The Sydney Morning Herald is in a state of high excitement today, as a new poll gives it a “two fingers up to deniers” moment (admittedly copied almost verbatim from the UK equivalent, The Guardian here):
EUROPEANS believe the dangers of climate change represent a more serious problem than the current financial turmoil, according to a major new poll.
The Eurobarometer poll found most people in the European Union consider global warming to be one of the world’s most serious problems, with one-fifth saying it is the single most serious problem.
Overall, respondents said climate change was the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty.
Connie Hedegaard, European climate commissioner, said: ”This is encouraging news. The survey shows that the citizens of Europe can see that economic challenges are not the only ones we face. A clear majority of Europeans expect their politicians and business leaders to address the serious climate challenge now.” (source)
So as always, we check the questions, and here is the relevant extract from the lengthy PDF:
So not only is the question headed “Climate Change”, but the first option on each answer is, that’s right, “Climate change”. And I am pretty sure that those asking the questions would have prefaced each interview with a spiel about how this was a poll about attitudes in Europe towards climate change as well, so the purpose of the questions would have been well and truly embedded in the respondents’ minds before the questions were even asked. And hey, we all want to give the “right” answer don’t we? But we must give them credit for the fact that even after all that badgering, they still put “Poverty, hunger and lack of drinking water” above climate change.
Furthermore, this is an opinion poll conducted on behalf of the climate change apparatchiks in Europe, as the disclosure statement reveals:
“This survey has been requested by the Directorate-General Climate action…“
And the Introduction further reveals the inherent bias in the entire process:
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the modern age. The European Commission established its Directorate-General for Climate Action in February 2010 to strengthen Europe’s response to this issue (previously climate change was under the overall remit of DG Environment).
So the weight we can place on these results is very suspect. But as usual, neither the SMH nor The Guardian asks any of these questions, and regurgitate the line without any critical thought, because it fits their pro-climate action agenda.
Ben Pile at Climate Resistance has more:
So here’s how it works… You take people by surprise. You ask them to chose from a narrow range of issues. And then you ask them again. And Again. And again. You don’t give them the benefit of making a decision in the context of a debate. And you don’t canvass them for their opinion about costs and benefits, either ‘globally’ or in relation to themselves. You don’t tell them that the results will be used to legitimise certain policies. You compare their opinions to a historic low, and say that the answers demonstrate growing support for your policies — the bases of which have never been tested for popular assent at the ballot box.
And EU Referendum here.