Azara Blog: The people of the world believe humans cause climate change

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Date published: 2007/09/25

The BBC says:

Large majorities in many countries now believe human activity is causing global warming, a BBC World Service poll suggests.

A sizeable majority of people agreed that major steps needed to be taken soon to address global warming.

More than 22,000 people were surveyed in 21 countries and the results show a great deal of agreement on the issue.
An average of 79% of respondents to the BBC survey agreed that "human activity, including industry and transportation, is a significant cause of climate change".

Nine out of 10 people said action was necessary, with two-thirds of people going further, saying "it is necessary to take major steps starting very soon".
The survey found widespread support (73% of respondents) for an international agreement to limit emissions of greenhouse gases that would include developing countries.

In return, developing countries would get financial and technological assistance from richer nations.

Of course you can never believe any poll whose results just happen to support the agenda of the organisation that has undertaken the poll. And here, the wording "human activity, including industry and transportation, is a significant cause of climate change", seems intended to nobble the result. But the poll results are extremely plausible (which is why everyone will take them at face value), after all, most of the world's media outside the US, including the BBC, has been plugging this idea for the last decade and more.

But words are cheap. And what the BBC has singularly failed to ask is whether the people surveyed would be willing to take a (say) 5 percent pay cut in order to help finance solutions to climate change, or otherwise make a real personal sacrifice. But the answers to these questions would also have to be taken with a pinch of salt. A more reliable guide is to look at the results of real elections. The only people who vote for so-called environmental parties are the "consumption is sin" members of the academic middle class.

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