Many think that the British have completely bought into the idea of anthropogenic global warming. Certainly their government has, as Gordon Brown and the Labourites push for action at Copenhagen. The Times of London decided to poll on the question, and got a surprising result (via Newsbeat1):
Less than half the population believes that human activity is to blame for global warming, according to an exclusive poll for The Times.
The revelation that ministers have failed in their campaign to persuade the public that the greenhouse effect is a serious threat requiring urgent action will make uncomfortable reading for the Government as it prepares for next month’s climate change summit in Copenhagen.
Only 41 per cent accept as an established scientific fact that global warming is taking place and is largely man-made. Almost a third (32 per cent) believe that the link is not yet proved; 8 per cent say that it is environmentalist propaganda to blame man and 15 per cent say that the world is not warming.
The Times claims that the resistance comes primarily from Tory voters, but in fact none of the political parties have majorities believing in AGW. Among Liberal Democrats, about as far left as one gets among mainstream political parties in the UK, only 47% buy the AGW argument. That compares to 45% of Labour voters and 38% of Conservatives.
Even among believers, the priority of the effort has dropped. Only 28% think AGW is the most serious public policy issue for the government to address. A majority of AGW believers think it’s serious, but not among the highest priorities. What is? The economy, which Copenhagen proposes to wreck.
That hasn’t kept the Labour government from doubling down. You have to appreciate the Orwellian cant involved in this statement:
Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said that growing awareness of the scale of the problem appeared to be resulting in people taking refuge in denial.
“Being confronted with the possibility of higher energy bills, wind farms down the road and new nuclear power stations encourages people to question everything about climate change,” she said. “There is a resistance to change and some people see the problem being used as an excuse to charge them more taxes.”
Knowing more about the problem creates … denial? Opposition is really therefore support, you see. Or, it could just be that people think that the weather has changed before, and that creating massive new bureaucracies and taxes has as much chance of affecting the weather as alchemists had in turning lead into gold.