Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rob Maris: survey on political position

A guest activity by Rob Maris
See survey in the right column of this webblog.


Often it is claimed that warmists are those sort of people who are associated with progressive/left-sided political parties (examples: US/democrats, DE/SPD, UK/Labour) while sceptics be associated with conservative parties or communities. Often, warmist's argumentations as well as sceptics' argumentations do contain such claims (mostly in a depreciative manner) as to underpin the argumentation. Having stated this, one could also postulate that climatic related articles, essays and books can be treated as more serious contributions to the debate when the author represents a political viewpoint that contradicts the usual assumption. Recent example: Claude Allègre's latest book ’L’imposture climatique’ (the climatic swindle). Claude Allègre is a former french minister with socialist/progressive political association. Indeed, a Dutch newspaper columnist treats his book as a valueable contribution, just because of this reason – of course this will not necessarily mean that the columnists' suggestion is correct.

The new poll should provide a bit insight about the claim. This poll has been arranged after taking suggestions from the Klimazwiebel community into account. Thanks to all contributors!

13 comments:

P Gosselin said...

Conducting a survey, especially one of this type, is a tricky business and it cannot be done by greenhorns. I don't know anything about Mr Maris, but unless he has great expertise in conducting opinion surveys, the results have to be taken with great caution.
Still, the results could be very interesting.

Hans von Storch said...

P. Gosselin - deriving representative results from a survey is certainly a tricky issue, but deriving a rough idea what people think should be doable. The surveys we have done earlier were just of the same character, namely of getting a rough orientation. The difference to the earlier, simpler votes here is mainly in the format.

Björn said...

@Pierre: Again a very diplomatic and polite posting... Maybe you missed our little discussion on how to set up this (fun) survey in order to explore who is motivated and how by political predisposition and by 'evil' funding.

More seriously: I found it difficult to answer the funding question. My professional role is to structure funds that allow investors to participate financially in "clean" energy, or what this nonsense is called. Therefore I tickmarked "to be or to represent" a funding organisation (of projects that are sometimes considered as climate-related, no funding into climate research is planned). Nevertheless, my climate science position is between lukewarm and skeptic.

Actually, IMHO there are dozens of good reasons to invest into domestic energy production, one form of it being renewable energy. Whether CO2 is poisonous or not does not really matter here.

Anonymous said...

If you want a fair sampling, why use the perjorative terms 'alarmist' or 'warmist' for people who think there is a problem? No-one self describes using these terms. At least try and be somewhat neutral in your language.

Rob said...

Anonymous: for some background info, please refer to the discussion posting as referred to by Björn (febr. 28). BTW: "denier" could also be interpreted as perjorative. As of now (just over 40 responses) people appear to have no problem to "click" the terms you recalled.

Reiner Grundmann said...

If I have a 'liberal attitude with regard to sex viewpoints' (I think you mean sexual liberties) but have a conservative attitude towards the environment (because I believe in the precautionary principle) what should I tick?

isaacschumann said...

I have to admit that I would put added emphasis on someones opinions if those opinions seem to contradict their perceived ideological bias, though Ive never really considered why I do this.

An interesting survey Rob.

Rob said...

Rainer Grundmann: I'd suggest not to worry about the idea to incoporate "environment" as tick criterion. I consider it very prone to interpretational differences (caring about environment can be called "conservative=conserve", but one can also say progressive (which is more opinio communis, I'd guess). It'd better have become a separate question (not worth the goal of the survey).

sexual liberties: indeed better. Intended was: progessive = towards more liberal attitude, and also more acceptance of lesbian/gay relationships etc.

_Flin_ said...

I'd prefer the categories

- we all gonna die
- we will get wet feet
- can't we wear shoes?
- I like it warm
- drill, baby, drill

instead of "warmist" or "denier" (actually "denialist" seems to be right across the spectrum from "warmist").

Nevertheless a cookie-tracker, IP-tracker or even MAC-Adress tracker might be a good idea to prevent filling out the form again after hitting reload.

isaacschumann said...

I like flin's categories, except I would add:

-it's a communist plot to enslave mankind

...and what about people who just hate polar bears?...

http://www.theonion.com/articles/vicious-maneating-carnivores-on-decline-in-arctic,9950/

Rob said...

*** Survey Intermediate ***
At the time of writing, 94 out of 97 total votes have been found as viable votes. A few key figures:

Correlation between Question 1a and 2: 0,4. There is substantial less correlation between Q1b and 2, as well as between Q1 and Q2.

Some distribution figures:
Submitters tend to vote on mid/right side of the political spectrum, while 70% is on the left half of the progressive/conservative scale.
Votes are geologically quite well distributed worldwide, however limited to the world of "western civilization" (might indicate readership range of klimazwiebel).
Climatic position: no answer is below 4% and tendency lukewarmer/skeptic.
Finally, Question 5 shows a plausible distribution:
70/12/7/5/5 respectively.

Detailed data follow after survey termination. Termination date will be announced soon.

Rob said...

small correction:
"as well as between Q1a and Q1b."

Anonymous said...

Irish - which box do I tick? :-)