Wednesday, November 04, 2020

New York Times Overstates Importance of Climate Change to Voters

The New York Times published a story yesterday titled, “What Voters in Battleground States Think About Climate Change,” which misleads readers into believing climate change is high-priority issue, especially in battleground states. In reality, including the Times’ poll, shows climate change continues to rank among voters’ lowest concerns – especially among independents and Republicans.

The Times poll, like other public opinion surveys, show a majority of people have some concern about climate change. However, when asked, those surveyed also consistently rank climate change near the bottom in importance, when compared to other public policy problems. And, when asked, those polled say they are unwilling to spend very much money to fight climate change. The Times failed to ask the latter two questions, almost certainly in to bolster its claim that climate change will play an important role in the election.

“Climate change has emerged as a major issue for voters this year, both nationally and in crucial battleground states like Arizona and Florida, new polls from The New York Times and Siena College suggest,” the Times article asserts. The Times made this broad statement based on a single question asked in survey of 987 “likely voters,” taken to represent the view of more than more than 328 million Americans. According to the Times, “Nationwide, 58 percent of Americans said they were either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about their communities being harmed by climate change …”

Well, “somewhat concerned” is not very concerned, especially when voters were given an option to say they are “very concerned.” In fact, the Times poll showed only 37% of people are “very concerned,” which is surprisingly low, given that more than 37% of the population identifies as Democrats, and Democratic party leaders have been campaigning on an alleged climate “crisis.”

Also, the number of likely voters surveyed who were “very” or “somewhat” concerned about climate change is more than 10 percent lower than found in previous polls conducted taken by Gallup, the Pew Research Center, and the Washington Post. Apparently, the public is becoming less concerned about climate change.

Also of note, according to the Times survey, more people support fracking (44%), than are very concerned about climate change (37%).

Ask the public about almost any public policy issue frequently in the headlines and respondents will say it is important: clean air, crime, economic growth, education, immigration, jobs, retirement, taxes, terrorism, and more. However, what we really need to know is how important each issue is relative to other matters of concern. The Times survey did not ask respondents where climate change ranks compared to other public policy concerns.

In poll after poll, climate change consistently ranks at or near the bottom on the public’s list of concerns. For example, a United Nations poll surveying more than 7 million respondents from 195 countries asked participants to rank 16 priorities. A quality education ranked first and “Action Taken on Climate Change” ranked dead last, receiving 300,000 fewer votes than “Access to Telephone and Internet,” which finished 15th on the list.

In a recent survey of registered voters conducted by the Pew Research Center, 42 percent of American respondents said climate change would be a “very important” consideration when they decide who to vote for and another 26 percent said it would be “somewhat important.” Diving deeper into the Pew poll, however, climate change ranked second-to-last or tied for last in importance among the 12 policy issues the 9,114 voters surveyed were asked about.

When asked the question, “How important, if at all, are each of the following issues in making your decision about who to vote for in the 2020 presidential election?” the registered voters in the Pew survey ranked the “Economy” as their most important concern, with “Health Care” and “Supreme Court Appointments” coming in a close second and third, respectively, in level of importance.

The “Corona Virus Outbreak,” “Economic Inequality,” “Foreign Policy,” “Gun Policy,” “Immigration,” “Racial and Ethnic Inequality,” and “Violent Crime” all ranked above climate change in the categories of very or somewhat important.

In the Washington Post poll, survey participants were asked, “How important are the following issues to you personally?” The surveyed issues included climate change, the economy, gun policy, health care, immigration, and renewable energy. Climate change came in second to last among adults and third to last among teens in the number of people rating it as either “extremely” or “very” important.

The Post poll is important when determining how concerned voters are about climate change because it asked, in a variety of ways, the all-important question, “how much are those surveyed willing to spend to fight climate change?”

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed in the Post/Kaiser poll said they would be “somewhat” or “strongly” opposed to paying a $2 monthly tax on U.S. residential electric bills to pay for the fight against climate change. Similarly, 61% would reject a 10-cents-per-gallon increase in the gasoline tax to fight climate change. The number of respondents opposed to electric-bill fees and gas-tax hikes rose sharply when the proposed fees were increased: 71% oppose a $10 monthly tax on U.S. residential electric bills, and 74% oppose increasing the gas tax by 25 cents per gallon.

Among the Post survey, 57% of Americans would also oppose adding to the national debt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the best available polling data, the New York Times’ assertion that climate change is a “major issue,” for voters this year is false. Surveys consistently show that climate change ranks far down the list of the public’s concerns when they cast their votes during elections. Surveys also show the public is unwilling to spend very much to prevent climate change.

Sorry Guardian, Climate Change Isn’t Causing a Jamaican Beach Decline

An article in the Guardian titled, “A beloved Jamaican beach is succumbing to climate change. It won’t be the last,” blames supposed human-caused climate change for the loss of popular beaches in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean Sea. Data show climate change isn’t to blame.

“Climate change is eroding beaches all over the Caribbean,” writes the Guardian. “Intensified storm activity and increased water temperatures are helping destroy offshore coral reefs that otherwise buffer the shoreline from pounding waves.”

Yet data show that neither the number nor intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes in the North Atlantic basin have increased in recent years when compared to historical averages.

Research published in the peer-reviewed, Journal of Climate shows there has been no unusual increase in tropical cyclones and hurricanes either globally or in the North Atlantic Hurricane Basin, within which the Caribbean Sea lies, over the last 50 years. Globally the researchers found, “[t]he collective global frequency of all global hurricane landfalls and the minor and major subsets shows considerable inter-annual variability but no significant linear trend. Furthermore, when considering each basin individually during the entire time periods analyzed, it is not possible to ascertain a positive or negative trend in minor, major, or overall hurricane landfall frequency in all basins except the [Southern Hemisphere].

Although the North Atlantic Basin had experienced an active period from 1995 through 2010, the researchers reported it was due to natural factors. In particular, they found the cause to be a shift to the “positive phase of the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation.” According to the paper, “consideration of the longer period of 1944–2010 exhibits no secular trend in hurricane landfalls (and even longer periods show no increasing trend….)”

As detailed in Climate at a Glance: Hurricanes, hurricane impacts in recent years have been at an all-time low.

For example, the United States recently went more than a decade (2005 through 2017) without a major hurricane measuring Category 3 or higher. That was the longest such period in recorded history. The United States also recently experienced the fewest number of hurricane strikes in any eight-year period (2009 through 2017) in recorded history.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has also found no evidence that climate change is causing hurricanes to increase in number or intensity in recent years, writing in its interim report there is “only low confidence for the attribution of any detectable changes in tropical cyclone activity to anthropogenic influences.”

Concerning the die off of coral reefs in Jamaica and their contribution to the decline in the island nation’s beeches, research indicates human activities unrelated to climate change are likely to blame.

Research published in Science Advances examined a range of possible causes, including climate change, fishing, and pollution, for the decline of two major coral reef populations in the Caribbean; elkhorn and staghorn corals. They found the coral die off began in the 1950s, before there was a large scale increase in carbon dioxide emissions or “decades before climate change impacts,” as the authors write. They conclude local human impacts like fishing, land clearing and associated sediment run-off, pesticides, and pollution have caused the corals to decline. Other research has linked Oxybenzone, a chemical found in many popular sun screen products, with coral bleaching.

Climate change never made sense as a cause of coral decline. As detailed in Climate at a Glance: Coral Reefs, corals thrive in warm water, not cold water. Indeed, research shows recent warming has allowed coral to expand their range poleward, while still continuing to thrive near the equator. Coral has existed continuously for the past 40 million years, surviving temperatures and carbon dioxide levels significantly higher than what is occurring today.

As even the Guardian acknowledged, Jamaica’s poverty has left it unable to take the kind of actions other nations have implemented to replenish their beaches and build infrastructure to reduce the impacts of naturally rising seas and hurricanes.

Many factors are undoubtedly causing the decline and erosion of some beaches in Jamaica and across the Caribbean region. Contrary to the Guardian’s claims, however, there is little if any evidence showing global warming is exacerbating the problem.

Daily Kos Defends Big Tech, Is Confused About Crop Yields vs Crop Production

The leftist website Daily Kos is feeling threatened by the Climate Realism website. Yesterday, Daily Kos published an article titled, “Heartland Is Apparently Confused About How Google Works. Oh, And It Is Stupid About Climate.” The Daily Kos’s primary substantive argument is that climate change is decimating crops, while several Climate Realism articles documenting good crop news merely reflect an increase in the amount of land devoted to planting crops in rich, industrial nations. Daily Kos, however, fails to understand that farmers throughout the world – rich nations and poor – are enjoying fantastic growth in yields per acre as well as overall production.

As pointed out in Climate Realism articles, crop yields per acre are increasing all over the world. That is distinct from any asserted increase in the amount of land dedicated to crops. The increase in yields per acre is also documented in virtually all nations, and not just rich nations with the latest technology and equipment.

In short, Daily Kos simply didn’t do any factual research before making its speculative and false claims about a crop crisis. Crop yields per acre, as well as overall crop production, are dramatically increasing throughout the world, rich and poor nation alike.

On a side note, Daily Kos seems bothered that Climate Realism points out how Google News frequently elevates obscure, alarmist articles to the top of its search results. Daily Kos’s objections likely reflect the huge amounts of money Big Tech hands out to the political left. We apologize for calling attention to the left’s rich, Big Tech corporate benefactors.

Daily Kos asserts Google is not “responsible for the news stories” it lists at the top of its search results. Actually, Google is responsible for the items it chooses to promote at the top of its search results versus the articles it chooses to bury in its search results. So, when Google promotes at the top of its search results for “climate change” alarmist and false claims made on the otherwise obscure InkStick Media website, while at the same time burying truthful climate realism articles from more prominent sources, it is entirely proper to point that out.

We are sorry, Daily Kos, for telling the truth about climate realism and the methods employed by Big Tech leftist benefactors. But we aren’t going to stop telling the truth.

Global Warming? 20 Million Americans Hit With Snow, Freezing Rain

More than 20 million Americans are under some sort of winter weather watch, warning, or advisory from the Southwest through the Midwest this week.

The Weather Channel has dubbed the storm “Winter Storm Billy” and said the storm will bring snow throughout parts of the Southern Rockies, the Central Plains, and Missouri.

From Arizona to Wisconsin, residents could see snowfall Monday, while those further south, like in Texas and Oklahoma, will see freezing rain and sleet, according to CNN.

Ice in Texas and Oklahoma is expected to accumulate roughly half an inch, which could cause dangerous travel conditions and knock power out, per the same article. Oklahoma City is under an Ice Storm Warning.

Temperatures in North Texas are roughly 25 degrees Fahrenheit below average. Texans living in the Texas Panhandle area could see one to two inches of snow during the area’s first Winter Storm Warning of the season, according to CBS Dallas-Ft. Worth.

While temperatures in Arizona won’t be as cold as some other states, some areas in the state could see a low of 46 degrees on Tuesday — the first temperature in the 40s since March, according to AZ Central.

Some areas of Colorado and New Mexico are expected to see two feet of snow, which comes as a bit of relief as wildfires continue to rage in Colorado’s Boulder and Larimer Counties, according to The Denver Channel. In Aguilar, Colorado, there were already 14 inches recorded from snowfall Sunday into Monday, per the same report.




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