Public trust in climate science at a low point, warming advocates “scared shitless”
Thursday, March 11th, 2010
The latest survey from Gallup indicates that Americans’ fears over anthropological global warming are in rapid decline and that more and more people feel that climate change is being over exaggerated.
The figures reflect the fallout of several recent scandals that have led many more to question the science behind the theory of human induced warming, in addition to the motivation of some of the scientists pushing it.
“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.” the pollster’s website states.
48% of Americans surveyed by Gallup said that they now believe the seriousness of global warming to be generally exaggerated. A 7% increase on last year’s figures, and a whopping 17% increase on figures from 1997, when Gallup’s first survey on the subject was undertaken.
A further 10% on the highest recorded figure now believe global warming fears to be overblown. The previous high of 38% was recorded in 2004.
“The average American is now less convinced than at any time since 1997 that global warming’s effects have already begun or will begin shortly.” Gallup’s Frank Newport notes.
Two-thirds of Americans do not believe global warming will affect them in their lifetimes, according to the poll. That figure represents a sharp six point increase on last year.
Just 50% believe temperature increases have been caused by human activity, down from a high of 61% in 2003.
Newport notes that the coverage of Climategate and the other recent scandals that have betrayed an agenda to fix data to exaggerate warming claims has impacted the survey:
These news reports may well have caused some Americans to re-evaluate the scientific consensus on global warming. Roughly half of Americans now say that “most scientists believe that global warming is occurring,” down from 65% in recent years. The dominant opposing thesis, held by 36% of Americans, is that scientists are unsure about global warming. An additional 10% say most scientists believe global warming is not occurring.There can be no doubt that the successful exposure of the Climategate fraud, a feat mostly accomplished by alternative media sources and blogs, has affected public opinion on global warming.
“The public opinion tide turned in 2009, when several Gallup measures showed a slight retreat in public concern about global warming. This year, the downturn is even more pronounced.” Gallup notes.
The climate journalNature today acknowledges that public confidence in climate science has been significantly eroded, adding that Climate scientists are “in a street fight”.
The journal further notes:
Ecologist Paul Ehrlich at Stanford University in California says that his climate colleagues are at a loss about how to counter the attacks. “Everyone is scared shitless, but they don’t know what to do,” he says.