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What is Your position on Climate Change?

Displaying poll results.
Believe it (not a researcher)
  19023 votes / 56%
Know it (and can prove it)
  2952 votes / 8%
  3223 votes / 9%
Believe climate change is a hoax
  840 votes / 2%
Climate change is a hoax (and can prove it)
  641 votes / 1%
It's real but not man-made
  7223 votes / 21%
33902 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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What is Your position on Climate Change?

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  • Bah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @12:42AM (#38019822)

    Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      And even if the climate change - is that something created by humans or is it a natural cycle?

      We do know that the climate has been a lot warmer, and it has been a lot colder. It won't stay the same all the time either - change is normal.

      So why worry? I would be a lot more worried if it got colder than if it got warmer because colder would mean that the life-zone for humans would shrink.

      • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by f()rK()_Bomb (612162) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @05:58AM (#38033604)
        We worry because at no point in the history of the planet has the climate changed this quickly. It's not the increase that worries people, it's the rate. If it was natural there should be no way it's spiking like it is. Also, if you think it getting warmer can't cause it to get colder in the future you have no understanding of climate and why it's called climate change and not global warming by scientists. Warming can cause the Atlantic conveyor to stop, changing the whole weather system.
        • Re:Bah! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by The Askylist (2488908) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @11:14AM (#38034650)
          "at no point in the history of this planet has the climate changed this quickly"

          I find that hard to believe - now if you said "at no point in recorded history", I might admit you had a point. But I'm pretty sure that climate has changed faster in the past (going into and out of the interglacials, for example), and will do so in the future.

          Are you saying that natural processes do not happen abruptly? I disagree - they can happen on all scales, from the slow process of erosion to the rather fast upthrusting of mountains - both of which can affect climate in unusual ways.

          You worry if you must, but there's no reason to worry abut stuff you can't change - think about adaptation and how to make the change work for you.

        • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @05:34AM (#38040032) Homepage

          We worry because at no point in the history of the planet has the climate changed this quickly.

          Not strictly true, but city-sized meteorites or Yellowstone-sized volcanos were involved in the past.

      • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Chrisje (471362) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @06:39AM (#38033714)

        I worry because I live in the Netherlands.

        This means, for example, that I was born 7.5 meters below sea level, in a province that consists of land that used to be the bottom of a sea until we built a system of walls and pumps to make land.

        85% of the Netherlands currently lies below sea level when there's a high tide. The intricate system of walls, bridges, canals, pumping stations and ground water level monitors are managing the water quite well right now, but if sea levels rise, the pressure exerted on those walls or dykes is going to increase exponentially.

        There are some government plans to convert a strip of four kilometers of the North Sea into land so we can create an additional buffer of dykes, walls and hydraulic doors to manage that, but at the end of the day, if water levels keep rising, the cost-benefit analysis will show it might not make sense to sustain the country currently known as the Netherlands.

        So whether climate change is man-made or due to increased solar activity, cosmic radiation, a natural cycle or whatever reason you can come up with, it is a tangible concern for me as a citizen of a coastal area.

        I am quite sure the good people of Bangkok and Bangladesh agree with this point of view. As do the Venetians, to name a few.

        • by Kenshin (43036)

          Simple solution: Invade Belgium, take their land.

        • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Informative)

          by mdmkolbe (944892) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @02:47PM (#38042312)

          the pressure exerted on those walls or dykes is going to increase exponentially.

          No, pressure increases linearly with depth (pressure at depth = k * depth). Maybe you meant "force" instead of "pressure", but that increases only quadratically with sea level (integrate the linear pressure function over the entire surface of the dyke and you get a quadratic force function assuming a constant length dyke).

  • by Paska (801395) on Friday November 11, 2011 @12:54AM (#38019912) Homepage

    Climate change will always be a heated debate.

    However, there is something that will always be true and can't be debated no matter what your position on climate change is: it's our duty as human beings to protect our environment and do anything and everything we can do to treat it with love, respect and to look after it. We only have one Earth. Let's look after it. Isn't that something every human being can agree on?

    Moving to clearer energies shouldn't be because of climate change, because to make it about that would mean that once we reach some magical number that a report says that our environment is now "fixed" we'll go back to our destructive ways as humans and put the environment on the bottom of the priority list.

    Looking after the environment from this day, to the end of the days of sunshine is the right thing to do by humans. We shouldn't need any other reason other then it being "the right thing to do" to look after this one rock we have. It's really as simple as that. Let's look after Earth.

    • by godrik (1287354) on Friday November 11, 2011 @01:04AM (#38019958)

      Climate change will always be a heated debate.

      Wors.t pun. EVER.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Friday November 11, 2011 @10:06AM (#38023060) Homepage

      it's our duty as human beings to protect our environment and do anything and everything

      Anything and everything probably means we should do collective suicide. Don't get me wrong I do mean we have to manage our world in a sustainable way, but I'm not opposed to human civilization and it having a carbon footprint. I'm not going back to the age before refrigerators, freezers, washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, computers, TV, radio, stereo, cell phones and as much electric light as I want even if the farm my great-grandparents had produced a much smaller footprint.

      I also don't regret visiting three other continents and more than a dozen countries, no matter the carbon footprint of flying, or for that matter all the other vast improvements in transportation and not being stuck in the same old town most of your life. I don't support excessive consumption but I'm also glad I don't have to wear my clothes until they are literally falling apart, just until they're well worn and getting ugly.

      Long story short, I like modern civilization. I know we might have to give up some excesses but for the most part I'd just like us to redirect our technological progress towards finding more effective ways to maintain the way we live rather than push the limits of how much energy we can burn. But I'm not ready to deeply cut back on my standard of living and when push comes to shove, so is very few others either.

  • by Toonol (1057698) on Friday November 11, 2011 @01:04AM (#38019960)
    I think Climate Change is happening, but it's greatly exaggerated; and similarly, humans are contributing to it, but our contributions are greatly exaggerated.

    Also, I'm convinced that the bad aspects of climate change are played up, and the benefits arbitrarily dismissed.

    However, it DOES seem to be occurring, and we should be concerned, and we need to further our understanding of climate science. Lastly... computer models of partially understood chaotic systems are worthless.
    • by jlebar (1904578) on Friday November 11, 2011 @02:26AM (#38020320) Homepage

      I think Climate Change is happening, but it's greatly exaggerated; and similarly, humans are contributing to it, but our contributions are greatly exaggerated.

      I think this is a dangerous position, precisely because it sounds so reasonable. "The truth should be somewhere in-between Al Gore and the Koch brothers." Who could disagree?

      But there's no reason that the truth should lie in the middle of these two extremes. Just because the two sides are equally loud doesn't mean they're equally right.

      It's easy to dismiss the dire warnings of scientists as "greatly exaggerated", but much harder to justify this.

      Lastly... computer models of partially understood chaotic systems are worthless.

      Day-to-day weather phenomena are chaotic. Multi-year trends in global temperatures are not.

      • by DrInequality (521068) on Friday November 11, 2011 @02:49AM (#38020420) Homepage

        Multi-year trends in global temperatures are not.

        Prove it.

        Please, please show proof that any model with 10+ year response times is demonstrably valid.

        The problem is that we only have ~100 years of good data and ~200 years of fair data and very poor data prior to that

        The fundamental problem that I (as a person with a good knowledge of statistics) have is that all the data pre-processing (a.k.a. faking) that goes on gives unreasonably low estimates of the variance (or standard deviations or confidence intervals).

        A good scientist should define a clear model and use all of the raw data to validate the model. Then and only then can the model be used to extrapolate - say to the future or to the causes of climate change.

        • by bzipitidoo (647217) <> on Friday November 11, 2011 @04:02AM (#38020738) Journal

          The problem is that we only have ~100 years of good data

          Wrong. What rock have you been living under? We have far more good data than that. Tree rings, lake sediments, and glacial cores give us several thousand years of good data. Glacial cores are good for several hundred thousand years. We also know much of the climate for millions of years. We are especially interested in the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a time when the Earth warmed significantly, for comparison with today's conditions. PETM occurred about 55 million years ago, yet we know of it.

          But I know that denying that we have good data is a staple of the denier's play book. If you had checked, you would have quickly learned how wrong that suggestion is.

          • by Necron69 (35644)

            Do "Tree rings, lake sediments, and glacial cores" really give you _good_ data? Is it accurate to tenths or hundredths of a degree C? I don't see how this could possibly be the case, but I remain open to explanations.

            Honestly, I will remain a skeptic until I see a well written treatment of the uncertainties involved and how big the real error bars are on the predictions. The only write-up I've seen to date gave the IPCC 100 year warming prediction a +-10 degrees C uncertainty. That makes the prediction wort

            • by bzipitidoo (647217) <> on Saturday November 12, 2011 @02:04AM (#38032992) Journal

              If by "good", you mean accurate, reliable, consistent, and relevant, not subject to too much uncertainty, then yes, tree rings do give good data. Where did you get the idea that an accuracy of 1/100 or 1/10 degree C is somehow necessary to make predictions with some degree of confidence? Is that how you are defining "good"? Why not demand an accuracy of 1/1000 degree C, or even more? Do you see that you can make any data fail to meet this definition of good? You must accept reasonable limits, or you will throw out all your data and cannot do any science at all.

              Point you to a write-up on the uncertainties? Go take Statistics 101, and learn what a confidence interval is. We want to know is what the climate is doing, not waste time explaining basic statistics or math or all the other material every college student should know.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Bad fail here tree ring data is good only for showing how well a tree grew not temperature trees respond to more rain far more than the do to temperature lake sediments are just as useless for divining the temps and the glacial cores that are crowed about (btw they stopped crowing about those in 2009) show a distinct lag of CO2 BEHIND temps anywhere from 800-1200 years behind. get the real facts not just those regurgitated my the media (you know the media the ones that belived Al Gore when he said that the

  • Missing Option: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nationless (2123580) on Friday November 11, 2011 @01:15AM (#38020008)


    I don't know either way.

  • My beliefs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by subreality (157447) on Friday November 11, 2011 @01:29AM (#38020068)

      * It's real.
      * Enough of it is caused by humans to call it our fault.
      * Even for the parts that aren't our fault, we should still be trying to do something about it.
      * But we won't, because it's more convenient to stick our heads in the sand.
      * So it's going to happen.
      * Therefore we should start looking past prevention: How do we adapt to the world that's coming? How should we prepare?

    • Re:My beliefs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tsa (15680) on Friday November 11, 2011 @04:11AM (#38020776) Homepage

      Here in the Netherlands we have been preparing for the effects of global warming for a few years now. As you know most of our country is below sea level and we have to protect it with dykes and other technical marvels. The rising sea levels are not such a big problem, but we have three big rivers that will carry a lot more water in the coming years. Every spring the water level will increase drastically because the snow in the Alps melts. We have to make sure all that water doesn't pose a danger to people living near the rivers. So among other things we make big basins in which water can be temporarily stored until the flow in the river decreases laterf the year.

    • * It's real.

      Of course it's real. We know there have been ice ages and hot ages. It would be silly to think that climate doesn't change.

      * Enough of it is caused by humans to call it our fault.

      Climate change happens naturally too. We know we are due (or even overdue) for a change, but we didn't keep accurate records last time around, so we don't know for sure what is natural and consequently, what is abnormal. It may well be that a warming period is natural before an ice age.

      * Even for the parts that aren't our fault, we should still be trying to do something about it.

      In other words, we should be deliberately changing the climate? To what? How?

      * But we won't, because it's more convenient to stick our heads in the sand.

      When we were last o

      • Re:My beliefs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by subreality (157447) on Friday November 11, 2011 @04:26PM (#38028628)

        but we didn't keep accurate records last time around, so we don't know for sure what is natural and consequently, what is abnormal.

        Geologists disagree. Geological records don't track day to day weather, but they are quite accurate when you're looking at climate.

        In other words, we should be deliberately changing the climate? To what? How?

        We should resist going over a tipping point at least until we understand what we're doing. Some of the factors are natural, but there are several big ones (particularly greenhouse gas emissions) that we have the technological ability to control. The political will to do so is another matter.

        We're going to run out of gas, then out of food, then have a population crash through war and starvation.

        Between geothermal, solar, wind, coal, and nuclear we have plenty of energy to run mechanized farming to support 10B people, easily. Worst case, nuclear alone can supply all the energy we need for the rest of human civilization, but it freaks people out so we won't use that option as long as coal is available. Global warming is only one of a dozen reasons coal is a terrible energy source, but we have enough to last 100+ years. Best case, solar technology will really take off in the next decade or two.

        Energy will not be the limiting factor. The big threat to the food supply is global warming, which will ruin quite a bit of our current farmland.

        The fact that it might be a few degrees hotter will be trivia at best, relative to our other problems.

        No one cares that it gets a few degrees hotter. That heat is mostly at night, and the distribution puts it mostly in the arctic. Locally you won't see any huge changes in your daytime highs.

        The problems are much bigger: many areas will get severely too much rainfall; subtropical deserts will get dryer and grow; we get more heat waves, droughts, floods; it reduces our fresh water supply; and much more.

        So, we should change the climate the way we want it to be, but since nobody cares enough to do so, we should prepare for the way we are changing the climate?

        Yes, we SHOULD change the climate the way we want it to be (or more accurately, stop changing the climate in ways that we will regret). But if we lack the will to do so, we need to start coming up with Plan B.

  • Religion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680) on Friday November 11, 2011 @03:54AM (#38020704) Homepage

    It's funny that when it comes to religion or global warming or whatever the term of the day for the effects of increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere is, many people switch off their brains and shout or do the most outrageous things.

    • by kale77in (703316) on Friday November 11, 2011 @02:33PM (#38027046) Homepage
      Belief is not a specifically religious word, and it means neither 'assuming' nor 'proving'. If another person knows X, and tells you X, and you deem them informed and trustworthy, then you may 'believe' what they tell you, and with good reason. You now know X, not because you have proved it, but because you have grounds for trusting someone who (you also believe) does know. Most of what most of us know about science is known by 'faith' in the trustworthiness of the scientific community and what we know of it's values and processes; we 'believe' that it is mostly objective and usually self-correcting over time, even when funding sources, vested interests and career advancement are considered. It helps that this has been borne out in my own limited experience, and it helps that I am unaware of any obviously superior or even competitive alternative to this process for arriving at knowledge of the natural world. I also believe that science is generally the application of common sense to specialised domains of knowledge, and that if I had the time and data I would come to the same conclusions. These are subjective judgements; hence 'beliefs'. I also belief that culture is the process of cultivating good subjective judgements of this kind, to complement the mechanical and impersonal corpus of objective knowledge. "Love AND logic keep us clear..."
  • I don't care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by White Flame (1074973) on Friday November 11, 2011 @04:58AM (#38020964)

    I believe we should seek efficiency and reduced pollution. Beyond that, I don't care. Let the planet change, and humanity adapt.

  • by Manip (656104) on Friday November 11, 2011 @06:17AM (#38021240)
    I voted sceptic. Which frankly I feel every self respecting scientist should do.

    Climate change is a very well understood phenomenon with good cross-supported models and data which repeated shows there is a global temperature increase. But that all being said, there is no room in science for complacency. If someone came to me tomorrow and said "I have contradicting data," I would respond "great, show me!"

    Saying you "believe it" is bad science. It is a belief. It isn't evidence or data based. Saying you're sceptical but the evidence up to this point shows X, Y, and Z keeps you a neutral observer which is an important position within the field.
    • by kiddygrinder (605598) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:44AM (#38022652)
      most people are not scientists, i voted believe it because a lot of people that i consider to be a lot smarter than me have stated that it's true. neutral observers only count when money isn't involved.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @11:28AM (#38024442)

      I am a scientist but I voted "Know It (and can prove it)". Then again, I am a geologist (that tends to take things literally), and the poll said nothing about time scales or suspected causes. Climate change happens, and there is enough data in the geologic record to show that is a factual statement.

      There is no scientific shame in saying that you agree with a hypothesis or theory if there is a sufficient amount of data behind it. Now, what a scientist shouldn't do, is dismiss other data that seem contradictory. You can (and should!) still be of the "great, show me!" camp even if you have sided with a model. Things can get ugly when scientists entrench themselves.

      It is also important not to confuse facts and theories. The observations and measurements that are used to indicate climate is changing, are facts. These facts must then be rolled into a hypothesis for explanation. The debate about the causes and significance of those changes are debates about hypotheses. Even if you don't agree that scientists should choose definitive sides when it comes to hypotheses, with there should certainly be no shame in acknowledging the facts of the matter.

      As a geologist, not "believing" in climate change would mean I have ignored the facts (observations, measurements) within my field, which, to me, is more scientifically damning. I am not going to sit in the neutral grey, but I will keep my mind open about things. What we scientists really need is a new word other than "belief" to express agreement with data & hypotheses.

    • by godrik (1287354)

      Climate scientists might vote sceptic. Personnally, as a scholar, i voted "believe it". Because you could show me the best proof ever, I won't be able to recognize it. So at this point, I need to rely on someone else expertise. And then that's a belief.

  • by rjh (40933) <> on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:34AM (#38022484)

    Folks, the climate is changing. Bang, period, end of sentence. We know this because the climate has always been in a state of flux ever since the Earth first formed. In some places it's growing warmer: in other places it's growing colder. In other places the temperature is remaining constant but rainfall is increasing, in other places the desert is encroaching, and so forth. The word "climate" covers a lot of ground, a lot more than just global temperatures. Focusing on just one number (temperature) and then reducing it to meaninglessness by trying to average it out over the whole world (as if that number means something) is not exactly wisdom, you know?

    Yes, I believe in anthropogenic climate change. We're part of the system. It's crazy to believe that we have no possible impact on our global climate. We can argue over how much impact we have, but it's definitely nonzero.

    And yet, the instant I say that I'm skeptical of the apocalyptic forecasts and I doubt the predictive ability of the computer models used, and that rather than spend trillions of dollars on efforts to turn back the clock on a climate that's going to change on us anyway even if we succeed in undoing our changes I'd rather see us spend trillions of dollars adjusting humanity to the new climate realities --

    In that instant I get shouted down and denounced as a denialist, as being in obdurate denial of "the science," as being in league with Bjorn Lomborg, as...

    This has happened to me enough times that my new attitude on climate change is this: believe what you want but leave me the hell alone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Those meanies, arguing passionately on an issue that only affects the future of the human race. I hope they apologized for making you feel sad.

    • by jlehtira (655619)
      Guess what? Focusing on only temperature, and having apocalyptic forecasts, is what the media has done. It is not what scientists have done. You'd be really happy to hear and read about everything the scientists have done about other numbers like rainfall, humidity, snow cover, glacier thickness, and every other relevant number there is to think about. There is even science about how much wave height will change on the Baltic Sea as a result of the climate change. You are right that the climate has always
  • AGW (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OzPeter (195038) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:40AM (#38022592)

    Up front I'll say that I believe in GW and most likely AGW.
    But what gets me about some people with the opposing view is their belief (in case they are wrong) is that anything that is manmade can be reversed. When I hear that I want to smack them around the head with a very dense fruit cake and tell them
      "Here - lets see you reduce this cake to its raw ingredients".

  • by SemperUbi (673908) on Friday November 11, 2011 @11:29AM (#38024464)

    "Skeptic, but believe we need to take action now."

  • by steak (145650) on Friday November 11, 2011 @11:41AM (#38024662) Homepage Journal

    the earth is the center of the universe, the debate is over, there is consensus.

    there are some scary similarities between the people crying consensus and the 16th century catholic church.

    • No Comparison (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mathmathrevolution (813581) on Friday November 11, 2011 @01:35PM (#38026200)

      Actually there aren't any similarities.

      Galileo confronted the powerful with a novel line of hard facts and was subsequently arrested.

      Deniers comfort the powerful by repeating the exact same lines of debunked bullshit to the credulous Fox News demographic and are made fabulously wealthy by fossil fuel executives.

  • by Slider451 (514881) <slider451@hotmail.DEGAScom minus painter> on Friday November 11, 2011 @12:54PM (#38025696)

    It's our problem, whether we caused it or not.

    I'm so sick of the argument over whether humans contribute to global warming. Who cares? The finger pointing gets us nowhere. IF global warming is a problem for our future humans are the only ones who might be able to do something about it.

  • Human Scale (Score:5, Informative)

    by inhuman_4 (1294516) on Friday November 11, 2011 @06:06PM (#38029852)

    I think a major part of the problem is that people don't have a sense of scale. When it comes to something the size of the whole planet, I totally understand that people have difficulty wrapping their head around it. Add the complexity of climate on top of that, and you get a a lot of confusion.

    One thing that I think really put things into perspective for me was Tom Murphy's Do The Math [] blog. In his most recent post he lays things out (to explain why bio-fuels are a scam) in terms of power consumption:
    Photosynthesis for all life on the planet: 80TW
    Human power consumption: 13TW
    Food eaten by humans: 0.5TW
    Those numbers are not so different. In terms of power, humans are on the same scale as all plant life on earth. Mankind is a major player in planetary affairs. Given these numbers I would not be surprised at all to find that we have a huge impact on the planet.

  • by laughing rabbit (216615) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:11PM (#38031064)

    Why the word believe in a poll of science for an option that indicates acceptance of current theory? Belief is for religious discussions for it implies faith. I don't have faith in science, I know science, and science is about exploring and explaining, not converting the unwashed.

  • by peterofoz (1038508) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @04:41PM (#38043024) Homepage Journal
    In the 70's they cried Ice Age, in the 90's and early 2000's it was Global Warming, now its Climate change (can't they make up their minds?) Someone could probably trace this political climate crisis cycle back even further. Sure, the climate and atmosphere is changing, always has and always will. Humans contribute to some of the variables, but I think our importance is over emphasized.

    Yet, we are the stewards of this planet and taking reasonable steps toward producing cleaner energy and reducing waste and pollution are good things. But we need to be especially vigilant and resist those who would hijack a good idea to create chaos and crisis so they can demand greater control over our shrinking freedoms.

Staff meeting in the conference room in 3 minutes.


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