There’s a new survey out today, The State of the State, by Ipsos MORI in conjunction with Deloitte and a think tank called Reform.
Ben Page, head of Ipsos MORI, claims that the survey shows “Massive support for #ClimateEmergency action”:
The blurb in the Deloitte report makes similar claims:
“Our survey also found remarkably strong public demand for action on climate change. We asked whether the government should press ahead with a range of measures to protect the environment and each measure was supported by at least 80 per cent of the public – as shown in the green elements of the chart. Some 65 per cent said that the government should be doing more to ban environmentally harmful products and 58 per cent want to see higher taxes on them.”
But does the survey show massive support for action on climate change, as claimed by Ben Page and Deloitte? Take a look at the questions in his tweet or in the full report. It seems that only these five questions were asked (after an initial question about whether people expect the environment to get better or worse in the years ahead). Notice also the softening-up language used in the introduction that precedes the questions:
“I’d now like you to think about the different ways government can be involved in encouraging people to protect the environment.”
The first two questions are about taxing or banning things that are environmentally-unfriendly. But notice the example that is used to prompt the poor survey-taker to tick the ‘correct’ answer: leaded petrol. Leaded petrol was banned 20 years ago, because it’s poisonous. At the risk of stating the obvious, most people will support this, and furthermore, this has absolutely nothing to do with “action on climate change”.
The next questions are whether people would like to be provided with information about how to live in an environmentally-friendly way, and encouraged to take public transport or insulate their homes. Again, most people will be happy to be provided with information, and ‘encouraged’ – presumably by subsidies – to take a train or get double-glazing.
Is this the kind of emergency action that Extinction Rebellion are demanding, as implied by Ben Page’s tweets? Are they climbing on top of trains, blocking roads and gluing themselves to buildings while shouting “WE DEMAND TO BE PROVIDED WITH INFORMATION ABOUT HOW TO INSULATE OUR HOMES!!”?
I wonder why Ipsos MORI didn’t ask the public what they thought of XR’s demand to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025?
More honest polling on how the public feels about climate action has been carried out by YouGov. They found that 37% support the recent action in London, while 53% oppose it. Only 13% sympathise with the protesters who disrupted Canning St. tube station.