The growing Climategate scandal is having an effect - fewer people are blindly accepting the dogmas that global warming is occurring and that humans are the primary cause. A Dan Jones poll shows that only 48 percent of Utah respondents believe in global warming, although 62 percent of those who do accept global warming theology believe human activities are contributing to it. Deseret News story with accompnaying graphic HERE.
In the poll of 408 respondents, taken from November 19-23, 2009, people were asked two questions about global warming:
Do you believe the Earth's climate is getting warmer or not?
-- Definitely Is: 27 percent
-- Probably Is: 21 percent
-- Probably Not: 18 percent
-- Definitely Is Not: 27 percent
-- Don't Know: 6 percent
The second question was asked only of the 199 who responded with Definitely Is or Probably Is above: Do you believe that man's activities, like burning coal, cutting down forests, etc. are contributing to global warming, or is the warming just a regular cycle in the Earth's environment?
-- Definitely Man's Activities: 39 percent
-- Probably Man's Activities: 23 percent
-- Probably Regular Earth Cycles: 18 percent
-- Definitely Regular Earth Cycles: 10 percent
-- Other: 10 percent
-- Don't Know: 4 percent
No explanation was offered as to why responses to the second question added up to 104 percent. Nevertheless, these results show considerable, healthy, and welcome skepticism. Less than half even believe in global warming in the first place, and of those who do, 28 percent believe it is a natural cycle. It also represents a decline in belief in global warming which started well before Climategate. In 2007, a similar poll found more than two-thirds of residents believed in global warming and 82 percent said it stemmed from man's activities.
By party affiliation, 74 percent of Democrats believe the climate's getting warmer, versus 49 percent of independents and only 39 percent of Republicans.
Ted Wilson, who is Gov. Gary Herbert's new environmental adviser (and who was NOT speaking for the governor in this case), said "It's very understanding that people would be skeptical". Wilson suggested that reaction to the threat of global warming has become one of tired annoyance by the public. "Somebody rings an alarm and nothing around you changes. It is why people don't leave buildings when a fire alarm goes off. The alarm sounds, nothing happens, there are no flames coming through the walls. That's why firefighters have trouble getting people out", added Wilson.
He explained that people are more easily keyed into the "here and now," and have grown weary of dire warnings that predict doom and gloom, such as the chaos that was supposed to accompany Y2K in 2000, the fear over an invasion of killer bees and the pandemic of H1N1 that has yet to materialize. Wilson also decried the hysteria attendant to all these alerts.
Other similar polls nationwide:
(1). A Washington Post-ABC News Poll reported on November 25th shows that 44 percent believe global warming is very serious, 38 percent serious, 11 percent not so serious, and 6 percent not serious at all. This poll also reported a downward trend in belief in global warming, even among Democrats.
(2). Polling Report reports on an Ipsos-McClatchy Poll taken December 3-6, which indicates 70 percent believe the temperature's been going up, 28 percent believe it has not, and 3 percent are unsure. Of those who believe it has, 61 percent attribute it to human activities.
(3). Polling Report also indicates that a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll taken December 2-3, 2009 shows that 45 percent believe that global warming is a proven fact caused by human activities, 23 percent believe global warming is a proven fact caused by natural changes, and 31 percent consider global warming an unproven theory. The trend here is also towards greater skepticism.
American Thinker sums it up best. Climategate is all the worse because it was unexpected. The warmists really did think they had it wrapped up, that they had pulled off the AGW fraud and needed only to formalize it at the international level to guarantee themselves a free ride. This was never quite the case -- polls showed that public skepticism was increasing as various warming horrors failed to materialize and the weather on a day-to-day basis grew cooler. But the warmists had corralled the bureaucrats and politicians, and that, they thought, was all they needed. Wrong - Climategate's progress has left plenty of wreckage in its path, including ruined careers, damaged institutions, and a deeply chastened scientific establishment.