Public Opinion about Global Warming

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A Gallup global warming poll, reported in the Gallup website on March 11 2010, shows a marked shift in US public opinion against AGW.

No surprises here – the US is coming out of a dinny-hazer of a winter, with record snowfalls and frosts even in Florida.  Even though weather is not climate, it is not surprising that many would say, through chattering teeth, “What b-b-b-bloody global warming?”  The news of the unscientific behaviour of some of the principal climate scientists, and of the IPCC’s outrageous exaggerations, is also beginning to get through, even when unreported or played down by politically-compliant media.

However, after all that, less than half (48%) believe the warming to be greatly exaggerated. That means 52% either believe it is not exaggerated or are unsure (the number of “don’t knows” is unclear in that 52%).  50% still believe global warming is anthropogenic, 46% say it is not (4% seemingly don’t know).  So I am not celebrating, for two main reasons:

First, consensus one way or the other has no bearing on the truth (think about Ptolemy’s geocentric universe).

Second, these numbers are nowhere near high enough to make politicians of both right and left stop viewing this issue as a tailor-made justification for increasing taxes.  In the UK and in New Zealand, Tories are just as enthusiastic about carbon taxes as the Labour parties.  Not just CO2, but methane as well.  Carbon taxes give savvy politicians the means to deliver promises of income tax cuts without losing revenue – they can just set the carbon levies at the appropriate level – for environmental reasons, of course.

Of course?  Not.  At the global and national political level, the AGW argument is not about science.

It’s about revenue.


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