Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UK’s winter floods strengthen belief humans causing climate change – poll

Guardian (UK) via Press Association: More than a quarter of people say UK’s winter floods strengthened their belief in human-induced climate change, a survey has found. Half the people polled for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said widespread flooding in early 2014 made them more convinced the climate was changing, and 27% said the floods had also increased their belief humans were the main cause.

But the polling by ComRes of 2,021 people also revealed misconceptions about climate science, despite a majority of people claiming to be very or fairly well informed on climate change. Only one in nine people (11%) said that almost all climate scientists believe that human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, are mainly responsible for rising temperatures.

More than two-fifths (43%) think that a majority of climate scientists believe in human-induced climate change, but 35% think experts are split half and half, and 11% believe either a minority or almost none of the scientific community accept the theory. The finding, which is contradicted by studies showing
more than 90% of climate scientists believe humans are the main cause of global warming, has “uncomfortable echoes” of the MMR controversy 15 years ago, the ECIU said.

...There are also misconceptions on how popular clean energy is in the UK. Most people do not realise how high the support for renewable power sources such as wind farms and solar panels is, with just 5% estimating support from the British public as between 75% and 100%, and two-thirds thinking it is below 50%. Research for the government earlier this year found support for renewables was at 80%....

Flooding near Arundel Castle in February 2014, shot by hehaden, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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