Rasmussen Survey: Nobody Listens to Scientists, Only 34% of US Voters Believe Global Warming is Caused by Human Activity


Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina 1928 & 2004. Photo: Greenpeace
No Theory About Complex Future Events is Perfect, But We Should Use The Best We Have...
It's strange how in some cases, people accept that experts probably know more than they do on their subject of expertise, if only because they've actually spent years studying it and thinking about it and reading the published literature. If an astronomer tells the public something about exoplanets, or if a mathematician talks about Andrew Wiles' proof to Fermat's last theorem, people tend not to disagree unless they have a really solid counter-argument. But with climate science, it seems that everybody thinks their own convenient theory (notice how people rarely make up theories that are inconvenient to them) is as valid as anything else, and suddenly, who cares about experts? Is it because we can all look outside at the local weather that we think it's easy to understand the global climate? Okay, enough venting... Back to the Rasmussen survey.
glaciers photo

Photo: Wikipedia, CC
Rasmussen Survey Results
From Rasmussen:

Just one-out-of-three voters (34%) now believe global warming is caused by human activity, the lowest finding yet in Rasmussen Reports national surveying.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of all likely voters attribute climate change to long-term planetary trends, while seven percent (7%) blame some other reason. Eleven percent (11%) aren’t sure.

These numbers reflect a reversal from a year ago when 47% blamed human activity while 34% said long-term planetary trends.

So it seems like the more evidence climate scientists find that global warming is man-made, the less the general public thinks it is.

Is this confusion caused by the fact that climate scientists aren't very good at getting the results of their research out? Maybe it's because the various groups that try to confuse the public can just make up plausible-sounding theories that are much easier to grasp and remember than the more complex, yet more realistic, scientific theories?

After all, reality doesn't care about whether we understand it or not. It can be complex and messy, and thus hard to explain. But made up arguments can be tailored for their target public, and appeal to wishful thinking ("there's nothing we can do, it's just a natural cycle! We puny humans can't have an impact on our great big planet, so stop worrying.").

If you want to learn more about climate science, a good start is RealClimate.

Via Rasmussen, GCC
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