Asking the big questions about renewable energy

I’ve just come back from a weekend Conference in Jerusalem, organised by European Friends of Israel (EFI).  It brought together a large number of European and national parliamentarians, and it addressed both the general situation in the Middle East, and EU/Israeli relations.  I’ll be writing about it more generally, but right now I want to talk about a panel discussion in a break-out group on Sunday, on renewable energy.  It was chaired by Bulgarian MEP Mrs. Antonyia Parvanova.

We heard the views of four panellists, and I managed to get the first intervention from the floor (which is beginning to be a bit of a trade-mark move with me).  As near as I can remember, I said:

“Madame Chairman: Recent polling shows that citizens in the UK and the USA, and in many European countries, are increasingly sceptical about man-made climate change, and increasingly reluctant to pay for green taxes and subsidies.  Meantime serious scientific questions are being asked about the theory.  Serious irregularities have been revealed in the collection, analysis and presentation of climate data.

“Professor Phil Jones of the respected Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia has admitted that there has been no significant global warming for fifteen years.  Some scientists, especially solar scientists and astronomers, argue that the Sun has an overwhelmingly greater effect on the earth’s climate than greenhouse gases, and many of these are predicting several decades of global cooling.

“May I ask the panel: how will these trends affect the renewables sector?  And if we set aside the issue of global warming, does the panel anticipate that renewables will ever be competitive in cost terms with conventional generation?”.

An Israeli government spokesman responded that climate change was an established fact.  So it is, but that doesn’t make it man-made.  And he said that in any case we should move to renewables because we didn’t want the pollution of coal-fired power stations.  I was astonished by this answer (as I told him afterwards) because modern coal-fired power stations eliminate most of the pollutants associated with coal burning.  (Bear in mind that CO2 itself is not a pollutant — it is simply a trace gas which occurs naturally in the atmosphere and which is essential to life on earth).

Mrs Petra Bayr, and Austrian parliamentarian on the panel, said that she was not a scientist, so of course she accepted the IPCC position.  But she ought to look more closely.  The IPCC is notorious for ignoring dissent from its own panellists.  It has been captured by a small and dedicated clique of scientists who have a stranglehold on its editorial process, and it has become simply an advocacy group for climate alarmism.  Much of its “peer-reviewed science” turns out to be nothing more than grey literature and propaganda from green NGOs.

Meantime its Chairman, railway engineer Ravendra Pachauri, has been widely reported as having serious conflicts of interest, as he and his think-tank TERI profit from offering environmental advice to industry.

Mrs Bayr also added that climate was changing, so we had to do something whether the IPCC was right about the reasons or not.  But if climate change is not caused by CO2, then cutting CO2 will not have any effect (apart from ruining our economy).  You might as well go and sacrifice a golden calf to the sky gods in the hope of changing the climate.

One recurring theme in the panel’s replies was that Israel, with limited natural resources, faces threats to its energy security, and so must go for solar PV even if costs are higher.  But even in the Middle East, the sun does not shine all the time.  They have night, and as we found ourselves, they also have days of rain and grey skies.  An unpredictable and intermittent source of high-cost electricity doesn’t sound to me like energy security — they’d be better off with coal and nuclear.

A solar entrepreneur on the panel,  Mr. Joseph Abromovitch, showed a hand-drawn graph to indicate that “grid parity” (that is, price parity between solar and conventional generation) would be achieved by 2015.  But of course that assumes that the cost of conventional generation is driven up by carbon taxes or carbon trading (and even that wouldn’t apply to nuclear).  If you compare the real cost of generation, without skewing the outcome with artificial penalties for carbon, I doubt that parity will ever be achieved.

One point struck me.  Several speakers from the floor insisted that nuclear power should get no public subsidies.   But sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.  Without public subsidies, no wind turbines or solar PV installations would ever be built.

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30 Responses to Asking the big questions about renewable energy

  1. mr Helmer

    Bear in mind that CO2 itself is not a pollutant — it is simply a trace gas which occurs naturally in the atmosphere and which is essential to life on earth).

    “If you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison’ it is certain to disagree with you sooner or later.”
    …..(Al’s ice in wonderland)

    http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/

    • And if you confuse a safe and natural trace gas with a pollutant, you get into all kinds of trouble!

    • Axel says:

      I see what you are driving at, but I fear that Mr. Helmer had misinterpreted your point.

      Yes it is the case that the “bottle” marked CO2 has been mislabelled. That is to say that it has literally been “Branded or labelled falsely and in violation of statutory requirements”. Mr. Helmer failed to notice that you were being critical of Mrs. Petra Bayr’s stance. This reference of yours was perhaps too obtuse, though Helmer should have perhaps noted that it was from the fantasy novel, Al’s ice in wonderland [sic], a reference to Albert Gore, I suspect.

      Petra Bayr, however feigns ignorance of CO2 and its actions, but is that really the case? Mr. Helmer states that Petra Bayr is an “Austrian parliamentarian on the panel, said that she was not a scientist, so of course she accepted the IPCC position”.

      What he doesn’t tell us is that Petra Bayr is the official Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs (SPÖ) spokeswoman for the Environment and Global Development. The SPÖ is slightly to the left of the UK Labour Party, IMHO. It is official SPÖ Party dogma, to blame CO2 and to go along with Al Gore, Michael Mann, Obama, and the rest of that ilk, because this is a Socialist Dream scenario. Blaming CO2 gives an opportunity to Tax Every Living Thing, and Every Industrial Activity on Planet Earth.

      Many SPÖ members must know privately that this is disingenuous, but their eyes are lit up with Euro symbols, and they adhere to the Jesuit doctrine, of compartmentalising the mind. It is alright to tell lies and do wrong things, so long as the end goal is laudable. So say the Jesuits, and so say the SPÖ, and Mrs Bayr simply repeats this dogma, whether she herself believes it or not.

      Bayr’s account of this conference is somewhat different to Helmer’s, as you might imagine. She may see an opportunity to promote her dogmatic *AlGorism views, in the guise of contributing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

      Here is what Mrs. Bayr actually stated in her report :

      “It would be a welcome signal from Israel and the neighboring States, when the power supply could be made from renewable resources at the local level by Jewish and Arab leaders working together in concert.”

      Bayr also mentioned water and sanitation as a reason for co-operation between Palestine & Israel, but also alluding to Lebanon, Jordan, and others. Here is what she said about that :

      “From previous visits to Israel, I know water and sanitation projects, cooperation in which Jewish and Arab villages help each other succeed. This cooperation at the technical level is often the basis for cooperation in many other areas for the benefit of the residents on both sides of the green line.”

      Again this is being used as a “Trojan Horse”. Cooperate with sanitation and water, and the infrastructure will be there to make it easy to impose “green solutions” upon the resultant combined community. This ignores the fervent wish of Palestinians that illegal Israeli settlements within Palestinian territory, in the West Bank do not want to have cooperation. They want illegal Israeli settlements removed. That is also the position of the UN and the EU, isn’t it?

      *AlGorism
      This word doesn’t mean what you think.
      I deliberately capitalised two letters to add a subtle message to its meaning. It literally means, Computation with Arabic figures (mathematics). I would say that Mrs. Bayr is using real Arabic Political figures in her “green” calculations.

  2. Jonathan Ward says:

    Roger,
    To which opinion polls do you refer to over climate change and renewables? Have you seen this very recent one of it’s most recent poll on CC and public opinion at:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2011/jan/31/climate-change-poll?CMP=twt_fd ? I would certainly say it does not support your assertions as you put forward in your interjection from the floor.

    As for the temperature situation, NASA and NOAA put last year as joint warmest on record (e.g, http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/jan/HQ_11-014_Warmest_Year.html) and the Met Office as the second warmest on record.

    But your question makes a false assumption that there is a single primary driver behind renewables – climate change. For many people, organisations and governments it is due to prospects of peak oil and other other fossil fuel scarcity issues, and reliance upon fossil-fuel imports from unstable or unreliable regimes.

    Why don’t you acknowledge this?

    Much is made of the subsidy issue, but under EU law, nuclear subsidy is not allowed, under our own domestic and international Polluter Pays Principle obligations, we mandate that nuclear operators must contribute yearly to decommissioning and waste handling funds as there is a considerable toxic and radioactive legacy from nuclear power.

    Nuclear has had a great deal of subsidies to develop over the past 60 years, a fact conveniently forgotten. all fledgling energy industries get subsidies at some point in their initial stages. Fusion has had a fantastic amount.

    But, I do admit there are problems behind the FIT structure, which bounce back the costs to the consumer. We also have not had a sensible discussion on what kind of energy production grid is going to be suitable for the future, or how much we can reduce energy wastage before we aim to spec the new load demands.

    Our biggest problem is our energy losses right now, and addressing that is surely free of ideology?

    • Axel says:

      This comment explains the origin of a graph comparing the number of weather stations around the world with the simple mean of the temperature data. I have shown this graph in some of my own publications and it has been reproduced in a new book by Marlo Lewis. As I have been asked about its origins a number of times I thought it would be simplest to post a web page about it.

      This is the graph:

      More on this @
      http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/nvst.html

      This information throws into doubt your implied assertion that NASA, NOAA, & MET O., are being genuine when they maintain these factoids.

      As for the temperature situation, NASA and NOAA put last year as joint warmest on record (e.g, http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/jan/HQ_11-014_Warmest_Year.html) and the Met Office as the second warmest on record.

      In fact when quoting these as “Authorities”, you make the classic error in logic, which has been known since Aristotle. This is a case of the peripatetic logical fallacy of, argumentum ad verecundiam.

      The most general structure of this argument is:
      Source A says that p is true.
      Source A is authoritative.
      Therefore, p is true.

      This is a fallacy because the truth or falsity of a claim is not related to the authority of the claimant, and because the premises can be true, and the conclusion false (an authoritative claim can turn out to be false).

      You are trapped into this false logic because no fallacy is involved in simply arguing that the assertion made by an authority is true. The fallacy arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism. You may not have claimed such, but many others have done so.

      Most of your other points are arrived at by similar errors in deductive reasoning.

      It is worth considering whether you might benefit from a short course in logical discourse, and then you will be in a better position to see that, what others have told you, may well be naught but innuendo based upon hearsay.

      Analyse your own statements, and see whether you, yourself actually believe them, based on factual evidence, which you have seen, or whether you are simply repeating dogmatic assertions which others have told you, in a parrot-like fashion.

      • Jonathan Ward says:

        Whilst I do understand the argumentum ad verecundiam position, you are applying it with a great number of assumptions, perhaps under the misguided notion that because I have made a preposition, A, that supports or implies an element of AGW, B, and B is something you consider false, then A must be false and I must have arrived at willfully ‘believing’ A through either believing falsehoods or through argumentum ad verecundiam.

        But let’s get back to the point. What does the Mckitrick graph you show me point out?
        It shows temperatures rising but fewer surface temperature stations. Looking at the raw data, the main loss, as a ratio to other sites, is in urban stations, with suburban stations increasing, and rural stations still making up around 58% (contrary to some bloggers who maintain they are all in urban areas and subject to heat-island effects).

        So, the suggestion, I presume, is that we have lower resolution, and that wilfully or otherwise, ‘colder’ stations have been removed, giving rise to the increase in temperature observed?

        Let’s set suppose that were the case for the moment.

        What does this graph really show, I’ll ask again?
        “The data Joe obtained were put into 3 categories, urban, suburban and rural. In the spreadsheet I used to generate the graph I construct the average temperature as weighted by the number of stations in each group.”

        This spreadsheet then just collates average data (in a very crude manner), by year, by the category (e.g rural). So the graph shows the resulting calculation which is the sum of average temp of category * no. of stations in category/total no. of stations.

        This then has nothing to do with global mean temperature as it is ungridded consolidation of results, or in plain English, the calculation does not make any account for the geographical locations of the stations included or excluded. If you had 4 stations in one grid cell, in a country which spanned 10 grid cells, with one station in each of the other cells, you wouldn’t simply take all 13 records and average them, as it would add bias from the cell with 4 stations.

        So all this graph tells me then, is that there are fewer temperature stations globally. Which, when temperature is supplemented by satellite and sea temperatures, doesn’t really posit anything, unless it were to be complemented by data which showed a geographical bias in the remaining stations (and therefore the land records were not representative).

        And it isn’t complemented by any such data.

        In any case, the NASA temp record actually is compiled from three sources, and not just stations as your response would suggest:”The analysis produced at GISS is compiled from weather data from more than 1000 meteorological stations around the world, satellite observations of sea surface temperature and Antarctic research station measurements”.

        NOAA’s, as far I can see, is compiled from the GHCN and the ICOADS land and sea measurements respectively.

        I would suggest to you, that you have actually demonstrated an ad hominem attack by pre-supposing that the bodies listed, as ‘authorities’, were fallacious simply for being authorities, and therefore what they conclude is likely to be false.

        I don’t work in factoids, or ‘truths’. As someone who used to work in physics and has studied elements of climate science (including taking raw measurements), I have had a chance to understand and critique theories and datasets. That is what you do as a scientist, you work on the best available data, and be a professional sceptic. Then with whatever you are left observing, theories are posited and critiqued by the scientist and scientific community and the weaker arguments are quickly invalidated, leaving one that explains best the phenomena observed. It doesn’t mean that’s it, that’s the end. It means at that time, we have found no better, logical explanation for what we have observed.

        That for me is science, and so I would take issue with your comments regarding my own employment of logic and critical analysis on this subject.

        Of course, for both of us, there is some element of trust involved in both our arguments, trust in the sense that we subject all to scepticism, but with large datasets, we cannot confirm and verify each individual datum. We build trust on the openness of the scientific dialogue, the robustness and replicability of the method, and the quality of peer-review. This is unavoidable, otherwise we, as Bertrand Russell would attest, have only our own “sense-data” to go on.

      • Axel says:

        What you state in your reply is buncombe.

        I shall take the time to dissect your reply.

        You wrote: “Whilst I do understand the argumentum ad verecundiam position, you are applying it with a great number of assumptions, perhaps under the misguided notion that because I have made a preposition, A, that supports or implies an element of AGW, B, and B is something you consider false, then A must be false and I must have arrived at willfully ‘believing’ A through either believing falsehoods or through argumentum ad verecundiam.”

        What you state here is nonsense. You originally stated

        “As for the temperature situation, NASA and NOAA put last year as joint warmest on record (e.g, http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/jan/HQ_11-014_Warmest_Year.html) and the Met Office as the second warmest on record.”

        You have nominated NASA NOAA & the Met Office as being authoritative sources, and the implication is that we should accept this as “evidence”, of Global Warming, which it is not. Whether I consider AGW to be false or not is irrelevant to your argument. Clearly you do not understand the Logical Fallacy of argumentum ad verecundiam at all.

        You stated:

        “Looking at the raw data, the main loss, as a ratio to other sites, is in urban stations, with suburban stations increasing, and rural stations still making up around 58%”

        Again this is another Logical fallacy.
        This is the classic “Straw Man” fallacy, where you have misrepresented an opponent’s position, and replaced the premiss with one of your own. You then expand the Straw Man in the classical manner, by offering up a False surrender and then you go into a long drawn out argument which is again classic of the Straw Man scenario.

        McKitrick points out that, “The loss in stations was not uniform around the world. Most stations were lost in the former Soviet Union, China, Africa and South America.”. This is contrary to what you state in your reply. All the remarks you then go on to state about these bodies are irrelevant, as they are part of the Straw Man argument.

        One remark you have made bears closer examination however. You stated

        “I would suggest to you, that you have actually demonstrated an ad hominem attack by pre-supposing that the bodies listed, as ‘authorities’, were fallacious simply for being authorities, and therefore what they conclude is likely to be false.”

        Again this is another Straw Man, a misrepresentation of my position. These bodies are authoritative. They did not write in this blog, you did. Therefore it is the case that You stated that Source A says that p is true.
        Source A is authoritative.
        Therefore, p is true. This is all that is required to satisfy the condition for the argumentum ad verecundiam fallacy.

        You stated

        “I don’t work in factoids”

        , but again you are really fond of the Straw Man, aren’t you. You have misrepresented my position again. I stated, “your implied assertion that NASA, NOAA, & MET O., are being genuine when they maintain these factoids.

        So you give me a potted history and another irrelevant information. I care not whether you are really the Sultan of Oman, or a clapped out market trader. Your social and profession standing has zero relevance to the argument put forward by McKitrick, that the data has been compromised in such a way, as to cause the announced temperature rises to be no longer, valid or credible.

        You also made some demurral

        “I would take issue with your comments regarding my own employment of logic and critical analysis on this subject.”

        Of course your reply to my posting, is riddled with errors of logic and critical analysis. My advice stands. Get some tuition in logical discourse.

        Sadly Bertrand Russell died in 1970 and so cannot confirm your assertion about what he may or may not have attested.
        This is a double logical fallacy.

        The historian’s fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when one assumes that persons in the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those alive today. Furthermore you use Russell as another appeal to authority, and again this is irrelevant to McKitrick’s argument.

      • Dear Axel,
        You might find the linked document of interest. It is a pre-cursor of a more detailed study of GHCN.

        Click to access E&E_05-Drake.pdf

        Kind regards,

        Jonathan

        PS: Roger, you might be interested in it too.

      • Axel says:

        @ Jonathan Ward

        Is this the best you can do in reply?

        And your point is? Sadly that hypothesis of Jonathan J. Drake, does not refer to, the apparent disparity for selection of the excluded measuring stations, with regard to their geographical location.

        This is exactly the same point that you also failed to heed, in McKitrick’s Article, which I referred to above.

        Not only that, but it is acknowledged even by NASA & NOAA themselves that there was a major problem with the data received from a whole series of satellites that was innacurate because of orbital decay that was uncorrected, and for other technical reasons.

      • Jonathan Ward says:

        @Axel “Is this the best you can do in reply?”

        As I have not replied thus far to your recent comment, I’m not sure why you are writing this?

        Are you confusing myself with Jonathan Drake?

        I will reply to you soon Axel.

        Regards,

        Jonathan

    • Happy to acknowledge the importance of the energy security question — indeed I have done so again and again. But we have coal and nuclear for two hundred years, by which time we’ll have fusion. And the fossil fuel equation is being transformed by shale gas.

      • Roger,
        Please take a look at the BGS report for DECC 2010 on shale gas (unconventional hydrocarbons). It directly affects the country but will likely be of more interest to you constituency. It is available here:

        Click to access shalegas.pdf

        A rudimentary summary is available on the BGS website here:
        http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/energy/shalegas.html

        Best regards,

        Jonathan

      • Jonathan Ward says:

        Roger,

        Thanks for your response. Shale gas does have a large environmental impact with some well held concerns. On the wider issue, aside from the environment, there are questions of the international-relations – energy nexus; how will countries and corporations go about ensuring supplies in the year to come. What impacts will this have on markets?

        As finds become harder to reach or extract, there is a law of diminishing returns on both the energy and the money involved in extracting the fuels.

        Any large company or country, particularly without their own fossil fuel resources, would be foolish to not seek alternative energy sources in my view.

        Regards,

        Jonathan

  3. Scarlett says:

    Opinion poll… Guardian… I rest my case!

  4. Paul says:

    Roger, could you give us your thoughts on the newly announced European supergrid plan which has finally been given the go-ahead?

  5. Zoran Petito says:

    The European Community would be able to let us into the community so that it pressed the government of Croatia. Because we the citizens are helpless. Do you have any idea. For the citizens what to do.
    Best regards

  6. Jonathan Ward says:

    Roger, and others,

    The following programme may interest you:
    Meet the Climate Sceptics
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00y5j3v

    “Filmmaker Rupert Murray takes us on a journey into the heart of climate scepticism to examine the key arguments against man-made global warming and to try to understand the people who are making them.

    Do they have the evidence that we are heating up the atmosphere or are they taking a grave risk with our future by dabbling in highly complicated science they don’t fully understand? Where does the truth lie and how are we, the people, supposed to decide?

    The film features Britain’s pre-eminent sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton as he tours the world broadcasting his message to the public and politicians alike. Can he convince them and Murray that there is nothing to worry about?”

    A very interesting and personal film.

    If you have only a few minutes, consider this short video from Greg Craven, in which he dodges the debate, and asks a more central question of using a matrix to do a simple risk management task. What should you do if you are uncertain. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zORv8wwiadQ

    It turns the argument around if you are a caught in the middle of the debate.

    I’d be interested to hear your views on both Roger.
    I think the former film exposes the paucity and consistency of hard-evidence from the non-AGW camp.

    • Jonathan, That BBC film was the most egregious and distorted exercise in propaganda — as we expect from the BBC. Follow the comment threads on the blogs.

      • Axel says:

        Roger,IMHO he already knew this. Clearly a posting designed to provoke a much longer, and of course time-wasting response, than the concise reply which you gave.

      • Axel says:

        Incidentally Lord Monckton took the producers of this program to the High Court, sued them and made them cut it by half an hour and alter or remove some 16 downright errors and unfairnesses in the programme. The BBC must now pay quite a large chunk of the court costs as part of the settlement. Monckton may perhaps further sue the BBC for defamation, as a result of remarks made by the Judge in his summing up.

      • Jonathan Ward says:

        Roger,

        I will indeed do this and look into it.I’m not someone who favours or condones misrepresentation. I will see what I can find out. It would be hypocritical of me not too, especially after expecting proponents of the Great Global Warming Swindle to accept the damning criticism raised by contributors, scientists, and OFCOM.

        I can’t have it both ways, and don’t expect to. I like to use or call upon evidence, and I’ll stick to that.

        Regards,

        Jonathan

    • Axel says:

      I’d be interested to hear your views Roger” …. Fishing Again ?

      • Jonathan Ward says:

        Unless I am mistaken, the purpose of a comments section and indeed a blog, is for discussion. Does the presence of a view, contrary to your own, or even the presence of a link to media that does not align with your deeply held views, upset you?

        Your tone does not seem to be that of someone who actually wants to debate.

        Regards,

        Jonathan

      • Axel says:

        No, it is because you already surely knew Roger Helmer’s views on this BBC program, first broadcast on 31st Jan 2011, as you already must know his stance on the issues discussed.

        There had been a week of dissection of this BBC hit piece, before you made your provocatory remark.

        Frankly you are a known Troll in here, and elsewhere, and your main purpose is to waste people’s time, and act as agent provocateur IMHO. Others need to know this, in case they mistake your drivel for genuine research.

  7. Charles Wardrop says:

    Thanks, Mr Helmer, for reminding us as well as the renewables wild goose chasers, that we have fossil fuels on Earth sufficient for long enough to allow their becoming supplanted by acceptable newer means of power generation, such as nuclear fusion.
    If you are in touch with the P.M., “Mr Chickens” (Huehne) or Scotlands First Minister, will you please save us all, except the financial beneficiaries from renewables, from ruin, stemming from the Climate Change Acts?

    Even if you were unable to do anything else politically useful,an unduly pessimistic proviso, getting these authorities to change course wd be a lasting acievement!

  8. Pingback: Tweets that mention Asking the big questions about renewable energy « Roger Helmer MEP -- Topsy.com

  9. Another excellent blog post from Roger (as usual)! I also concur with Charles Wardrop’s suggestion that persuading “these authorities to change course would be a lasting achievement”. The issues at stake are simply enormous, so political dogma and mere scientific curiosity should be set one side. Indeed, it is the undisputed facts regarding energy management and protecting the long-term future of human societies throughout the world – which should continue to hold our attention. Without sustainable energy supplies, modern (and developing) societies will be unable to progress.

  10. In reply to those who have challenged the public opinion issue:

    BBC News, 7 February 2010
    Climate scepticism ‘on the rise’, BBC poll shows
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8500443.stm

    The number of British people who are sceptical about climate change is
    rising, a poll for BBC News suggests. The Populus poll of 1,001 adults
    found 25% did not think global warming was happening, an increase of 10%
    since a similar poll was conducted in November. The percentage of
    respondents who said climate change was a reality had fallen from 83% in
    November to 75% this month. And only 26% of those asked believed climate
    change was happening and “now established as largely man-made”.

    The Guardian, 23 February 2010:
    Sharp decline in public’s belief in climate threat, British poll reveals
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/23/british-public-belief-climate-poll

    Public conviction about the threat of climate change has declined sharply
    after months of questions over the science and growing disillusionment
    with government action, a leading British poll has found. The proportion
    of adults who believe climate change is “definitely” a reality dropped by
    30% over the last year, from 44% to 31%, in the latest survey by Ipsos
    Mori.

    Daily Mail, 28 January 2011
    Britons going cold on global warming: Number of climate change sceptics
    doubles in four years
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1351217/Climate-change-sceptics-double-4-years-Britain-goes-cold-global-warming.htm

    The number of climate change sceptics has almost doubled in four years,
    official research showed yesterday. A quarter of Britons are unconvinced
    that the world is warming following successive freezing winters and a
    series of scandals over the credibility of climate science. The figures
    suggest that a growing proportion of the public do not share the belief of
    all three major political parties and Whitehall – that climate change is a
    major and urgent challenge requiring radical and expensive policies.

    Americans’ Global Warming Concerns Continue to Drop
    Gallup, 11 March 2010
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/126560/Americans-Global-Warming-Concerns-Continue-Drop.aspx?version

    Gallup’s annual update on Americans’ attitudes toward the environment
    shows a public that over the last two years has become less worried about
    the threat of global warming, less convinced that its effects are already
    happening, and more likely to believe that scientists themselves are
    uncertain about its occurrence. In response to one key question, 48% of
    Americans now believe that the seriousness of global warming is generally
    exaggerated, up from 41% in 2009 and 31% in 1997, when Gallup first asked
    the question.

    Public belief in climate change weathers storm, poll shows
    The Guardian, 31 January 2011
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/31/public-belief-climate-change
    Events of past 18 months have little effect on Britons’ opinion, as 83%
    view climate change as a current or imminent threat (sic!)

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