Posts Tagged ‘surveys’

Green Groups Try to Sex Up Climate Change

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Source:  SPIEGEL

By Axel Bojanowski

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere keeps going up and up, but public interest in climate change is sinking. Environmentalists are trying to come up with new ways to make the issue sexy. But shock tactics can backfire all too easily.

Climate change used to make headlines. But these days the issue appears to have largely fallen off the radar.

World leaders recently negotiated a new climate agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, but public interest in the issue was limited. It was a marked contrast to the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December 2009, which had been declared of historic importance in the runup to the meeting, only to then fail spectacularly. The theft of e-mails from the University of East Anglia had badly damaged the image of climate research shortly before the summit.

Environmentalists and scientists are concerned about the massive drop in public interest in the topic over the last year. Now they are looking for new strategies to turn the tide. They’re searching for so-called “mind bombs” — highly emotional images that reduce a complex problem down to one core message. (more…)

That 97% Solution, Again

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Source:  National Post (Canada)

by Larry Solomon

[SPPI Note: Also see http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/climate_qconsensusq_opiate_the_97_solution.html ]

How do we know there’s a scientific consensus on climate change? Pundits and the press tell us so. And how do the pundits and the press know? Until recently, they typically pointed to the number 2500 – that’s the number of scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those 2500, the pundits and the press believed, had endorsed the IPCC position.

To their embarrassment, most of the pundits and press discovered that they were mistaken – those 2500 scientists hadn’t endorsed the IPCC’s conclusions, they had merely reviewed some part or other of the IPCC’s mammoth studies. To add to their embarrassment, many of those reviewers from within the IPCC establishment actually disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, sometimes vehemently.

The upshot? The punditry looked for and recently found an alternate number to tout — “97% of the world’s climate scientists” accept the consensus, articles in the Washington Post and elsewhere have begun to claim.

This number will prove a new embarrassment to the pundits and press who use it. The number stems from a 2009 online survey of 10,257 earth scientists, conducted by two researchers at the University of Illinois. The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers – in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change.  The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout. (more…)

Propaganda from the Public Purse

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Source:  SPPI

by Dennis Ambler

“Before becoming an expert on climate change communication, Ed Maibach went through a change of his own.

Back in 2005, Maibach and his wife joined some family members on an educational walking trip through the Dolomites in Italy. Members of the trip spent the mornings listening to leading climate scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the afternoons climbing mountains.

There, they became familiar with climate change basics. The dramatically rising level of CO2 in our atmosphere is rapidly destabilizing our climate. The world’s population — more than 6.5 billion people — is growing and modernizing rapidly, leading to greater use of fossil fuels and deforestation. (more…)

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