New Stanford Poll Finds Waning Concern About Man-Made Global Warming

A new poll by researchers at Stanford University finds that public concern over global warming and support for various proposed policies aimed at addressing that problem has eroded over the past two years. The drop is especially large among respondents who expressed less trust in environmental scientists. See chart below: 

The Stanford pollsters did find that while a majority of Americans still favor various government policy interventions into energy markets, support for all of those policies between 2010 and 2012 is also falling off: (1) require lower higher mileage cars dropped from 77 to 65 percent; require electric cars down from 65 to 53 percent; require more efficient appliances fell from 77 to 65 percent; require more efficient buildings declined 78 to 67 percent; require power plants to emit less greenhouse gases slumped from 78 to 70 percent; favored tax breaks for renewable power slipped from 86 to 73 percent; tax breaks to build nuclear power plants dropped from 47 to 43 percent. 

Oddly, the poll respondents do not appear to recognize that all of those policies would likely increase their out-of-pocket expenditures and/or taxes. I suspect respondents of just wanting all "good things" without considering the hidden trade-offs. The more accurate way that the Stanford pollsters might have phrased each question: Would you favor government energy efficiency mandates on, say, appliances even if it would cost you more to buy them? 

In any case, large majorities opposed higher taxes on gasoline and electricity as a way to discourage the emissions of greenhouse gases; support for higher taxes on gasoline and electricity fell from 33 to 26 percent and 24 to 18 percent respectively. 

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  • anon||

    In any case, large majorities opposed higher taxes on gasoline and electricity as a way to discourage the emissions of greenhouse gases;

    Wait, people care about "Global Warming" but only as far as their wallet is concerned!? SAY IT AIN'T SO!

  • Canman||

    George Will calls it "the Law of Clarifying Calamities".

  • Pro Libertate||

    Consensus?

  • ||

    Whoops! I guess consensus only matters when it has the correct opinion, ProL.

  • Trespassers W||

    One thing I'm sure of: a graph like that is the best possible way to present eight data points. *headpalm*

    Calling Dr. Tufte...

  • anon||

    Not only 8 data points, 8 data points collected by using vaguely worded questions.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It was the default chart that came up in Excel.

  • fried wylie||

    everything has been downhill since Office2002...

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Graphing in excel is fucking gay. Also, the way it automatically changes cell formats.

  • Brett L||

    I had a ChE PhD ask me to do a set of graphs, the most complicated of which had 4 series, because he "never learned how to do the graphing thing". Dude can intelligently discuss off the top of his head when specialized plastic extrusion heuristics are and aren't valid, but making a series of charts in Excel was something he didn't think he could teach himself in 2 days.

  • Trespassers W||

    Clearly.

    We've got a huge chunk of whitespace not doing anything. We've got four lines coded by both different symbols and different colors, and I have to refer back and forth to the legend to figure out what they mean. Not to mention the pointless ticks on the x-axis.

    What's wrong with a 2x4 table?

  • T||

    Tufte is a farking genius, and more people should read his work. Especially engineers.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Was there a change in the population of the two groups? The people who self identified as trusting/not trusting science in 2010 may have changed their minds, after all.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Ironically Superclown Hansen is bowling for suckers in the NY Times today:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05.....l?_r=2&hp;

  • ||

    Holy fuck!

    If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.

    This is the statement of a raging alarmist, not a critical scientific investigator.

    And considering that his backgroung is in math and astronomy I wonder why anyone considers his opinions on climate are any more valid than any other interested amateur.

    At least he does have a degree in science which is more than Al Gore who never took more than the minimum science course requirement for a humanities degree at Harvard. I think it's time that Hansen started getting the same amount of attention AllGore is getting lately. same

  • crazyfingers||

    I think the environmentalist left overdid it on the hysteria. Does anyone remember 'An inconvenient truth'? That movie made it sound like we were on the edge of catastrophe, yet here it is six years later and very little has changed.

    Obama didn't see the issue as worth even one line in his latest SOTU speech. Even the supposed proponents don't see it as worth wasting political capital on.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Why were Independents lumped in with Democrats?

    If Independents weren't being considered on their own, then why lump them in with Democrats rather than Republicans?

    How different would the green line look without independents? Would it be rising sharply?

  • Ken Shultz||

    How different would the green line look without independents? Would it be rising sharply?

    I suspect it might rise sharply.

    The green line as is does appear to be rising slightly, and I have a working theory about how partisans strive to become the caricatures their opponents make them out to be.

    Are there a lot of Democrats who hold green opinions on climate change--just because they believe Republicans don't?

    I suspect there are. I think it's the same way on the other side, too. I think a lot of Republicans hold skeptical views about climate change just because they perceive Democrats as being on the other side of the issue.

    And I've heard self-described Independents are rising as a percentage of the people out there.

  • o3||

    Monster of climate research
    By Erik Conway
    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    For 10 years it has silently swooped through space in its orbital perch 438 miles (705 kilometers) above Earth its nearly 2,400 spectral eyes peering into Earth's atmosphere.

    One of the most significant scientific results from AIRS has been quantification of whats called the water vapor feedback effect. As Earths surface warms and the atmosphere with it the atmosphere can hold a little more water vapor said AIRS Project Scientist Eric Fetzer. Water vapor is itself a greenhouse gas-it traps heat the same way carbon dioxide does.

    So if theres a slight warming there will be a slight increase in water vapor and that water vapor itself will cause a continuing increase. This vicious circle of warming is known as a positive feedback an idea well-rooted in physical theory dating back to the 19th century. A team led by Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M University tested the theory using AIRS humidity data.

    >Dresser found the water vapor feedback is extraordinarily strong and capable of doubling the warming due to carbon dioxide alone.
    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/?.....NewsID=731
    _

    DENIERS CONTINUE TO NOT COPY ANIMALS & CONCERNED PARTIES, THIS TIME NASA & TEXAS A&M, ON THE MEMO CANCELLING CLIMATE CHANGE !1!11!!

  • ||

    Thanks for your input, Mary.

  • o3||

    NASA is mary! we're all mary now!

  • tarran||

    It's kind of comical watching yet another millenial cult going through the classic stages of denial when their apocalyptic prophesies fail to come true.

  • ||

    I won't deny being entertained.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The failure just prove how correct the message is!!!111!!11

  • Lane Meyer||

    The least they could do is slap on some Nikes, take a fatal dose of some drug, and lie down to sleep awaiting a comet to take them all to paradise... it's really the only respectable way out.

  • R C Dean||

    This vicious circle of warming is known as a positive feedback

    Raising the question of why we have ever had ice ages after a warm period.

    If all the feedback is self-reinforcing and points one way, why aren't we Venus?

  • tarran||

    Duh! Because the cavemen sacrificed comely nubile virgins* to volcanoes and appeased Gaia's wrath!

    Yes, in answer to the question running through your mind, RC Dean, these virgins were warm females.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "So if theres a slight warming there will be a slight increase in water vapor and that water vapor itself will cause a continuing increase. This vicious circle of warming is known as a positive feedback"

    No equilibrium, or thermodynamics at all?

  • Brett L||

    It would be interesting (to me) to know the resonance times on various parts of the system. If deep ocean takes 12 years to stabilize after a change in surface temps, and polar ice systems 30 years, you might be able to make some observations about where the energy was really going. I have yet to see those sorts of observations/postulations.

  • Zeb||

    I agree. And that is what is so maddening about the current state of climate science. I would really like to know more about how climate works, whether or not man made global warming is a significant effect. But no one seems to be putting much effort in to the really interesting questions like these.

  • ||

    Clearly we need to outlaw water vapor.

  • Brett L||

    DHMO in gaseous form is nearly as dangerous to your health as liquid or solid.

  • Zeb||

    Who writes this shit? If the positive feedback with the water vapor is so strong, then the climate would already be intolerably hot. Temperature has increased (and decreased) in the past. There must be some other negative feedback that counters the water vapor effect, or the positive feedback is not nearly as strong as they suggest.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A new poll by researchers at Stanford University finds that public concern over global warming and support for various proposed policies aimed at addressing that problem has eroded over the past two years.

    A poll? The only data on this I can accept has to be satellite.

  • ||

    I WANT TO BELIEVE

  • Russell||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I disagree.

  • Russell||

  • ||

    Say what you really think, dude.

  • Lord Humungus||

    blah, blah! All you do around here is talk!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Is this what you're trying to tell us?

  • ||

    I think it's this.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't think you're trying to help out AT ALL.

  • R C Dean||

    Reading that list of government intrusions supported (still!) by a majority of Americans only reinforces my belief that we are so, so, doomed.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The more accurate way that the Stanford pollsters might have phrased each question: Would you favor government energy efficiency mandates on, say, appliances even if it would cost you more to buy them?"

    Well know we can't have that now can we?

    The Stanford pollsters surely wouldn't want polls to start being an actual attempt to find out what people would really prefer based on real world trade off choices instead of being a propaganda tool to advance whatever agenda they've got going.

  • R C Dean||

    Most poll questions are the equivalent of asking:

    "Would you oppose somebody getting what they want if it costs you nothing?"

  • Russell||

  • tarran||

    Episiarch!

    You have to check out Russel's website!

    It's a hysterically funny train-wreck!

  • ||

    "I'm not familiar with the type of thing I'm seeing."

  • tarran||

    Apparently bad photoshop counts as "science" now.

    I do think it appropriate for him to compare himself to SNL, though; he'd fit right in in SNL's 6th season.

  • Brett L||

    And shamelessly attempting to rip off traffic from Anthony Watts.

  • Russell||

    But episarch, WUWT is an SNL ripoff.

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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