Divide and Cool
Posted by Jeff Condon on October 11, 2011
So the other day I was reading around the internet and came across this document: ebs_372_en
It is a ‘study’ commissioned by the EU has this amazing bit of political-speak straight out of a apocalyptic sci-fi novel:
This survey has been requested by the Directorate-General Climate action and coordinated by Directorate-General for Communication (DG COMM “Research and
This document does not represent the point of view of the European Commission.
The interpretations and opinions contained in it are solely those of the authors.
I’m not sure how you combine ‘Research and Speechwriting’ into a department, but I can make a few guesses as to why. The study introduction’s first sentence makes no bones about the “authors opinions”.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the modern age.
Anyway, I continued to read. The very first graph stopped me in my tracks. Jaw in lap, I stared for several minutes contemplating the meaning of what these surveyors were claiming.
Several things stood out in this poll. First, since the poll is reported to one percent, which one hundred people could you ask these questions to and get no ‘others’ as answers. The average group of 100 people wouldn’t give a single ‘different’ answer than this list. The result is so goofy, that I bet 1 in 100 would say lack of faith is the biggest issue, but as you know, I’m often wrong. The top issue according to the poll is poverty, hunger and lack of water with climate change in second place with 1 in 5 Europeans worried about that more than the economy, war etc… I thought Europe was the enlightened group and America is comprised of gun toting dumb-hick morons. Aren’t there riots going on for jobs in Europe? Yet the people are worried more about climate change than their own livelihood?
Let’s just say I was suspicious of the study at that point. So I found the questions at the bottom of the pdf linked above.
The poll instructions are to show the card and read out one answer only. Besides seeing that the top answer on the ‘questions’ is climate change, I note that the other questions seem to divide topics. Certainly, it isn’t hard to imagine that the economic situation and poverty are somewhat intertwined. How do you separate ‘availability of energy’ from that? If there is one thing this world will never lack, it is energy. Doesn’t a good economy or lack of poverty guarantee energy? I would lump disease, poverty, food, water, energy all into the economic situation, but what do I know.
Then there is ‘armed conflicts’, separated from nuclear weapons, separated from international terrorism.
It is blatantly obvious that the pollsters feared the public may answer too strongly on these issues when combined. Why not have a question about habitat destruction for instance? Or perhaps, sea level rise, fish shrinkage? Nope, the single environmental question is ‘climate change’ and it is positioned at the top of the list. Right at the top, but note the instructions on the question. Read out, it says. There are two people communicating verbally during this survey.
From the technical specifications section:
All interviews were conducted face-to-face in people’s homes and in the appropriate national language.
I recommend that interested readers take a few minutes to read the questions and imagine having someone enter your home to ask them. They are all climate change related, except for the initial questions shown above which allow choosing of other options. Certainly, you are a ‘trusting’ individual to have the person in your home in the first place. Yet can you imagine the introductory paragraph the individual homeowners heard before accepting the interview. “We’re doing a survey on the impacts of climate change, do you have about 20 minutes you can spend answering questions?”
Now I was very suspicious and began looking for supporting polls of the European population. I found a Gallop poll from April of 2011, only 2 months before this government funded Europoll was done. The Gallop version says ‘Fewer Americans Europeans View Climate Change as a Threat‘ Now we do have to wonder about that. One poll says more, the other says fewer, what is unbelievable is the discrepancy in percentages. It is obvious that someone has their finger on the scale.
A little plug is in order because the Gallop poll references the possible reasons behind the decline in AGW support that we all know has occurred:
World residents’ declining concern about climate change may reflect increasing skepticism about global warming after Climategate and the lack of progress toward global climate policy. The drops also may reflect the poor economic times, during which Gallup research generally finds environmental issues become less important.
So, poor economic times means environment is less important, yet environmentalists want to reduce consumption? Hmm. Anyway, I’m still proud to have a roll in climategate when blogging was a more active part of my life. Unmoderated blogging has its perks. Does anyone wonder why they split economic issues into 3 or 4 separate categories and war into 3?
The gallop poll results indicate that 42 percent of adults in the world consider AGW as a ‘serious’ threat. Not the most serious threat facing humanity, but a ‘serious’ one. Proof that the government money propaganda bus is working its magic in my opinion, but what can we do. According to Gallop, the UK which is ground zero for climate propaganda, has 57% of the adults convinced that they are somehow seriously threatened.
In the United Kingdom, ground zero for the climate data-fixing scandal known as Climategate in 2009, the percentage dropped from 69% to 57% in the same period.
Again, the poll shows a huge drop from 2009. Even James Hansen admits that the non-alarmist message is gaining ground . The comparison to the Europoll executive summary is quite striking.
Altogether 89% see climate change as a serious problem, with 68% considering it a very serious problem (up from 64% in 2009). On a scale of 1 (least) to 10 (most),Europeans rank the seriousness of climate change at 7.4 (against 7.1 in 2009).
So is it 89 percent or 42 percent (60ish in Europe vs UK) that think climate change is serious? Not a small discrepancy any way you cut it. But this Eurobarometer “scientific” poll claimed an increase in believers since 2009. Amazingly, they show that fully 20% of the population in Europe considers global warming the single most serious issue faced by mankind.
The bottom line of the poll is interesting as well, the little old UK from the same poll done here at tAV over the weekend with 3 answers allowed instead of one in our poll. A full forty four percent chose global warming as not only a serious problem but one of the three most serious problems the world faces today!! Wow!
So where did the Air Vent readers come in?
While this represents a small fraction of the Air Vent’s traffic from only a year ago, the poll has a respectable 583 respondents which is good considering my lack of blogging. Of the highly educated and/or highly informed readers here only 0.52% believe climate change is the single greatest issue facing mankind. So we’re a bunch of climate skeptics for sure. I didn’t answer, but would have picked economy until I read some of the answers below. I was convinced by some commentary that ‘other’ was probably the right choice, but there were many reasonable options as far as I’m concerned.
Let’s look at some groupings though. If economy could be lumped with poverty, energy and disease, tAV readers answer 17.18+ 21.48+38.32+.86 = 77.84 percent. Whether you agree with the questions I’ve grouped together or not, 78% of us picked an economically curable problem as the most serious one facing the globe. In the same categories the European public picked 28+18+7+4 or 57% – far ahead of global warming . Terrorism, nuclear weapons and armed conflicts made up 6 percent of Air Vent readers yet 18 percent of this Eurobarometer poll. Interesting, considering that the conservative Americans which are over-represented here, are alleged to be the war mongers.
In the end, what I took away from the report was that when someone is allowed in your house for a climate 0pinion survey, you are probably already biased toward authority based messages. The FIRST answer of the first question on the list asked by the government paid climate representative is “climate change” and all following quesitons are of similar vein. The results show that not only is there an increase in AGW alarmist support over two years ago, in direct contradiction to many lines of evidence, there was a zero percent reply to ‘other’, as though the individuals had no possible other opinion. To be fair, the ‘other’ category was a volunteer category but we had more people say ‘other’ than said any of the 3 forms of armed conflict combined. NO consensus folks, any time you see consensus, look for outside pressure.
Does this Euro-test result seem possible in a scientifically unbiased scenario?
Of course I am unconvinced by this Eruostudy. It is propaganda from beginning to end. How is it that the only enviroissue is listed first in an enviropoll with other important global issues accidentally divided into sub-categories which by nature have various attractions to the ‘caring’ audience. Then you administer the poll face to face in peoples homes, a politically self-sorting process by its very nature, then you proclaim the result from the towers.
Their conclusion reads:
Climate change remains a key concern for the European public, and a greater one
than when the last special climate survey was conducted in 2009.
Just over half (51%) of respondents consider climate change one of the world’s most
serious problems (and 20% feel it is the single most serious problem). Overall it is
seen as the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty, hunger and
lack of drinking water, and a more serious problem than the economic situation.
Altogether 89% see climate change as a serious problem, with 68% considering it a
very serious problem (up from 64% in 2009). On a scale of 1 (least) to 10 (most),
Europeans rank the seriousness of climate change at 7.4 (against 7.1 in 2009).
There is also a positive view of the economic benefits of tackling climate change –
almost eight in ten (78%) respondents agree that it can boost the economy and
create jobs, a big increase since 2009 (when 63% agreed). At least two-thirds of
respondents in each Member State share this view.
I don’t believe a word of this yet the media is all over it. Search European Climate Opinion Poll, on your favorite link provider and you will be shocked at the result. Dozens of pages of news articles reporting that Europe has a stronger opinion of climate change than in the past. Do your own searches for the media reporting this poll, the results are absolutely astounding. Fifteen pages of European poll articles reporting the same study. It makes climategate look like a pre-school graduation.