Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation

 

 

CITIZENS FOR A SOUND ECONOMY FOUNDATION

 

Survey of State & Regional Climatologists

 

September-October 1997

 

Annotated Questionnaire

N=36

 

Hello, my name is ____________________, and I'm with American Viewpoint, an independent market research firm located in Alexandria, VA. Several days ago we sent you a letter regarding this survey asking for your participation. If now is a convenient time, we would like to ask you a few questions.

(IF RESPONDENT SAY HE/SHE DOESN'T HAVE TIME, SAY: Because you are among a select group, your confidential opinions are very important to this study. When is a good time to call you back? This should only take about 15 minutes.)

 

1. How closely have you followed the debate in Washington on human-induced global warming and climate change?

22% Very Closely

53% Somewhat Closely

19% Not Too Closely

6% Not At All

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

2. Are you aware of the International Conference to be held in Japan in December, at which a treaty on global warming mandating a reduction in anthropogenic or man-made greenhouse gas emissions will be signed?

94% Yes

6% No

0% Refused

 

3. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement "The overwhelming balance of evidence and scientific opinion is that it is no longer a theory but now a fact, that global warming is for real. There is ample evidence that human activities are already disrupting the global climate..." Would you agree or disagree with this statement?

3% Strongly Agree

33% Somewhat Agree

28% Somewhat Disagree

31% Strongly Disagree

6% Don't Know (Skip to Q4)

0% Refused (Skip to Q4)

36% TOTAL AGREE

58% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

3A. Why do you agree/disagree?

(please refer to verbatim comments included in data book)

 

4. Do you think historical data indicates that fluctuations in global temperatures are attributable to human influences such as burning fossil fuels?

25% Yes

61% No (Skip to Q5)

14% Don't Know (Skip to Q5)

0% Refused (Skip to Q5)

 

4A. How significant do you think human influences have been on fluctuations in global temperatures?

11% Very Significant

44% Somewhat Significant

44% Not Too Significant

0% Not At All Significant

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

 

I would now like you to tell me if you agree or disagree with the following two statements:

5. Current science is unable to isolate and measure variations in global temperatures caused ONLY by man-made factors. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

50% Strongly Agree

39% Somewhat Agree

8% Somewhat Disagree

0% Strongly Disagree

3% Don't Know

0% Refused

89% TOTAL AGREE

8% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

6. Would you agree or disagree with the following statement. The earth experienced large global temperature fluctuations with both warming and cooling periods prior to the beginning of the industrial age.

89% Strongly Agree

8% Somewhat Agree

3% Somewhat Disagree

0% Strongly Disagree

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

97% TOTAL AGREE

3% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

7. Would you agree or disagree that...Scientific evidence indicates variations in global temperatures are likely to be naturally occurring and cyclical over very long periods of time.

72% Strongly Agree

19% Somewhat Agree

3% Somewhat Disagree (Skip to Q8)

0% Strongly Disagree (Skip to Q8)

6% Don't Know (Skip to Q8)

0% Refused (Skip to Q8)

92% TOTAL AGREE

3% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

7A. At what point in the cycle are we now heading, toward a cooling period or toward a warming period?

15% Cooling Period

27% Warming Period

55% Don't Know

3% Refused

 

8. If no change were to occur in the amount of Greenhouse Gas emissions caused by humans, do you think over the next five hundred years the global temperature will be warmer or cooler than it is today or about the same?

17% Warmer

8% Cooler

22% The Same

17% Depends

33% Don't Know

3% Refused

 

9. In your opinion, what SINGLE FACTOR has the greatest influence on global temperatures?

(please refer to verbatim comments included in data book)

 

 

Now, I would like to read to you a series of reasons that some people have said cause temperature fluctuations. For each, please tell me whether you think that particular reason is very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely or not at all likely to be a cause of temperature fluctuations. The first one is...

ROTATE Q10 & 11 WITH Q12 & 13

ROTATE Q10 & 11

10. Variations in solar energy output are a likely cause of LONG-TERM temperature fluctuations.

39% Very Likely

47% Somewhat Likely

14% Not Too Likely

0% Not At All Likely

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

11. Variations in solar energy output are a likely cause of SHORT-TERM temperature fluctuations.

22% Very Likely

39% Somewhat Likely

36% Not Too Likely

3% Not At All Likely

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

ROTATE Q12 & 13

12. Variations in the earth's orbit are a likely cause of LONG-TERM temperature fluctuations.

47% Very Likely

44% Somewhat Likely

6% Not Too Likely

0% Not At All Likely

3% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

13. Variations in the earth's orbit are a likely cause of SHORT-TERM temperature fluctuations.

3% Very Likely

19% Somewhat Likely

50% Not Too Likely

28% Not At All Likely

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

14. On a scale of one to ten, with one being not at all accurate and ten being extremely accurate, please tell me how accurate you believe computer modeling to be in terms of forecasting climatic conditions 50 to 100 years into the future.

3% One

14% Two

33% Three

17% Four

14% Five

6% Six

11% Seven

0% Eight

0% Nine

0% Ten

3% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

 

Now, I would like to read to you a series of statements and have you tell me whether you agree or disagree with the statement. The first one is...

ROTATE

15. Reducing anthropogenic or man-made carbon dioxide emissions among developed nations such as the United States to 1990 levels will prevent global temperatures from rising.

0% Strongly Agree

11% Somewhat Agree

61% Somewhat Disagree

25% Strongly Disagree

3% Don't Know

0% Refused

11% TOTAL AGREE

86% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

16. Reducing anthropogenic or man-made carbon dioxide emissions among developed nations such as the United States 15% below 1990 levels will prevent global temperatures from rising.

0% Strongly Agree

28% Somewhat Agree

42% Somewhat Disagree

19% Strongly Disagree

11% Don't Know

0% Refused

28% TOTAL AGREE

61% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

17. Satellite temperature readings are more accurate in measuring global temperatures than temperature readings taken from surface stations.

17% Strongly Agree

33% Somewhat Agree

28% Somewhat Disagree

17% Strongly Disagree

6% Don't Know

0% Refused

50% TOTAL AGREE

44% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

18. Which is more meaningful in helping to assess trends and as a predictor of future trends of global temperature changes. READ AND ROTATE 1 AND 2

44% Surface or Ground Based Readings, OR

42% High Altitude Readings

0% Neither

11% Both

3% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

19. Thinking about global temperatures since 1980, do you believe we have experienced a global temperature warming trend, global temperature cooling trend or we have not experienced any global temperature trend at all?

61% Warming Trend

0% Cooling Trend

31% No Trend At All

8% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

20. I would now like to read to you two points of view and have you tell me which one comes closest to your own.

ROTATE

Some people say that recent global warming is a largely natural phenomenon, that man has little or no influence at all.

Other people say that recent global warming is a largely man-made phenomenon, that nature has little or no influence at all.

Which point of view comes closest to your own?

39% Strongly Natural Phenomenon

6% Not Strongly Natural Phenomenon

11 Not Strongly Man-Made Phenomenon

6% Strongly Man-Made Phenomenon

19% Neither

14% Both Equally

6% Don't Know

0% Refused

44% TOTAL NATURAL PHENOMENON

17% TOTAL MAN-MADE PHENOMENON

 

21. Why do you believe that?

(please refer to verbatim comments included in data book)

 

22. Would you agree or disagree that evidence exists to suggest that the earth is headed for another glacial period?

8% Strongly Agree

31% Somewhat Agree

17% Somewhat Disagree

17% Strongly Disagree

28% Don't Know

0% Refused

39% TOTAL AGREE

33% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

23. Thinking about just carbon dioxide emissions that occur in nature, would you say these emissions are increasing, declining or staying about the same?

39% Increasing

6% Declining

42% Staying About The Same

14% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

24. Have weather events in the past 25 years been more severe or frequent than other periods in your state's history?

19% Yes

72% No (Skip to Q25)

8% Don't Know (Skip to Q25)

0% Refused (Skip to Q25)

 

24A. IF YES, do you attribute the frequency and severity of these weather events to global warming?

29% Yes

71% No

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

25. Vice President Al Gore recently visited Glacier National Park in Montana and stated that melting glaciers were evidence of global warming. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

6% Strongly Agree

31% Somewhat Agree

33% Somewhat Disagree

22% Strongly Disagree

8% Don't Know

0% Refused

36% TOTAL AGREE

56% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

26. Why do you agree/disagree with this statement?

(please refer to verbatim comments included in data book)

 

Now, I would like to read to you a series of statements and have you tell me whether you agree or disagree with the statement. The first one is...

ROTATE

27. Current computer modeling technology is significantly sophisticated to make conclusive, accurate predictions about future global temperatures.

0% Strongly Agree

14% Somewhat Agree

39% Somewhat Disagree

47% Strongly Disagree

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

14% TOTAL AGREE

86% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

28. Evidence exists to suggest that past climate temperature changes have been large and abrupt, without any human influence.

44% Strongly Agree

44% Somewhat Agree

6% Somewhat Disagree

3% Strongly Disagree

3% Don't Know

0% Refused

89% TOTAL AGREE

8% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

29. Carbon dioxide emissions will continue to rise despite efforts to curb man-made sources.

36% Strongly Agree

36% Somewhat Agree

19% Somewhat Disagree

3% Strongly Disagree

6% Don't Know

0% Refused

72% TOTAL AGREE

22% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

30. Even if there were no human beings, the Earth's climate would constantly be changing.

94% Strongly Agree

6% Somewhat Agree

0% Somewhat Disagree

0% Strongly Disagree

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

100% TOTAL AGREE

0% TOTAL DISAGREE

 

31. In order to present informed conclusions about global climate change, what academic disciplines do you think a person should be most knowledgeable in?

(most often mentioned responses)

36% Meteorology

17% Study of Physics

14% Geophysics

50% Climatology

33% Oceanography

11% Statistics

17% Chemistry

25% Geology

11% Biological Science

39% Atmospheric Sciences

 

 

Now, just a few demographic questions.

32. Thinking about the environment, how would you describe yourself?

(please refer to verbatim comments included in data book)

 

33. How long have been a climatologist?

0% Less Than One Year

11% Less Than Five Years

22% Less Than Ten Years

22% Less Than 15 Years

17% Less Than 20 Years

28% Longer Than 20 Years

0% Refused

 

34. What academic degrees do you hold and in what year were they awarded?

MARK ALL THAT APPLY

0% Law Degree

61% Ph.D.

69% Master of Science

14% Master of Arts

69% Bachelor of Science

25% Bachelor of Arts

0% Refused

 

35. Describe your responsibilities as the state climatologist.

(most often mentioned responses)

-provide data to customers, respond to requests, help people use climatic applications in everyday life

-assess and report on weather events

-develop, maintain and archive weather records

-climate research and education

 

36. Do you receive any direct funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency?

6% Yes

94% No

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

37. Do you receive any direct funding from your state's environmental agency?

8% Yes

92% No

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

38. Do you receive any direct funding from business or industry?

14% Yes

86% No

0% Don't Know

0% Refused

 

On political issues do you consider yourself to be. . . ROTATE Conservative, Moderate, or Liberal?

IF CONSERVATIVE OR LIBERAL ASK: And would you say you are very conservative/liberal or just somewhat conservative/liberal?

IF MODERATE ASK: Do you think of yourself as more ROTATE conservative or liberal?

0% Very Liberal

14% Somewhat Liberal

3% Lean Liberal

58% Moderate / Neither

3% Lean Conservative

11% Somewhat Conservative

6% Very Conservative

0% Don't Know

6% Refused

 

40. Regions

14% East

28% South

33% Midwest

25% West


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©1997 Citizens for a Sound Economy