News24

Climate scepticism highest in US - poll

2012-10-04 16:17

Paris - Awareness of climate change is high in many countries, especially the tropics, but in Britain, Japan and the US many are doubtful about the cause, a poll published on Thursday said.

A survey of 13 492 adults in 13 countries who were questioned by internet found that 88% believed the climate had changed over the past 20 years.

The figures ranged from 98% in Mexico and Hong Kong and 97% in Indonesia to 80% in Belgium and 72% in the US.

Rising average temperatures, drought and extreme rainfall were the phenomena that people most cited.

On the question whether climate change had been scientifically proven, agreement was highest in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Turkey (95%, 89% and 86% respectively).

It was lowest in Japan (58%), preceded by Britain (63%) and the US (65%).

Asked whether human activity was mainly responsible for climate change, 94% of citizens in Hong Kong agreed, followed by 93% in Indonesia, 92% in Mexico and 87% in Germany.

Dissent was strongest in the US, where 58% agreed with the question, in Britain (65%) and Japan (78%).

The survey was carried out from 5 July to 6 August by the opinion poll group Ipsos for the insurance firm Axa.

It was conducted in Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the US.

Comments
  • nicholas.graan - 2012-10-04 17:12

    "Dissent" was strongest in the US! So now it is "dissent" to question this scare. Soon it will become a criminal offense to be what is also now called a "denialist"

      andres.dewet - 2012-10-04 17:26

      Nicholas, been following climate records, been monitoring weather patterns for decades... oh, thought not! Religion is a belief, you cannot choose "belief" in a scientific fact.

      nicholas.graan - 2012-10-04 17:46

      @annman, I don't dispute that there are changes in the climate ..thats pretty obvious and has been happening repeatedly for billions of years! Is it caused by man's activities? That is highly debatable, personally I think it is a money making racket that most people have been suckered into. I am therefore, a "denialist"

      andres.dewet - 2012-10-04 17:57

      Nicholas: It's cause and effect. Yes, obviously the climate has changed since the planet formed 4.6billion years ago. It's changed drastically in the last couple 10's of thousands of years, ice-ages, the Younger Dryas etc. However, the speed of current change is alarming. It is unprecedented in geological history and paleoclimate. You cannot extract all the fossil fuel and burn it, cut down 1/2 the world's forests, create a new dominant "life-form" that burns oil (automobile) and expect the global climatic system will not react. It'll be like beating a child for years and not expecting it to turn out to be a different adult. It's simply illogical reasoning.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 18:06

      @nicholas: People like you are called "denialists" because you deny the substantial forensic evidence that exists that proves that there is a "human fingerprint" in the current climatic changes we are experiencing. Adding billions of tons of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere every year has an "effect", whether you like it or not.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 18:17

      @Nicholas: "Is it caused by man's activities? That is highly debatable, personally I think it is a money making racket that..." Highly debatable? Says who? You? 98% of climate researchers that actively publish in peer reviewed scientific journals agree that human activity is damaging the stability of the climate. A 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS) reviewed publication and citation data for 1,372 climate researchers and drew the following two conclusions: (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change) outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers. "...money making racket that most people have been suckered into. I am therefore, a "denialist" " Another typical absurd claim. The oil, coal and gas industries are trillion dollar industries (the green industry is small fry in comparison). It is in THEIR interest that global warming does not get tackled and they have spent millions of dollars on disinformation campaigns geared towards misinforming the public about global warming. The money is on the side of oil , pull your head out of the sand!!

      robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-10-04 18:34

      @Nicholas.graan – big TU to you. You are, of course, absolutely correct. Don’t listen to that other fellow who keeps crowing about 98% of climate scientists etc etc. It’s a load of eye wash but the trouble is he will not, perhaps cannot, read the data. http://heartland.org/sites/default/files/05-02-12_bast_myth_of_the_98.pdf http://heartland.org/policy-documents/you-call-consensus “Human activity is damaging the stability of the climate.” Another load of hogwash – never has there been any scientific proof that this is the case. Computer models are just that – they assume we know EVERY little factor influencing the Earth’s climate. WE DON’T.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 18:48

      @Robin: The "Heartland institute" has zero credibility. END OF STORY. http://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-institute-exposed-internal-documents-unmask-heart-climate-denial-machine

      robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-10-04 18:56

      @Ernst. "The "Heartland institute" has zero credibility. END OF STORY." Why? Because it goes against your beliefs? Because they are not joining the "Sky is falling" headless chicken brigade?

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 18:57

      @Robin (continued): An orginization that receives most of its funding from companies that benefit financially from denying human induced climate change has no credibility. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/28/434196/fakegate-heartland-scientist-debunked/ http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/18/428596/climate-scientists-slam-heartland-for-spreading-misinformation-and-personally-attacking-climate-scientists-to-further-its-goals/ http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/17/428111/exposed-the-19-public-corporations-funding-the-climate-denier-think-tank-heartland-institute/ http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/15/426174/anti-science-blogger-anthony-watts-confirms-heartland-weather-stations-project/ The list goes on and on and on.

      andres.dewet - 2012-10-04 18:57

      @Robin: Sorry to be mean, but I'm going to state the painfully obvious: I have to deal with tomorrow's earth and the consequences of your denials. You, judging by years-already-past, simply won't. Your archaic thinking destroys MY future, you've already had yours.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 19:07

      @Robin: "Why? Because it goes against your beliefs?" Beliefs? My "belief" is backed up by a wealth of scientific evidence. That is the difference between faith and science. The only thing you seem to be good at is to provide links to orginizations that have been discredited.

  • tuco.angeleyes - 2012-10-04 17:17

    I dont care what anybody says, The earths climate has been changing hecticly thousands of years even before mankind and will still change for thousands to come I do not buy into the Al Gore doomsday gibberish that we are the root cause of climate change

      andres.dewet - 2012-10-04 17:37

      Keep polluting then... because clearly, erring on the side of sustainability has fewer consequences than erring on the side of going for resource exploitation. You people REALLY do not care for anything, anyone or any specie other than yourselves!

      nicholas.graan - 2012-10-04 17:50

      @annman The positive spinoff from this scare, is that we should be looking after the planet anyway and a bit bit of pressure goes a long way, but when people start demanding billions of dollars for this and we start getting "green" taxes rammed down our throats all in the name of "saving the planet", then I start feeling sick.

      andres.dewet - 2012-10-04 17:58

      You see, that's not the planet's fault. That's our dismal government and monopolistic ESKOM. Don't become a denialist simply because we have piss-poor government and energy policy.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 18:00

      @tuco: "The earths climate has been changing hecticly thousands of years even before mankind and will still change for thousands to come.." Scientists have taken natural (cyclic) variability into account, so stop insulting their intelligence. Their conclusion is still the same: Human activity is damaging the stability of the climate.

      robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-10-04 18:37

      @Nicholas - It isn't billions of dollars. The Church of Gore puts the figure at about 75 TRILLION dollars and we all go back to sackcloth, walking everywhere and totting up our debts on an abacus. That is except for the Gore disciples of course.

      nicholas.graan - 2012-10-04 18:57

      Insulting their intelligence?? Its a complete con designed to create a lemming following in order to fill pockets with lots and lots of dollars (you can ask Al Gore about that). You Ernst are one of those lemmings who has fallen for all this nonsense hook line and sinker. Over and out.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 19:16

      nicholas.graan: "Insulting their intelligence?? Its a complete con designed to create a lemming following in order to fill pockets with lots and lots of dollars (you can ask Al Gore about that)." Please provide me with citations that point to the latest peer reviewed scientific papers that dispute the validity of manmade global warming. Otherwise, stop making bold unsubstatiated claims. "...following in order to fill pockets with lots and lots of dollars.." Yes, the fossil feul industry makes billion dollar profits from people (like you) that are happy to be a slave to oil and spends millions of dollars on disinformation campaigns to keep you addicted to oil.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 19:25

      @nicholas: "You Ernst are one of those lemmings who has fallen for all this nonsense hook line and sinker. Over and out." Oh really? So I am one of the lemmings that base my "moronic" opinion on what 98% of the top climate scientists in the world are saying? But I guess its true what they say: Ignorance (your ignorance) is bliss.

      tuco.angeleyes - 2012-10-04 21:15

      @nicholas.graan I agree Its all one big money making sham and scare tactic. Last year my wife bought a brand new car and about R30 000.00 of the final amount was some sort of carbon tax!! I mean WTF?? go figure. Next thing they are going to try and convince us the dinosaurs caused their own extinction via global warming.Climate change/global warming is one enormous scam to rob people blind.

  • mraath - 2012-10-04 19:55

    Climate science. The only form of science where debate is not only unwelcome, those who dissent have their careers wrecked by those in the club. Incidentally Ernst and annman, apart from the numerous logical fallacies you have used here (appeal to authority, false cause, appeal to emotion, strawman etc) the "consensus" of scientists is a highly questionable consensus amongst an extremely exclusive group, excluding meteorologists, earth scientists and others, and answering 2 highly innocuous questions. In fact the "conensus" view is that the earth has warmed, and that man has had something to do with it. That would include the so-called luke-warmers who form a sizable community. Not that that matters at all. Climate science is based on a series of computer models that have consistently failed to produce the future. There is no conclusive evidence of an increase in extreme weather events, in fact 2012 was a period of unusually low tornado activity in the US, no major hurricane has made landfall since Katrina, and the Russian heatwave of a year or 2 back has been attributed (by Kevin Trenberth of all!) to El Nino events. For those who think the debate is over on this highly complex field, when scientists are still debating the nature of gravity and challenging the notion of the absolute limit of the speed of light, you have no idea of the nature of scientific discovery, nor do you understand the scientific method.

      robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-10-04 21:38

      Bravo Mr Squid, bravo.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 21:48

      @mr Squid: "The only form of science where debate is not only unwelcome, those who dissent have their careers wrecked by those in the club." Having a contrarian view is fine. However, when science is concerned, you must back your views up with credible research. You havent provided any reference to actual peer-reviewed scientific literature to back up your claims.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 22:09

      Mr Squid: "Climate science is based on a series of computer models that have consistently failed to produce the future." Perhaps you should see: http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models-intermediate.htm "....excluding meteorologists, earth scientists and others, and answering 2 highly innocuous questions.." Another absurd claim. Firstly, meteorology training doesn't have the same emphasis on basic physics as climate researchers do. Meteorologists study the climate at short time intervals, whereas climate scientists take a long term view (its easier to predict the weather over long periods as opposed to short time intervals). "There is no conclusive evidence of an increase in extreme weather events, in fact 2012 was a period..." So we should ignore this threat? "For those who think the debate is over on this highly complex field, when...." What is at stake here mr squid? The massive infrastructure overhaul that is required to address this problem will take decades. We dont have time for debating anymore. The evidence is clear. Greenhouse gasses from human activities are accumulating in the atmosphere and will do so for decades to come.

      Mr Squid - 2012-10-04 22:59

      Ernst - that page from SkepticalScience says that models reproduce the past well. Woohoo. Every heard of financial models? They reproduce the past brilliantly. Unfortunately, when it comes to the future, they're a little lacking. Look at Black & Scholes and the 2008 financial crisis. In fact the parallels between financial and climate models are quite interesting. The climate models have overstated the warming by a significant factor. Warming has pretty much stopped for the last 14 years. Yet GHG concentrations have increased. I think that the world is increasingly stepping away from the alarmist view since this has proved to be wildly inaccurate. With every day that passes, the world is seeing that the dire predictions are not coming true. The alarmists have cried wolf. I think most people will agree that we should reduce pollution levels, that we should recycle more, that we should ensure that the land is fertile and that technology is good. The more hysterical the alarmists get, the more likely we are to return to sensible policies. Unfortunately cap and trade is not one.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 23:28

      Mr squid: "I think that the world is increasingly stepping away from the alarmist view since this has proved to be wildly inaccurate." Where was it shown to be inaccurate? Provide citations to peer reviewed research. "Unfortunately, when it comes to the future, they're a little lacking. Look at Black & Scholes..." Manmade global warming is based on very basic scientific principles. If you increase greenhouse gas concentrations, more energy goes into the climate system. An energy imbalance occurs. Simple as that. "With every day that passes, the world is seeing that the dire predictions are not coming true. The alarmists.." Global warming increases the odds of extreme weather events occuring more often. There have been, at regular intervals, floods, droughts, heavy snow storms, heat waves etc. Many countries have experienced "once in a generation" events in quick succession. The regularity of these events have been predicted and ignoring it is foolish. REMEMBER: Substantial greenhouse gas emissions (from human activity )is still on the way over the next few decades.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-04 23:37

      @mr squid: (continue) "The climate models have overstated the warming by a significant factor. Warming has pretty much stopped for the last 14 years. Yet GHG concentrations have increased." This is simply NOT TRUE. See: http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm

  • leroy.reynolds.353 - 2012-10-05 11:43

    The problem here is not what people are telling me, its what i have seen happen over the past ten years. Those who dont live in a unspoilt environment will not understand what im talking about here unless you have had the time to witness the change yourself. The weather around the KZN coastal ares have changed drastically! I remember the days not so long ago that one could predict the weather fairly accurately with practice/observation. I know most days when the wind would start (just after sunrise) , and when it would die off so we could surf! There were rainy seasons and dry ones with slight changes from year to year. Now its all over the place...its like a washing machine, we cant even say when a month of big swell can be expected. I believe without a doubt no matter what the scientist tell me that there is something changing the weather drastically. And if people cannot fathom the amount of crap we burn everyday to live the way we do, then there is no hope for a solution. I think if everyone on here went to their city dump site and had a look how much we throw away, they might think of our role in this a little different.

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