YouGov’s annual studies of public attitudes to renewable energy show a consistent decline in interest in climate change in the British public since the banking crisis started, five years ago. There has also been a decline in those who identify global warming and climate change as issues of ‘high urgency’. In both cases, there was a notable drop in 2009 to 2010, when the ‘Climategate’ scandal saw leaked emails from leading climatologists suggesting that evidence for climate change may not have been arrived at through good academic practice.
Regardless of the effects of scandal and the recession, the latest polling shows that Britons still trust climate experts and scientists more, with regards to the truth about climate change, than they trust other groups or organisations. Further, there’s a “stable and overwhelming consensus” who do believe that the world is warming, and that humans are at least partly responsible for that. Rather unsurprisingly, those groups least trusted by the UK public were red top tabloids and oil companies. Conservatives and mid-market newspapers tied for the places just above these, preceded by journalists on upmarket newspapers, EU and LibDem politicians.
- YouGov: Talking trust on climate science