming: Around half the respondents agree that global warming is caused entirely or mostly by human activity, while around 36% think it's equally natural and human-caused, and less than 7% think it's all natural.
  • 82% agree that global warming is an environmental issue.
There are other questions, like whether people regard global warming as a moral issue, a scientific issue etc.


From the WUWT comments


I wonder if this was a trick article by Eric. Did he want to check how many WUWT readers understood numbers and/or checked the facts? If he did, then a couple do and most don't.

Marcus went along with the headline, without bothering about the poll results:
November 4, 2015 at 7:45 am
. . .America is waking up to the liberal elites endless deceit and their hypocrisy !!! You hear that Bill Gates ???

kokoda was probably sorry he wasn't polled, and so declared his "belief"
November 4, 2015 at 7:56 am
I completely deny CAGW.
I completely agree with Natural Climate Change, which includes climate variability caused by magnetic pole movement.

Marcus couldn't wait to show off his ignorance about climate models (all those are part of general circulation models, except maybe cosmic rays):
November 4, 2015 at 8:06 am
And the solar Minimum , the oceans, clouds, cosmic rays and all the other things they don’t count in their models !! 

CodeTech is worried for civilisation, as he or she should be for different reasons:
November 4, 2015 at 8:15 am
I’m worried a bit, but not because “global warming” is coming to get me, I’m worried about the increasingly desperate attempts to fix a non-problem that are eventually going to literally destroy our entire civilization.

John F. Hultquist seems to have been one of only two people to have read Eric's article, and the report of the poll. (Must give Anthony Watts and Eric some slim hope that WUWT is read by the occasional person having more than half a brain)
November 4, 2015 at 8:17 am
The chart shown is not the most confusing such thing I have ever seen, but surely ranks in the top 10 – or, should I say, the bottom 10. Further, the survey is from just the last few months, with a sample of just over 2,000, and a margin of error of |3.7|. I question if the chart means what the title of the post claims. Find numbers from 5, 10, and 15 years ago. Please.
I think – using the right hand column:
9 + 17 + 37 = 63
versus
20 + 15 = 35 {table claims 34}
Also, “Not too worried” seems to me to mean a person is, in fact, worried. Thus the 20 should go in the first set, not the 2nd set. [9 + 17 + 37 + 20 = 83]
Further, Q#8 shows that 2/3 of the folks agree:
“Yes global warming is happening”

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