EDF Energy’s nifty press work

Just had a chance to look through the data for the new YouGov poll for EDF Energy, which the Guardian wrote up yesterday.

First thoughts on reading the Guardian coverage was that it looked like a quick copy-and-paste job from a press release.

There’s some pretty selective quoting of statistics to make the case for nuclear energy:

– The baseline year for comparison jumps between 2006, 2007 and 2009 – depending on when the strongest comparison can be made;

– There’s a bizarre reference to a fall from 82% to 80% – well within the margin of error;

– Nothing is quoted that challenges EDF’s pro-nuclear narrative (e.g. that net favourability for windfarms is +61, compared with only +16 for nuclear);

– There’s the use of the obligatory press release ‘quote’ from the EDF Energy Chief Exec.  Does anyone believe that he actually said that?

And of course it gives the Guardian another chance to re-run its favourite climate story of the year – that fewer people believe in climate change these days.

But all that said, it’s a fairly interesting poll.  It confirms what we saw in Mori’s issues index, that the economy is dwarfing all other issues (not just energy) in terms of importance.

It also reinforces what we’ve often seen recently about perceptions of climate change – that while  fewer people seem currently to think it’s a really urgent issue (for whatever reason), very few think that it’s a fabrication.  Most just don’t seem to be that interested in being passionate about it either way.

And finally, despite any attempts to make the numbers sound more interesting, it also shows that very little has changed in people’s attitudes towards energy sources since 2008.


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