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Do you want to share your views on climate change and reading blogs?

Filed under: — rasmus @ 21 October 2019

A survey is conducted by researchers of Cambridge University and Wageningen University. They have asked us to post information about it. Please share your views on climate change and reading blogs by filling out this survey. The data will be used to get a better understanding of climate change blog audiences’ views on climate change and their blog reading behavior.

What’s in it for you?

  • You have a chance on winning a $20 gift card of Amazon;
  • You will get a sneak preview of the preliminary results;
  • You will contribute to research on climate change blogs.

Participation is anonymous, and your answers will be handled confidentially. The data is only used for research purposes.

The Cambridge University and Wageningen University team highly value your input. Please fill out the survey by following this link.

38 Responses to “Do you want to share your views on climate change and reading blogs?”

  1. 1
    Gordon Shephard says:

    Well, I was going to…but the third (I think) question stopped me. “How serious a threat to you think climate change is to the natural environment.” Or something like that. Do they really think that climate change is not part of the natural environment?

  2. 2
    Don Neidig says:

    I quit after the third page of questions, some of which were ambiguous or requiring the responder to make
    assumptions about what the pollsters were asking. E.g., does nuclear power contribute to global warming? The answer could be either yes or no. Same for acid rain as a contributor.

  3. 3
    Russell says:

    Some of the questions are as tendentious as The Guardian’s new climate emergency style manual.

  4. 4
    James Cross says:

    Too long. Too long.

    Not many people are going to go through that many questions. It should have 20-30 max. Two or three screens.

  5. 5
    A. Massari says:

    That i snot what the question is asking. everything is pasrt of teh natural environment, but that does not mean they are not a threat to it. What a bizarre reason to not participate… a little childish perhaps?

    Surveys are intended as data collection exercises, not to make some peevish point, by participating we can help refine the emergent picture. If people take issue with semantics, they are simply missing the point.

  6. 6
    A. Massari says:

    Of course they are, they are trying to elicit a reposnse from a range of respondents, they must be clear, concise and leave no room for doubt or ambiguity in their wording. the wuestions examine a spectrum of opinion, unless they are phrased so as to ‘trigger’ responses all the way to the extremes, they would only ever elicit ‘middling’ scores… what use is that?

    If we try to evaluate the strength of feeling, will we succeed by putting questions in bland, conciliatory terms, or do we seek to trigger the full range of responses?

  7. 7
    A. Massari says:

    Awww for Pete’s sake! That is the whole point! If asking “do you like blue or red” people have a bninary choice, when asking “How much do you like blue vs. how much you like red” we HAVE to also ask a question that reveals whether the respondent is colour blind!

    By asking “do you think nuclear power/acid rain are contributing factors” the desiner is establishing just how clueless, or anti-science, or anti-technology the respondent might be. And even how mischievous.

    For example, if in a survey about LGBT rights we ask “do you think that ginger-haired people should be treated as likely to be gay” and we find a respondent says “yes”, this may tell that a) s/he is a bigot, who takes the term “ginger’ in its old latent meaning (UK) and is therefore likely to be prejusdiced; or b) they are taking the mickey (making fun of…) out of the questionnaire. Either way, we can then weight the responses accordingly.

    Perhaps reading-up on the subtlties of formulating questionnaires might help?

  8. 8
    David says:

    Surprised so much hostility, jeez. It is a survey, clearly written by someone who is not an expert in the field, sure, but the purpose is to tap into the views of the general population. They are obviously not asking for a full life cycle analysis on the full climatic impact of a nuclear power plant for example. They are trying to separate those who think an operating nuclear power plant is directly contributing to climate change with its emissions (and yes there are many who think this), from those who don’t, and measure how these views correlate with others in the survey.

    If the choices were “flat” or “round”, yes some overly critical dork may huff and close the survey on the grounds of “bah! I can’t answer because it’s an oblate spheroid”! And the only effect that attitude would serve is to inaccurately skew the results in favor of Flat Earthers.

  9. 9
    T Sheridan says:

    I completed the questionnaire, But it is not well constructed (e.g. e.g one question asked for a response of “One”, “Two” or “more than three” – i.e. no option for three)

  10. 10
    jef says:

    The need to have an apolitical option on the left/right Q.

  11. 11
    John M Sully says:

    I took it. It was long. Way too many likert scale questions.

  12. 12
    EthylEster says:

    I think many of the questions are ambiguous. I stopped at “…how much each of the following items contributes to natural influences on climate change”.

    Is the question asking about our current climate change scenario or about climate change in general? The variation in the sun’s output has certainly contributed to past changes in climate but is not contributing significantly to the climate change we are currently experiencing. So how should I answer?

    So this is just another crappy survey that wastes the time of the people who prepared it AND the people who participate in it. Too bad.

    But for me it begs the question: can surveys more nuanced than “choose between A and B” really tell us anything? Crafting a “good” survey appears to be beyond most humans. We are complicated beings.

  13. 13
    John Monro says:

    I thought the survey was fine, it was more detailed than I expected. The questions seemed designed to test a knowledge of science (actually quite detailed) and your attitude to science and your overall political attitude. There was one somewhat ambiguous question, I think it related to one’s thoughts as to the natural causes of climate change, it should have made it clear it was asking about now, i.e. AGW, because obviously the sun, volcanos etc are a major cause of climate change in geological history. And yes, there would be ambiguity in regard to nuclear power but in a very minor way.

    Scattered in the questionnaire was some pretty silly questions, such as does cigarette smoking cause global warming. People saying yes to this are most likely going to be pretty clueless about the rest of the science, though of course its sometimes easy in a computer survey like this to press the wrong button.

    The survey wasn’t too long, after all if you don’t believe in AGW I think it stopped at question 6 so that was a convenient let out for many.

    Perhaps the thing that struck me about my answers were the questions related to how we, or our friends or family, are actually treating the matter and what we might expect or support in the way of action from others. Because for me, whilst I have serious concerns, I have to admit I still drive an ICE car, I have moved to the countryside in NZ, so my need for a car is much greater and public transport almost non-existent, so that’s been a real negative, and my wife is going overseas for a holiday, and I have most of my family living in the UK. I realise too that my friends and neighbours most of them share similar concerns, but we mostly fail to live up to them. and our expectations of what we should be doing are equally ambivalent. I do belong to the NZ Green Party, so my votes and support are my main contribution. Merely filling in this questionnaire has given me some serious food for thought.

    The other thing is that this survey being linked to by Real Climate, there’d be few reading or contributing here who would deny AGW science, or who haven’t over the years become ever more concerned about what we’re doing to the planet. I wonder if wattsupwiththat will be asked to do the same and promote the survey, contributors to that site certainly won’t find it too long. So a more general question would be to whom is this survey being addressed and how, Is there some random element, or is the survey being deliberately targeted at certain groups? etc. etc. It would be good for Real Climate to enquire on our behalf as to the science behind the survey, as it were.

  14. 14
    Nemesis says:

    ” What’s in it for you?

    You have a chance on winning a $20 gift card of Amazon…”

    I don’t need any funny “gifts” from Amazon and shit, but I can tell you my view about the complete funny system:


    That serves any further research purposes perfectly.

  15. 15
    Annofecen says:

    chicago manual of style essay format the truman show essay

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    Some questions are ambiguous.
    Q11. Please indicate, to the best extent of your knowledge, how much each of the following items contributes to natural influences on climate change.

    Does this refer to the past decades, centuries, millions of years?
    E.g. the sun was much colder a few billion years ago.

  17. 17
    SteveP says:

    Overall I would rate the survey as an 8 or 9 out of ten. In most cases, the survey gave me an opportunity to disambiguate my answers. The expression “people close to you” is wide open to different interpretations, but later questions were more detailed about defining who such people might be. Many questions seemed silly, put there, I might suppose, to see who was paying attention or to determine the basic knowledge of the person being surveyed.

    Social surveys have improved over the years ( fewer of the “yes or no, have you stopped committing crimes yet?” sort).It is disappointing though that a number of the responders seem to have gotten frustrated and may have dropped out of the survey. What went wrong there? Would a suitable explanation at the beginning of the survey have prevented that? For example,”This survey will be taken by people of widely differing levels of education and experience. Each question was carefully designed to be used to gather information about a particular subject. Please take the survey to the end even if you find the questions or answer choices to be puzzling or difficult.” I like that the survey had a lot of questions that allowed the person being surveyed to simply say “I don’t really know”. There was at least one question where my answer would have been somewhere between the two allowed answers, but the choice were generally understandable and acceptable.

    Surveys with questions that are universally understood the same way by all readers all the time are simply not really possible IMO. Still, this survey seemed fairly well thought out to me, and it was, IMO, capable of gathering useful information.

  18. 18

    A chance to win a $20 gift card from Amazon, High Priest of the Consumer Society?
    Is that supposed to make me want to NOT do the survey?

    If you are going to bribe me do it properly.
    I have my price to ditch my principles.

  19. 19
    Michael Kelly FRS FREng says:

    Unscientific questions with some potential answers not covered by the options.
    No ‘None of the above’ options.
    Some things are actually wrong: e.g. WUWT does not deny climate change – it is critical of the uncritical statements from second rate scientists, too many of whom populate this area. You would not get away with in in geophysics, which seems to have a tighter discipline,!
    Let’s see what is made of the survey and how it misrepresents my views!

  20. 20
    nigelj says:

    Michael Kelly @19

    “Some things are actually wrong: e.g. WUWT does not deny climate change – it is critical of the uncritical statements from second rate scientists, too many of whom populate this area.”

    Is that your anecdotal and slanderous opinion about second rate scientists, or do you actually have any hard evidence. Do please share.

  21. 21
    nigelj says:

    Good survey overall, but it I think it had one bad question (as mentioned @12 above). “how much does each of the following items contributes to natural influences on climate change”.It didn’t define the time period. This is possibly a simple mistake but a bad one that will generate useless information.

    It’s also hard to judge the survey without knowing exactly what its being used for.

  22. 22
    Russell says:

    They’d do better offering a decent recording thermometer- it’s time Stewart Brand added one that runs on sunlight for ten thousand years to the Clock of the Long Now.

  23. 23

    MK 19: WUWT does not deny climate change – it is critical of the uncritical statements from second rate scientists

    BPL: Well, WUWT certainly doesn’t have any FIRST rate scientists.

  24. 24
    Karsten Vedel Johansen says:

    I wonder who really needs the results from surveys like this. As a lifelong leftwing political activist I have a lot of historical and personal experience to suspect political surveillance instances like the CIA, KGB etc. Nowadays also Cambrigde Analytica, Facebook etc. etc. whoever are behind them. By entering one’s email adress (which by the way does not work, provoking one to email the survey’s anonymous adress), one is no longer anonymous…

    But as Frank Zappa once said, the “democracy” in our times is so, that you’ll be registered almost everywhere anyway, so all you can do is say “take me, I’m yours”.

    Which also explains why all our efforts to do anything to stop or mitigate human caused (economically caused) dangerous global heating are probably rather futile anyway. We already live in a dominantly very sophisticated and at the same time chaotic totalitarian and imperial global (anti)social system/systemical collapse/systemical conflict. Regardless: all we can do is go on working and as a good captains helpers go down with the ship called mankind.

  25. 25
    Ian C says:

    Did it while on hold to British Gas. I’m sure there is a metaphor in there somewhere…

    A couple of questions could have been a bit clearer as to whether they meant anthropogenic climate change of natural/ cyclical change, but I think assuming the former would be the right move, given the subject of the questionnaire.

    But I am also willing to concede that the ambiguity may have been deliberate.

  26. 26
    Kevin Pilgrim says:

    The survey would not accept my valid email address.

    You should offer something other than an Amazon gift card. Amazon is destroying the planet and Bezos is building a space ship so he can leave the planet.

  27. 27
    Simon C says:

    The question that puzzled me was the one about the influence of other planets. Do the questionaire designers realise that the gravitational influence of the more massive planets (Jupiter and Saturn) has affected orbital eccentricity and therefore climate on longer term 100 – 400 kyr timescales?

  28. 28
    Paul Donahue says:

    Regarding the political scale, the conflation of “liberal” with “left” is mostly peculiar to the USA and is likely to confuse people responding to the poll in other countries. Liberalism in its formal definition means, among other things a support of unregulated capitalism, which is definitely not a leftist perspective. This is even more confusing with the word “libertarian”, outside the USA, “libertarianism” refers to socialist labor-oriented anarchism, not the economic philosophy of Milton Friedman or Hayek.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    Paul Donahue says:

    The firm they contracted to compile (and design?) this survey, Qualtrics, is kind of a spooky organization. Go here:

  31. 31
    barry says:

    Typically, some of the questions were ill posed. Do I view climate change favourably/unfavourably/neutrally? I took climate change to mean any old climate change (answer – ‘neutral’), and surely some people will take it to mean human-caused (where my answer would have been ‘unfavourably’).

    I’m already skeptical of the results.

  32. 32
    barry says:

    Ian C @ 25

    “But I am also willing to concede that the ambiguity may have been deliberate.”

    To what end? Do you imagine that the analysis will cross-verify responses from each participant to figure out if they answered literally or in-context?

  33. 33
    Al Bundy says:

    David: . It is a survey, clearly written by someone who is not an expert in the field, sure, but…

    AB: is foolish to not utilize the resources at hand. The initial release shouldn’t have been “going live” but “how do we adjust this so it’s ready to go live?” The tone of folks’ answers would change, the depth would deepen, and craniums would heat up via the effort required to improve the system.

  34. 34
    Russell says:

    It’s still an improvement on the Wagnerian University survey on Sturm und Drang change.

  35. 35
    Nemesis says:

    @Paul Donahue

    ” The firm they contracted to compile (and design?) this survey, Qualtrics, is kind of a spooky organization…”

    Let’s see:

    ” 13.11.2018 – Why Did SAP Pay $8 Billion To Acquire Qualtrics?

    As Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP put it:

    ” SAP already touches 77 percent of the world’s transactions. When you combine our operational data with Qualtrics’ experience data, we will accelerate the XM category with an end-to-end solution with immediate global scale. For Qualtrics, this introduces a dynamic new partner with the belief, passion and scale to bring experience management to millions of customers around the world.”

    And as Ryan Smith, CEO of Qualtrics put it:

    ” Our mission is to help organizations deliver the experiences that turn their customers into fanatics, employees into ambassadors, products into obsessions and brands into religions. Supported by a global team of over 95,000, SAP will help us scale faster and achieve our mission on a broader stage. This will put the XM Platform everywhere overnight,” Smith said, adding that the deal represents a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to power the experience economy…” “…

    Sounds almost completely harmless to me as some outspouken lover of capitalism, data collection, economy (have you ever heard about “neuro economy”? That’s real Hot, look it up) and shit, it looks just like some nice little company “turning customers into fanatics, employees into embassadors, products into obsessions and brands into religions”, it’s not a kraken or something, it’s not spooky in any sense I could imagine, it’s just Business As Usual… Imagine, you can even get some shiny gift card from Amazon worth 20$, that’s something… plus you can help to save the world, man.

    After all, all fine, all normal, just ordinary life on an ordinary planet in an ordinary system, no way spooky.


  36. 36
    Nemesis says:

    ” Turning customers into fanatics, employees into embassadors, products into obsessions and brands into religions”.

    It’s all in that single sentence. It just couldn’t have been said any better:

    Capitalism is a RELIGION.

    Thank you very much for perfectly summing it all up, dear Mr. Ryan Smith, CEO of Qualtrics/SAP.


  37. 37
  38. 38
    Nemesis says:

    @Chris Boyd, #37

    Quote from that article you linked:

    “… above all enjoy your life and stop worrying about human caused catastrophic climate change.

    We may just be scaring ourselves to death due to a lot of BS, a misunderstanding, an insidious conspiracy, political ideology, greed and egos, by humanity’s predisposition to a cataclysmic mindset, or all of the above.”

    You know, I don’t worry about human caused catastrophic climate change as I got almost nothing to lose :))

    But I learned a mountain of things from human caused catastrophic climate change and such. I learned about the destructive, egoistic nature of the system and therefore I made some tough decisions very early in my life I never regret for a second. I learned to let go of the capitalist myths completely and I found real meaning, health, beauty, wisdom, freedom and millions of other most important things money just can’t buy, hehe :)

    Best wishes,