Does a public opinion poll on global warming mean anything?

Alarmist Roger Pielke, Jr. says that “The battle for public opinion has essentially been won.” But can the public even have a meaningful opinion?

The left-leaning Pew Center for People and the Press is out with a new poll today claiming that public opinion in global warming is rebounding, particularly among Republicans.

Does this poll have any validity? You be the judge.

Imagine the average person being polled with these questions: “Is the Earth getting warmer?” and “Is global warming a serious problem?”.

Warmer than what? Do you mean the atmosphere? What part of it? Since when? Is that with or without the urban heat island effect? What does “serious” mean? What if I think it’s a boon and not a “problem”?

Wouldn’t you like to see pictures and bios of the people polled? How scary would that be?

Polls are on firmer ground when they ask questions within the realm of comprehension: “Who are you going to vote for?” or “Who did you just vote for”?

The partisan polling of layman on what they think about complex matters and then representing the results as meaningful is absurd.

Outside of the voting context, “public opinion” is as dubious a metric as “mean global temperature.”

The grand irony, of course, is that if public opinion as measured by Pew mattered, we’d have had climate regulation long ago. But we don’t because, in the end, “public opinion” is just a charade.

4 thoughts on “Does a public opinion poll on global warming mean anything?”

  1. To paraphrase Nicholas Best in The Greatest Day in History, “Driving down the street after the Armistice was signed, Churchill found himself surrounded by a huge crowd which was cheeringly madly just as they had been the day war was declared.” So much for public opinion.

  2. “Public opinion” on matters of “facts” (or “non-facts” in the case of global warming) means nothing.

    Just ask the ghosts of anyone who has been pilloried because they dared to point out the obvious problems in any “belief structure”.

    The “fact” that rational people know this, as do AGW proponents but choose to ignore it, says all that needs to be said about the intelligence of the AGW “believers”.

  3. Let me know when public opinion is able to effect a change on the laws of physics! Then it would be meaningful.

  4. More often than not, polls are a tool to shape public opinion rather than a guage to measure it.

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