Times Asks "...Has the Weather Been Stranger Than Usual?"
Back in March, the Times used its own polling in a front-page push for national health care. Friday's Times pushed "global warming" as fact in its latest poll, conducted with CBS News, summarized in Friday's edition by John Broder and Marjorie Connelly, "Public Says Warming Is a Problem, but Remains Split on Response."
The questions in the CBS/NYT poll taken April 20-24 assumed global warming was an absolute certainty definitely being caused by humans.
Some of the pertinent questions (#53-#56):
"Is reducing global warming something the federal government can do a lot about, can do something about, or cannot do much about?"
"Is reducing global warming something people like you can do a lot about, can do something about, or cannot do much about?"
"In order to cut down on energy consumption and reduce global warming, do you favor or oppose requiring car manufacturers to produce cars that are more energy efficient?"
"In order to cut down on energy consumption and reduce global warming, would you favor or oppose an increased federal tax on gasoline?
And take this doozy of a leading question (#33), which practically begged respondents to think, "Now that you mention it..."
"In the past few years, would you say the weather generally has followed its normal patterns, or has the weather been stranger than usual?"
People answered by a 3-1 ratio that yes, the weather had been stranger than usual.
But the Times' poll archive shows the paper asked the same question in November 1997, and got almost as much of a spread, with people saying the weather's been "stranger than usual" by a ratio of over 2-1.
In other words, the weather has been "stranger than usual" for the last 10 years, which must by now qualify it as "normal."
The latest poll had a typically huge spread between Republican and Democratic respondents (a trend that seems to be baked in to the polling process in general), with 34% identifying themselves as Democrats compared to 24% Republicans (and 36% independent).