Poll: Scientific American Readers Overwhelmingly Say Man is NOT causing Climate Change

Posted: November 16, 2010 in global warming fraud, global warming hoax
Tags: ,


I have been a subscriber to Scientific American for as long as I can remember.  My personal collection of the magazine has cluttered my living quarters for years.  I think I would not be going out on a limb if I was to claim that the typical reader of Scientific American, while not necessarily a scientists is at least a student of science, educated in the general literature of contemporary science topics and has an above average intelligence and education.

A few years ago I nearly ended my long association with the magazine because of what I felt was a definite editorial bias.  They have been championing the global warming mantra incessantly for years, nearly mocking the very attribute of science which makes it the only real way of knowing anything—skepticism.  Recently, the magazine ran a reader poll on the subject of global warming and indications are that their readership has not been persuaded by the magazine’s decade long proselytizing. Their readers doubt that man is heating up the planet.  Yes, yes, I know, it is not a scientific survey.  I am making no such claim–so please, no comments about the validity of the survey.  Additionally, I think the survey questions were horribly written but as they say, “it is what it is.”

For years we’ve heard that scientists have reached a “consensus” that the earth is warming due to a greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide emissions resulting from man’s use of fossil fuels. No use in discussing it further, Al Gore and others have said. It’s happening.

But the responses of the 7,000 readers who’ve taken the magazine’s online poll strongly suggest that claims of a consensus are, at best, an exaggeration.

More than three-fourths (77.7%) say natural processes are causing climate change and almost a third (31.9%) blame solar variation. Only 26.6% believe man is the cause. (The percentages exceed 100 because respondents were allowed to choose more than one cause on this question.)

Whether climate change is man-caused or natural, most respondents don’t believe there’s anything that can be done about it anyway. Nearly seven in 10 (69.2%) agree “we are powerless to stop it.” A mere one in four (25.7%) recommend switching “to carbon-free energy sources as much as possible and adapt to changes already under way.”

It seems even some of those who would endorse changing energy sources don’t believe the benefits are worth the costs (which indicates they aren’t taking the alarmists’ claims seriously). Almost eight in 10 (79.4%) answer “nothing” to the question: “How much would you be willing to pay to forestall the risk of catastrophic climate change?”

A small but apparently hard-core 12.3% say they’d be OK with spending “whatever it takes.” Only 4.9% choose “a doubling of gasoline prices” while 3.4% don’t mind paying “a 50% increase in electricity bills.”

That small, but hard, core likely makes up most of the 15.7% who think “the IPCC, or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is an effective group of government representatives, scientists and other experts.” These holdouts are overwhelmed, though, by the 83.6% who agree the IPCC “is a corrupt organization, prone to groupthink, with a political agenda.”

Interesting.  Maybe I will hang on to my subscription.



  1. Altair Maine says:

    Online polls are completely meaningless, and you should know better. According to the Internet, something 80% of people favor legalization of marijuana and gay marriage. The respondent bias is huge.

    Fox News online polls reveal that 90% of their viewers think we should nuke the Middle East into radioactive ash.

    MSNBC online polls reveal that 90% of their viewers think we should nuke Rupert Murdoch into radioactive ash.

    When 4chan (a forum that is the origin of most Internet memes and a lot of pornography) fixates on an online poll, the results are invariably hilarious. The Time Magazine poll of the 100 most influential people was elaborately manipulated last year so that the first initials of the top winners spelled out, “Marblecake, also the game,” which was sort of a weird obscene allusion. The vote totals were HUGE. “moot”, the purportedly most influential person on the planet and the founder of 4chan, earned about 13 million votes.

    In a poll on Justin Beiber’s website, they also deemed that he should travel to North Korea on a tour. This is a sentiment I’m sure we can all get behind. Kim Jong Il is doubtless a fan.

    A poll like this will inevitably linked by countless “skeptic” blogs. There’s not even a shred of pretense that the responding population will resemble the Scientific American readership at large.

    • Yikes! I am increasingly becoming convinced that you comment without actually reading my posts.

      First of all, telling me I should know better comes across in a way I am sure you do not mean. You are in no position to lecture me. YOU should know better.
      Your whole rant actually supports my contention. You state that Fox News online polls state that 90% of their viewers think we should nuke the Middle East. And you don’t think that is a fairly accurate opinion poll of FOX NEWS viewers? I do (maybe a little exaggerated).
      If you polled the readers of a very liberal source (and barring malevolent survey manipulation) you would expect 80% of their readership to favor the legalization of gay marriage and marijuana use. You did not state the source.
      Likewise, if you poll the readers of Scientific American it is not unreasonable to suppose that the viewpoint of that subset of people is reflected in the poll numbers. Granted, people could use the poll for nefarious means but so long as the sample size is large enough it will only matter marginally, and not at all, if a small number of people from opposite extremes participate. That being said, there is no evidence that a nefarious group inundated the Scientific American web site. You can’t just make stuff up because you don’t like the results. In fact, the only link I could find to the poll was on a climate warming blog. It should be of some interest to know that neither me nor any of my skeptic friends participated in the poll.
      Finally, if you actually read my blog you should have noticed that I explicitly mentioned that the poll was unscientific. My words: “Yes, yes, I know, it is not a scientific survey. I am making no such claim–so please, no comments about the validity of the survey.” So, what did you go ahead and do? You commented in such a way that presupposes that I am an idiot and don’t know the difference between a scientific poll and an unscientific internet one. Sheesh. YOU should know better.

  2. zzenmastr says:

    There are always problems with polls but I find this information very interesting, and quite truthfully, not unexpected.

  3. the HANman says:

    A bunch of critical thinking intelligent people read Scientific American!

  4. kellan says:

    Altair, no one is suggesting this is the difinitive word on the opinion of SA readers but it does say SOMETHING. I certainly would not be so ready as you as to dismiss the whole thing out of hand. That is not realistic or probable.

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