'Look into my eyes: You are feeling very worried about the climate ... so worried'

Psychohistory prof Pidgeon strikes again

No we don't all think climate change is a big deal. No we don't all agree it's mainly human-caused. No we don't all want massive government action on it.

The British people don't think climate change is very important. It's not even in the top five. The survey showed that people ranked it as the ninth most important issue facing Britain today, behind race/immigration, the economy, unemployment and lack of industry, health care, terrorism, crime, poverty, housing, and education.

A substantial and increasing majority of Brits are largely unconcerned about climate change. In 2005, 72 per cent of respondents answered that they were not very concerned about climate change. That has now risen to 82 per cent.

Only a minority of people think that climate change is mainly or entirely due to human activity. In this survey, 36 per cent thought that climate change is mainly or entirely caused by humans: the rest disagreed with this idea, apart from 2 per cent who put "don't know".

Right away it's clear that people don't really care about climate change and don't agree that it's mainly caused by humans.

Going on, we see:

There is very little support for "Tax increases to pay for more renewable energy". Some 60 per cent didn't support that idea at all, and only 9 per cent strongly supported it. Which is a shame as such tax increases are happening and will keep happening under current government policy, albeit hidden on energy bills rather than in plain sight on your P60. Democracy not really working, there.

Professor Pidgeon was being especially mendacious when he claimed that "around three quarters of people surveyed in the national sample supported the UK signing up to international agreements to limit carbon emissions". Just 29 per cent said they "strongly supported" this policy, the other 46 per cent the prof claims merely ticked "tend to support". A more truthful statement would be "around 70 per cent of Brits do not strongly support the UK signing up to international carbon agreements".

Hardly anyone wants political action on climate change. Just 14 per cent thought it likely they would ever even write to their MP on climate matters.

People don't agree that changing their lifestyle can make a difference to climate change. Just 27 per cent supported that idea.

People don't think the reason the '13/'14 floods happened was climate change. The three main factors, according to the survey respondents, were (in order): building in flood-prone areas, insufficient investment in flood defences, and poor river and coastal management. Climate change came a distant fourth.

All this is indeed a "clear signal to the UK government": but it's not the signal Professor Pidgeon wants to send, quite the reverse. And nor does the survey send the message that the prof wants to send to the British people. The fact is, Brits, on the evidence of this survey your fellow Britons do not think that they or you are threatened by climate change. Nor do your fellow Britons show any sign of strongly supporting political action against it.

It has to be said, so far Professor Pidgeon's brilliant new Psychohistory-style green activism tactics seem pretty similar to old-school 1940s style propaganda. Just say what you wish was true - "everybody thinks climate change is very serious and supports massive action against it" - and if you repeat it frequently and loudly enough people will start to believe it. ®


*It's not available online as this is written: the link at the bottom of the press release which ought to take you to it actually goes somewhere else. But we got hold of a copy by asking for one, and lots of pre-selected journalists were sent it well in advance of today's announcement.

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