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U.S. public support for AGW orthodoxy dropped by 14 percentage points since 2008

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has published their newest numbers documenting the changing opinions about global warming in the U.S.

Pew, The Guardian, Associated Press, a WSJ blog I, II, Wash. Indep., Dakota Voice
The October 2009 numbers are mainly compared with the results in April 2008: I will refer to 2008 and 2009.

The American worries about global warming cooled down, Pew Research Center showed, even as Pew Center on Global Climate Change attempted to gather its last worriers again.

Is there solid evidence that the Earth is warming [at all]?

In 2008, "Yes" was chosen by 71% of the respondents. Now it is 57% only: a drop by 14 percentage points. You may want to know that both in 2006 and 2007, the figure was at 77% - a drop by 20 percentage points in 2 or 3 years.

Is there solid evidence that the Earth is warming because of human activity?

In 2008, the "Yes" score was at 47%, i.e. almost one half agreed with the basic AGW statement. In 2009, the number dropped to 36%, i.e. by 11 percentage points. About one third of Americans believe in man-made global warming today - which makes this religion less popular than creationism. ;-)

If we extrapolate this trend, the number of AGW believers in the U.S. will become negative in five years. ;-)

Is it serious?

The "very serious" group went from 44% to 35% between 2008 and 2009, "not too serious" went from 13% to 15%, "not a problem" went from 11% to 17%, the last two "largely unworried" groups combined went from 24% to 32%.

GOP, DEM, IND: party lines

The belief in "solid scientific evidence supporting global warming, whatever is the cause," has been going down since 2006 among the voters of all parties. The 2007 Republican score that slightly exceeded the 2006 score was a mild exception.

Years: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Dem's: 91%, 86%, 83%, 75%
Ind's: 79%, 78%, 75%, 53%
Rep's: 59%, 62%, 49%, 35%

You see that among the independents, the rate of depletion of the AGW believers accelerated by a factor of ten.

Solid scientific evidence in man-made global warming

This statement is much bolder than the previous ones so it's not surprising that the percentages are correspondingly lower.

Years: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Dem's: 57, 59, 58, 50
Ind's: 54, 47, 50, 33
Rep's: 31, 29, 27, 18

Yes, less than one fifth of the Republican fans think that there is solid scientific evidence supporting man-made global warming. The Democrats are evenly split.

Only ignorant people support cap-and-trade

The people were also asked how much they have heard about the cap-and-trade system and how much they supported it.

There is a clear correlation here: the more you know, the more you oppose it (at least if you have heard enough). The numbers below are evidence for a new variation of Reagan's dictum: "Communists are those who have read Marx. Anticommunists are those who have understood him."

Among those who have heard nothing about the cap-and-trade, the policy is:

supported by: 50%
opposed by: 36%

It looks good for cap-and-trade, doesn't it? It gets slightly better among those who have heard a "little":

supported by: 58%
opposed by: 32%

However, there are also people who have heard a lot about the cap-and-trade, and they offer a substantially different perspective:

supported by: 32%
opposed by: 64%

As you can see, only the ignorant, briefly brainwashed left-wing people support the AGW orthodoxy and its plans for new kinds of regulation.

However, you should distinguish ignorance and stupidity. While the belief in AGW increases with the ignorance, it is pretty much independent of the stupidity (and college degrees), the polls show. It is independent of the U.S. geography, too.

However, the Europeans give significantly greener answers than the Americans, the Harris Poll has shown.

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snail feedback (3) :

reader Michael Varney said...

You cannot draw any conclusions on global warming, one way or the others, based on what people "believe". There must be data based on observation, and tested etc. I.e the scientific method, not beliefs.

Crowing about how less people believe in global warming now than 3 years ago does not convince me that it is not a problem, just like if there was a poll saying more people believe global warming is real would not convince me it was a problem.

The general populace are swayed by media and special interest groups, not by their own critical thinking skills or evidence. Using such polls as support for your position is weak.

Keep to the science rather than trying to use "proof by poll".

As they say on Penn & Teller's Bull$hit: "Polls are Bull$hit"

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Michael,

indeed, as you could notice by reading this blog more frequently, I would never draw any conclusions based on what people believe.

The relationship must go in the opposite direction, and yes, this posting is a kind of celebration of the fact that I am among approximately 100 people in the world who most significantly helped the Americans not to believe crap about the climate.

So this posting is a celebration of our work, not a method to change the opinions of us, the opinionmakers.

Best wishes

reader Unknown said...

I find it quite interesting that those who know a lot about cap and trade do no support it. Democrats have been doing their best to change the wording so that people will feel bad opposing it. Wording, unfortunately, does not change the fact that this legislation will have catastrophic consequences for the US economy. Write your Senators and let them know that you do not support legislation that will cost each American family thousands every year and kill millions of jobs at

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