Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Global-warming skeptics get suckered

It's amazing what some people will seize upon in the debate over global warming.

Take, for instance, something that happened today:

The Drudge Report posted a link this morning under the headline: "Survey finds 71 % of people believe global warming 'natural occurence.'" In a flash, global-warming skeptics across the fruited plain clicked on the link and nearly soiled themselves in delight at the story they found on a British Web site.

Wow! Not only did 71 percent of respondents say that global warming is just natural stuff and isn't caused by humans, but 65 percent said the scare stories about the big environmental risks facing us are "far-fetched."

Glory be! The tide, it seems, has turned. People are waking up to the lies about global warming spread by those terrible liberals and that awful Al Gore and all those pointy-headed scientists.

The bloggers among the global-warming doubters who followed Drudge's link to this story began banging on their keyboards with great glee so as to spread the word. A guy named Kevin Tracy was one of them. A guy named Fritz Hereid was another. A guy named Tony Spain happily intrepreted the poll results as applying to people in general, not just the Brits.

In the next few days, word of this earth-shaking poll is likely to spread from sea to shining sea and far beyond.

But wait! There's...uh...one little problem. That survey of 4,000 people was conducted online. That means the respondents were self-selected. And that means the poll was worthless. You see, any poll that isn't conducted by time-tested scientific methods is ipso facto pure crapola, if you know what I mean.

Okay then, let's look at what the scientifically reliable polls are saying about global warming and how people feel about it. Well, gee, what a surprise! The results are completely different from those of the bogus poll touted on the Drudge Report. They show that clear majorities see global warming as a real problem and think it's been caused mostly by humans and want the government to do something about it.

Of course, these respectable polls only cover Americans. That other poll, the crappy one, apparently covers just British folks (although the story isn't really clear on that point). But then, it doesn't matter who's covered by the crappy poll. After all, crappy is crappy, right?

By the way, Kevin and Fritz and Tony might want to post corrections on their blogs. The Rascal will check back after a while to see if they've done so.

UPDATE: Peddlers of the bogus poll are multiplying like rabbits throughout the blogosphere -- here and here and here and here and here and here.

UPDATE II: The online poll at issue can be found here. Not only is it unscientific, but it's also skewed by skeptical statements about global warming.

UPDATE III: By the way, in a Harris poll earlier this year, global warming was blamed on governments, industries and people in general by 55 percent of British respondents, 61 percent of Spanish, 56 percent of French, 54 percent of Germans and Italians and 59 percent of Americans.

1 comment:

kevintracy said...

Thanks for the plug to my site :)
I updated the article in response to this.