Friday, February 5, 2010
Of the 75% of respondents who agreed that climate change was happening, one-in-three people felt that the potential consequences of living in a warming world had been exaggerated, up from one-in-five people in November.
The number of people who felt the risks of climate change had been understated dropped from 38% in November to 25% in the latest poll.
During the intervening period between the two polls, there was a series of high profile climate-related stories, some of which made grim reading for climate scientists and policymakers.
In November, the contents of emails stolen from a leading climate science unit led to accusations that a number of researchers had manipulated data.
And in January, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admitted that it had made a mistake in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.
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All of this happened against the backdrop of many parts of the northern hemisphere being gripped by a prolonged period of sub-zero temperatures.
However, 73% of the people who said that they were aware of the “science flaws” stories stated that the media coverage had not changed their views about the risks of climate change.
“People tend to make judgements over time based on a whole range of different sources,” Mr Simmonds explained.
He added that it was very unusual for single events to have a dramatic impact on public opinion.
“Normally, people make their minds up over a longer period and are influenced by all the voices they hear, what they read and what people they know are talking about.”
So – if you’ve seen the media coverage – your opinion has shifted massively away from AGW… great news – the door is unlocked, all we have to do now is push it wide open.
This article was posted: Friday, February 5, 2010 at 2:15 pm