Scientists Not Alarmist Enough, NYT's Gillis Pushes Poll Showing Public Thinks 'Weather Extremes' Mean Climate Change
Since scientists are not alarmist enough for the Times' apocalyptic climate reporter Justin Gillis, he is now relying on surveys done by computer to make the case for dangerous "climate change." "In Poll, Many Link Weather Extremes to Climate Change."
Gillis proudly confessed his global warming activism in an April 2 interview with The Columbia Journalism Review. He wrote on Wednesday:
Scientists may hesitate to link some of the weather extremes of recent years to global warming -- but the public, it seems, is already there.
A poll due for release on Wednesday shows that a large majority of Americans believe that this year’s unusually warm winter, last year’s blistering summer and some other weather disasters were probably made worse by global warming. And by a 2-to-1 margin, the public says the weather has been getting worse, rather than better, in recent years.
The survey, the most detailed to date on the public response to weather extremes, comes atop other polling showing a recent uptick in concern about climate change. Read together, the polls suggest that direct experience of erratic weather may be convincing some people that the problem is no longer just a vague and distant threat.
“Most people in the country are looking at everything that’s happened; it just seems to be one disaster after another after another,” said Anthony A. Leiserowitz of Yale University, one of the researchers who commissioned the new poll. “People are starting to connect the dots.”
The poll opens a new window on public opinion about climate change.
A large majority of climate scientists say the climate is shifting in ways that could cause serious impacts, and they cite the human release of greenhouse gases as a principal cause. But a tiny, vocal minority of researchers contests that view, and has seemed in the last few years to be winning the battle of public opinion despite slim scientific evidence for their position.
For instance, when people were asked whether they attributed specific events to global warming, recent heat waves drew the largest majorities. Scientists say their statistical evidence for an increase of weather extremes is indeed strongest when it comes to heat waves.
Asked whether they agreed or disagreed that global warming had contributed to the unusually warm winter just past, 25 percent of the respondents said they strongly agreed that it had, and 47 percent said they somewhat agreed. Only 17 percent somewhat disagreed, and 11 percent strongly disagreed.
Apparently the public, who the media have implictly chided for not being alarmed over the global warming threat, are now climate experts:
Majorities almost as large cited global warming as a likely factor in last year’s record summer heat wave, as well as the 2011 drought in Texas and Oklahoma. Smaller but still substantial majorities cited it as a factor in the record United States snowfalls of 2010 and 2011 and the Mississippi River floods of 2011. Those views, too, are consistent with scientific evidence, which suggests that global warming is causing heavier precipitation in all seasons.
Gillis embraced a dubious climate source, Bill McKibben:
Advocacy groups seeking policies to limit climate change say that extreme weather is giving them an opening to reach the public.
A group called 350.org is planning a worldwide series of rallies on May 5, under the slogan “Connect the Dots,” to draw attention to the links between climate change and extreme weather. (The group’s name is a reference to an ideal concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.)
“My sense from around the country and the world is that people definitely understand that things are getting freaky,” said William E. McKibben, the founder of 350.org. “During that crazy heat wave in March, everyone in Chicago was out enjoying the weather, but in the back of their mind they were thinking, this is not right.”
This is a habit for McKibben, an author and environmental alarmist who wrote a book advocating couples limit themselves to just one child to combat overpopulation. Science blogger David Appell in a March 22 post:
Bill McKFibben went on Democracy Now today to talk about the President's attempt to make everyone happy on the Keystone Pipeline (or, at least, make everyone equally unhappy), and mentioned the warm weather in the US, calling it the "weirdest weather ever seen in this country."...weirdest weather ever? Weirder than the Dust Bowl years? Than any of various "storms of the century"....McKibben does this a lot, like with last year's Hurricane Irene, which he attributed to warm water off the east coast. Yet the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season had a near normal number of major hurricanes, with an above average number of tropical storms with a near normal number of major hurricanes.