Archive for February, 2010

Is Caroline Lucas on course to be elected?

Posted in Bad polling, Climate Sock, Media, Politics on February 21st, 2010 by leo – 1 Comment

Much of the environmental blogosphere is getting het up about a new poll in the Brighton Argus, which claims to show that the Greens’ lead in Brighton Pavilion has been overhauled. According to the poll, Labour now lead, 16 points ahead of Tories, with the Greens in third on 19% – 16 points lower than they were in a December ’09 poll, which had put them in the lead. That’s a massive change for two months, and something that would really need explaining.

As Anthony Wells has argued on UK Polling Report, there are several reasons why we should be pretty wary about taking the new poll too seriously. The question is whether the differences between the two polls reflect a genuine change in attitudes, or are something to do with the methodology.

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The seven climate segments

Posted in Climate Sock, Demographics on February 14th, 2010 by leo – Comments Off on The seven climate segments

Two years ago last month, Defra released their report on the UK population’s attitudes and responses to climate change. It’s a detailed analysis that separates the country into seven different groups, defined by what they think about climate change, and what they’d be likely to do about it.

It’s exactly the kind of tool that climate campaigners need, to understand better how different people feel about climate change and low-carbon behaviours. Yet it doesn’t seem to have made tidal waves beyond government circles.

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Dancing to the wrong tune

Posted in Climate Sock, Climategate, Media on February 7th, 2010 by leo – 3 Comments

Another week, another shonky poll? On Friday the BBC reported their new survey, which they claimed showed a clear drop in the number of people who believe in climate change or that it’s man-made.

After the BBC’s inaccurate coverage of a climate poll last year, I was ready for this to be another bit of mis-reporting ripe for a take-down. Yet in both the poll and the way the BBC described the numbers, there’s little to fault: their data do indeed suggest that belief in man-made climate change has fallen since November. But I’m not convinced that the UEA emails or the glacier controversy were behind these changes, or that the changes in levels of belief are inherently interesting or important.

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