According to the recent American Climate Values Survey conducted by EcoAmerica (1,707 respondents):
I can understand this result. I am a climate change skeptic. Even if it is occurring and we are causing it, given the evidence that we may have passed, or will soon pass the “tipping point”, and the unlikelihood that any measures now proposed would substantially change anything, it would seem we should be focusing on dealing with the consequences, rather than futile preventative measures.
Only 18% of Americans expressed strong agreement with a set of questions expressing belief that global warming is real, that it is caused by humans and that it is harmful.
But I am simply not convinced that humans are causing global warming. Maybe we are, but I have my doubts. I am not convinced the sun and natural variability are not the real drivers of the observed trends. How can I remain a skeptic in the face of the “scientific consensus” and the IPCC? For one thing, science is not a democracy, and never has been. Scientific “truth” is not determined by a majority vote. In addition, with the politicization of science that has been brought on by the global warming “crisis”, and the realities of the financial necessities of grant procuration, etc., it is easy to lose faith in the scientific establishment. Even in the absence of the blatant distortionary forces at work in our present culture, science is never truly objective, as Polanyi has shown. Rather it is influenced by various internal and external subjective factors.
In a nutshell, despite the evidence for anthropogenic global warming, the present scientific and political climate has caused me to retain an open mind on the issue. It is not that I am convinced it’s not a problem that we are causing, but it is difficult to take the alarmists seriously when they are trying so hard to convince us. This is the “hard sell” phenomenon. Al Gore and the media have so “hyped up” the global warming “crisis” that it is difficult not to look at them as used car salesmen.
In addition, though the climate has warmed in recent decades, I am not convinced that the trend will continue. The global average temperature has actually been steady or decreasing for ten years now. Although I understand that long term global warming is not incompatible with short period of cooling, it is hard to ignore record cold temperatures, especially when they just happen to coincide with an abnormally quiet sun.
The Sun Now, from SOHO