January 25, 2010

Fun with polls

Tom Noyes wants you to think the American public wants prompt action on [man-made] climate change:

56% would be more likely to re-elect their Senator if he or she voted in favor of the bill (just 35% would be less likely to re-elect). 50% would be less likely to re-elect their Senator if he or she voted against the bill (just 39% would be more likely).

And if Congress doesn’t pass legislation, voters want the EPA to act:

59% of voters agree and just 39% disagree that “if Congress doesn't pass this energy bill, the Environmental Protection Agency should take action to regulate carbon polluters.” Among Independents, support for EPA action is even stronger: 61% agree and only 37% disagree.

Of course, this doesn't take into account the absolute low priority that the American public puts on climate change:

Dealing with global warming ranks at the bottom of the public's list of priorities; just 28% consider this a top priority, the lowest measure for any issue tested in the survey. Since 2007, when the item was first included on the priorities list, dealing with global warming has consistently ranked at or near the bottom. Even so, the percentage that now says addressing global warming should be a top priority has fallen 10 points from 2007, when 38% considered it a top priority. Such a low ranking is driven in part by indifference among Republicans: just 11% consider global warming a top priority, compared with 43% of Democrats and 25% of independents.

Check it out:

Noyes continues:

[Pollster Frank] Luntz message tested three arguments for acting, and found this statement was received favorably by 57 percent of those polled:

It doesn’t matter if there is or isn’t climate change. It is still in America’s best interest to develop new sources of energy that are clean reliable, efficient and safe. One might consider this to be a kind of Pascal's wager on the environment:

If we do it right, we get cleaner air.
We get less dependence on fossil fuels and enhanced national security.
We get more innovation in our economy.
More jobs, and more sustainable jobs.
And that’s if the scientists are wrong.
If the scientists are right, we get all of those things, and begin to solve what could be the most catastrophic environmental problem that any of us have ever faced.

I'm sure the above is accurate. But the fact is that it's not one of the American public's priorities at the moment. And another fact of the matter -- that all Church of Gore worshipers tend to forget (and I am not lumping Noyes into this crowd; he is a very smart, and reasonable, fellow) -- is that we WILL move to alternative sources of energy as fossil fuels are indeed finite. Gradual incentives are fine and worthy, but there's no reason to radically restructure the economy in one fell swoop to 1) have an effect on global climate that would be as insigificant as the size of the Earth is compared to the Milky Way, and 2) impose high new costs to consumers when inevitable gradual economic/energy changes will have much less of a detrimental monetary effect.

To think that man's continued use of fossil fuels throughout this century will cause the planet to change irrevocably is just so much sophistry. How man -- by using fossil fuels for some 150 years -- can completely and irrevocably alter an entire planet forever needs a belief system that goes beyond conceit ... and beyond arrogance.

Posted by Hube at January 25, 2010 03:41 PM | TrackBack

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