Pew Research Center has just released a survey of American’s opinions about global warming. They interviewed about 1500 people over a period from 10 May to 6 June this year. There are many findings but the one I want to take issue with is their claim that about half of the American’s interviewed say Earth is warming due to human activity. From the Pew Research Center survey the chart displayed says that 48% believe Earth is warming because of human activity, 31% because of natural patterns and 20% say there is no solid evidence that Earth is getting warmer.
The Pew document presents the results of the interviews. The above conclusion was made from the following interviews:
Above is the first interview results. Only 26% said global warming is caused by human activity. Wow that would not do. I guess they were saying “how can we fix this. We can’t publish this.” So they came up with a plan.
Some of the interviewed said they were not sure or had no answer. So they decided to re-interview these people to see which of the three statements would be their second choice. Now there were 1534 interviewees in the beginning. Thus the “not sures” and the “no answers” would be 0.15X1534=230 people. In the next chart it appears that they only re-interviewed only 156 of the 230. Below are the results of the re-interview.
The results of the re-interview is that 29% said their second choice would be human caused warming, 20% said the warming was natural and 41% there was no evidence that the world is getting warmer.
Now comes the magic. You can see it in the bottom part of the above chart where it says the “combined responses” gave a new set of percentages for each of the three possible answers. However the answer for one of the three changed. It now includes both human caused and natural caused warming even though there still is a natural caused warming category.
I have gone through the math. The “human caused” in the first interview was 26% or 398 people. The “natural” was 45% or 690 people. “No evidence” was 14% or 215 people. As noted above the number re interviewed was 156 although the percentage would have called for 230. Note also that the percentage listed in the chart is only 90% or 140 people. The bottom line for people actually giving an opinion looks to be 1443 rather than the 1534 they began with. But the discrepancies in total number make little difference to the outcome. The human caused would be 398 original people plus 45 of the re interviewed for a total of 443 representing the share of the total 31%. Natural 690 plus 31 for a total of 721 and 50%. No evidence came in with 215 plus 64 for 279 and 19%. So only 31% said warming was human caused.
Obviously the surveyors could not let the initial result stand—–only 26% thought warming in human caused. So they came up with a way to obscure the results.
I have plowed through the rest of the interview material. It is obvious that most of the people have little concept of the issues surrounding renewable fuels/renewable energy.
Their level of the science knowledge is probably pretty well summed up by the interview question shown above where they were asked to name the major gas that makes up our atmosphere. Seventy-three per cent did not know the answer. I would hazard a guess that most of our politician would do no better on that question.
If you want to look in detail at the full report and the interviews click here and then click on “Complete Report PDf