IEET > GlobalDemocracySecurity > Vision > Technoprogressivism > Eco-gov > Resilience
IEET Readers Take Climate Change Seriously
Jun 28, 2011  

Fewer than one in eight of those who responded to a recently concluded IEET poll are confident that emerging technologies will easily be able to manage climate change. Almost three-fourths of our readers say that urgent steps should be taken to replace fossil fuels and/or prepare mitigation strategies.

Only 12% of poll respondents are deluded enough to claim that global warming isn’t real.

poll results


While it’s nice to know that so many survey participants share my views on anthropogenic climate chaos, the claim of this post is in error. Because this survey is self-selecting, rather than random, it does not represent the general readership of IEET. That a lead post would claim otherwise points to an ongoing problem of intellectual integrity and statistical slacking at IEET.

Additionally, the response options are not exactly well-thought-out. A series of lickert scales (agree strongly, agree a little… etc…) would be a better measure.

IEET is a decent site other than the surveys - I hope that the IEET will either:
- improve the quality of the surveys
- run any analysis on them with a disclaimer
- simply cease them, perhaps switching to a moderated discussion on a “question of the week” instead

I’ve been wondering myself about these surveys. I like Amy’s idea about lickert scales.

Actually I’m intrigued that as *many* as 12% of poll respondents picked “global warming is a politically-motivated myth”. After all IEET readers tend to be secular, progressive, intellectual types. If one in eight of *them* are not convinced that global warming is real, what hope is there for the rest?

Interesting insight into IEET readers (or more precisely, I should state it’s an interesting insight into people who voted).

Perhaps if the AI/nanotech solution was regarding 3 decades instead of 2, then more people would have voted for that option?

In 2 decades a AI/nanotech solution will be close but it will not be absolutely certain until 2040/45 (3 decades).

You need to be aware of the possibility that environmentalists, who are not typical IEET readers, can pick-up on these polls and quickly skew the results as part of their propaganda.

It would be a good idea to include the number of voters in the results of each poll. I can’t seem to find our how many people voted. How many people voted?

Regarding opposition to AI and nanotech within the environmentalist community <a href=“” target=“_blank” title=“DailyMail news report regarding anti-nanotech environmental terrorists.”>this news report</a> is noteworthy.


<a href=“”>Singularity Utopia</a>

It’s interesting to note to views of IEET readers, I was previously mistaken in thinking most readers here were followers of the <a href=“”>Singularity</a> but on reflection regarding this poll and the new poll (“Which factor matters most in how the 21st century will unfold?”) it seems global warming issues (climate change) and other typical-Governance issues are the foremost concern for most readers.

I like the surveys. At first I didn’t. I thought the choices were (as you said) statistically slack. But I’ve come to think that this isn’t the Gallup organization, and that the polls aren’t scientific but just designed to get readers to think more about a particular article than we would otherwise. I for one think about those articles much more which have related polls even if I don’t find a poll answer that is exactly what I would prefer. In part, I like the polls BECAUSE they don’t make sense. The last thing we need is to start taking polls more seriously. If anything they should be made more ridiculous for the humor of it, i.e. ‘which is a bigger immediate threat to humanity, AIDS in Africa or ASTEROID IMPACT!!?’ The impossible choice of question/answer makes readers think more about the issue (in order to formulate an objection), even if the results yield less about the deep opinions of the readers than would a lickert series. Maybe there should be two polls, one provoking thought and another for gathering opinion data.

Incidentally, the correct answer to the poll I proposed is : “a): ASTEROID IMPACT!! is a much bigger threat to humanity than AIDS in Africa, unless the impact occurs on the continent of Africa, and then its a moot question.”

The anthropogenic climate change debate reminds of a debate on the existence of god. Either god exists or god doesn’t exist. We are led to believe there are only 2 possible perspectives: anthropogenic climate change does not exist, or, anthropogenic climate change exists and dramatic counter-measures are necessary to stop it and reverse it. This limited perspective is good example of either/or or black/white thinking that discounts or ignores the relevance of shades of gray. So, instead of debating the existence or non-existence of anthropogenic climate change, skeptics should acknowledge that at least some anthropogenic climate change is possible and the debate then becomes about the severity of the problem, and the impact and effectiveness of counter-measures.

<i>“Only 12% of poll respondents <b>are deluded enough</b> to claim that global warming isn’t real.”</i>

I’d like to challenge the readers here to find any other online poll, on any topic, which includes an opinion (even if it’s true) such as this in their poll results.

Rich Birkett, nice post!

“...For those willing to look, the evidence is all around. It’s especially abundant in the areas of climate change and nutrition…”

The above by Max More, 9 July thread on “myth of the liberal media” at Extropy-chat. The context isn’t clear (there’s a great deal of quoting & counter-quoting at the blog) as to whether it is pro or anti anthropogenic; but it does say much or most of what we are getting from the ‘liberal’ & ‘conservative’ media is unreliable—which is unDENIABLE.

Although you switched, for some reason, from “global warming” to “anthropogenic global warming”, I accept your position about global warming. I’m not truly equipped to give an informed opinion on the matter. I simply disagreed with the few added, unnecessary words about “delusion”. Also, you don’t “reject the false claims of _oil industry flacks_ that anthropogenic global warming is anything other than a scientific fact. Rather, you reject “the false claims of _anyone_ that anthropogenic global warming is anything other than a scientific fact. “

“Only 12% of poll respondents are deluded enough to claim that global warming isn’t real.”

This is hardly an objective or polite statement.

May I suggest that IEET take bi-monthly or quarterly polls of it’s members, since new information and research papers are always coming in, and because the membership is both changing and growing?


Kevin George Haskell

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