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Climate Change blame poll

The UK needs some help from us. One of their ministers has got some weird ideas about climate change.

The chairman of the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee said he accepts the earth’s temperature is increasing but said “natural phases” may be to blame.

Such a suggestion sits at odds with the scientific consensus. One recent survey of 12,000 academic papers on climate change found 97 per cent agree human activities are causing the planet to warm.

So they’re trying to settle it with a poll.

Are humans responsible for global warming?

Yes – completely  17.46%

Yes – but only partially  28.4%

No – it’s a natural phenomenon  54.14%

You know, that’s a really stupid set of answers that looks like it was intentionally designed to split the vote. “Completely” or “partially”? That makes no sense. If we have an equilibrium situation where heat inputs and losses are balanced, and humans come along and tip that balance, are you just going to say they’re only partially at fault, because the sun is pumping all that energy into the system? It’s silly phrasing.

If Mr Bean visits the grocery store and pulls out the bottom can in a neatly stacked pyramid of canned goods, causing the whole thing to tumble down in a mess, are you going to say he was only partly to blame for the chaos?

I’m not even going to think about the ignorance of the 54%.

 

Comments

  1. Ichthyic says

    people like this idiot MP don’t seem to understand what “scientific consensus” actually means. They seem to think it means scientists were polled for their opinions.

    NO FUCKHEAD THAT’S NOT WHAT IT MEANS.

    not that it helps to yell it in their ears, they still will refuse to understand something so basic.

    I’ve seen it.

  2. mikeyb says

    Climate change deniers, like creationists (unfortunately both are substantial minorities of the population) think they know the reasons for their beliefs, but reveal themselves to be ignorant buffoons when you ask them why they deny climate change. One of the most common responses is a rant against Al Gore, as if Al Gore is the be all and end all on climate change, or this so called “scientific consensus” jibe perhaps invented by Rush Limbaugh. We’re gonna have a rough time dealing with the planetary consensus which unfortunately does not give a rats ass about “scientific consensus,” or our collective pissant denial of reality. Nature will take its course indifferent to our collective denial. Even Bjorn Lomborg is moderating his stance a bit. Perhaps he doesn’t want to be looked back in the trash heap of history as another Bishop Wilberforce.

  3. intergalacticmedium says

    The Telegraph has long been a bastion of climate ignorance unfortunately, a daily mail for those who consider themselves above it.

  4. DrVanNostrand says

    Referring to Mr. Bean knocking over the cans, I have to quote Buster Bluth: “That was 90% gravity.”

  5. alexmcdonald says

    Yeo (“the insufferably self-regarding chairman of the Commons climate change select committee”) plays both ends against the middle.

    He is director of ITI Energy Limited, suppliers of gasification equipment which converts waste into biofuel; AFC Energy which develops efficient alkaline fuel cell technology (he also has a share option); Group Eurotunnel, serving on the Environment And Safety Committee (another share option); director of Eco City Vehicles (and share option); chairman of TMO Renewables which develops and supplies technology for second generation biofuels; and a management consultant with Regenesis, a California-based company which markets technologies for the restoration of natural resources.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2180764/No-wonder-Tim-spins-green-brigade.html#ixzz2Un5wYLqY

    Even the Right hates him. From the Daily Mail, the preferred rag of the Green-hating right.

  6. gmhallett says

    All is not quite as it seems here…

    As intergalacticmedium points out, the Telegraph is a paper that gives undue airtime to the likes of Delingpole and Monckton; the editorial policy is sympathetic to their views.

    (The poll can be viewed in that light – heavy self-selection in action, especially after the URL went around the RW blogosphere.)

    In addition, the paper is pretty much devoted to Thatcherism.

    Tim Yeo is chairman of the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee; he’s also a veteran of the Major government (and thus anathema to a lot of Thatcherite Tories); and has been a consistent supporter of anthropogenic warming as a fact since the days of Rio and Kyoto. So a bunch of the harder UK right wing don’t like him for a number of reasons.

    Now, Yeo is a) pro-business and b) was addressing an audience composed of various representatives of the energy industry, journalists and so forth. So he chose his words so as not to ruffle feathers (hardly suprising, considering that he’s a professional politician).

    The Telegraph journalists present recorded his comments and duly wrote a story about how Tim Yeo was backtracking on his views; and their echo chamber went into the usual frenzy; Delingpole, the GWPF, Anthony Watts et. al. repeated the Telegraph story pretty much verbatim.

    At which point, Yeo said that this was definitely not his viewpoint; furthermore, as per Roger Harrabin’s Twitter feed (@RHarrabin) ‘He says @telegraph took first half of an answer and ignored the crucial 2nd half. I’m waiting for a Tgraph response’.

    The deputy news editor (Matt Holehouse, @mattholehouse on Twitter) – whose byline is on the article in question, doesn’t say that Tim Yeo has changed his position (despite hinting at it in the opening paragraphs), but says in response that:

    ‘Why did one of most senior and principled MPs say things he didnt believe to energy business people at the Westminster Russia Forum? Odd.’

    So essentially it comes down to ‘politician vs. journalist’;

    Holehouse’s implication is that Yeo is two-faced, dishonest or vacillating.

    Yeo’s position is that the 52 seconds of audio is a selective quote that misrepresents his position.

    Who do you believe?

    (Personally, I’d go with Yeo, because this sort of manufactured controversy is a classic bit of propaganda, ditto the selective quoting – and because the Telegraph has form with regard to this sort of behaviour.)

  7. noxiousnan says

    Is The Telegraph some kind of World Net Daily rag? The comments are crazy.

  8. David Marjanović says

    Yes – completely 23.78% (3,095 votes)

    Yes – but only partially 26.53% (3,454 votes)

    No – it’s a natural phenomenon 49.69% (6,468 votes)

    Total Votes: 13,017

  9. David Marjanović says

    a daily mail for those who consider themselves above it

    The Torygraph.

  10. James says

    The Torygraph – desperately trying to be an upmarket Daily Mail, but constantly hitting its head on the sewer grating.

  11. imthegenieicandoanything says

    DON’T send me to the Telegraph or Fox w/o warning!

    Fuck even voting in a faux-poll at such a shit, dangerous site.

  12. erik333 says

    @OP
    “Completely” or “partially”? That makes no sense.

    Completely – This would mean that all of the warming is due to human activity.
    Partially – This would mean that human activity causes some of the warming, while even without said activity, the climate would have warmed some anyway.

    What is hard to understand about that? (asking the public for advice is hard to understand, the question isn’t)

  13. mikel says

    Actually, given that is very possible that we would be in a slight cooling trend without AGW, humans could be responsible for more than 100% of the observed warming.

  14. mikel says

    OT but why won’t Chrome let me login through Yahoo? I had no problem with Firefox.

  15. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Latest figures :

    Thank you for voting!

    Yes – completely 28.76% (4,187 votes)

    Yes – but only partially 24.65% (3,588 votes)

    No – it’s a natural phenomenon 46.59% (6,783 votes)

    Total Votes: 14,558

    As of just seconds ago.

  16. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @3. mikeyb :

    .. Climate change deniers, like creationists (unfortunately both are substantial minorities of the population) think they know the reasons for their beliefs, but reveal themselves to be ignorant buffoons when you ask them why they deny climate change. One of the most common responses is a rant against Al Gore, as if Al Gore is the be all and end all on climate change, …

    The number of people who are unaware that Gore is not in fact a scientists let alone climatologist
    and have apparently forgotten all about Svante Arrhenius who first proposed the theory of Global Warming in 1896 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect ) plus the history of the research since by people like Tyndall, Gilbert Plass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_Plass) James Hansen and others is pretty staggering.

    The scientific experts were aware of the issue of Human-Induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) as far back as the 1950′s – see for instance :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdALFnlwV_o

    ‘Climate Science 1956: A Blast from the Past’ by Peter Sinclair.

    .. or this so called “scientific consensus” jibe perhaps invented by Rush Limbaugh. We’re gonna have a rough time dealing with the planetary consensus which unfortunately does not give a rats ass about “scientific consensus,” or our collective pissant denial of reality. Nature will take its course indifferent to our collective denial.

    Perhaps my favourite quote about this whole issue is this one :

    “I like ice also as an indicator of climate change for its political neutrality.
    Ice asks no questions, presents no arguments, reads no newspapers, listens to no debates. Its not burdened by ideology and carries no political baggage as it crosses the threshold from solid to liquid. It just melts.”

    - Dr Henry Pollack, geophysicist, University of Michigan.

    Source : ‘Watts Up with Sea Ice?’ youtube video by Greenman3610 esp. the 1 minute 14 secs to 1 minute 51 seconds mark.

    So what has the ice been doing? Melting faster than the models have predicted with 2012 seeing a record lows for the Arctic sea. We’re literally melting one of the Earth’s polar caps and this ultimately cannot be denied for all the contrarian commentary.

  17. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    See also :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgiMBxaL19M

    Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Volumes 1979-2012 by Andy Lee Robinson for apowerful graphic demonstating the loss of Arctic sea ice plus

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    to follow what’s happening with Arctic sea ice via the (USA’s) National Snow & Ice Data Centre

    In addition to :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-wbzK4v7GsM

    for the source of the quote by Dr Pollack

  18. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @15. ^ Samantha Vimes : Yes. The Antartican peninsula has been overheating dramatically too with the Larsen ice shelves breaking up (see : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larsen_Ice_Shelf ) & I’d recommend reading Meredith Hooper’s book ‘The Ferocious Summer’ (see : http://www.nhbs.com/the_ferocious_summer_tefno_155248.html ) plus this nline article :

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/24/science/earth/west-antarctica-warming-faster-than-thought-study-finds.html?_r=0

    via ‘The New York Times’ from December last year – most recent summer there – on the faster than expected overheating of parts of the Antartican continent.

    So yes, both poles are melting although the Arctic is vanishing far quicker. But if you’ve read Kim Stanley Robinson’s ‘Mars trilogy*, among other things, you’ll know why the Antartican melting is a *really* bad thing.

    @15. mikel :

    Actually, given that is very possible that we would be in a slight cooling trend without AGW, humans could be responsible for more than 100% of the observed warming.

    Very good point which deserves repeating.

    +++++

    * Yes, that’s science fiction – but also very damn well researched science fiction from a bloke who has actually been there and knows what he’s talking about.

  19. David Marjanović says

    desperately trying to be an upmarket Daily Mail, but constantly hitting its head on the sewer grating.

    Very well said!

    Actually, given that is very possible that we would be in a slight cooling trend without AGW, humans could be responsible for more than 100% of the observed warming.

    I’m not aware of any evidence for this, though.

  20. Nick Gotts says

    gmhallett@7,

    Yes, I was surprised by the implication that Yeo was pandering to the denialists – among Tory MPs he has so far been about the most consistent and outspoken supporter of climate science. If the Torygraph is lying, that is of course no surprise at all.