Friday graph: belief in human induced global warming wanes

An interesting graph from the Pew Research Centre (hat tip: Anthony Watts) showing an ongoing decline in the number of Americans believing human activity is the cause of global warming.

Only around a third (34%) say that global warming is now occurring mostly because of human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels.

This finding has no bearing at all on the validity of the scientific evidence on global warming.  Only qualified scientists can debate that evidence.

But the trend may have been influenced by the Climategate scandal and the misuse of evidence by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  Confidence in the IPCC has been shaken.

Much more importantly, it brings out the political dimension of the global warming issue.  Policy on global warming is not just a matter of science; it is also an economic and political issue.

Governments are not going to be in a position to implement durable emission reductions policies unless voters are persuaded that they should bear the associated costs.  If they’re not, governments will simply be voted out of office and policies will change.

The Pew Research Centre survey may help explain why the United States seems unlikely to implement a cap-and-trade (emissions trading) scheme any time soon.

This blog by Donna Laframboise on media bias on climate change is also interesting.

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