UK Poll asked if climate change was a current or imminent threat, 83% of Britons agreed.

1/2/2011 Guardian Public belief in climate change weathers storm, poll shows.The public’s belief in global warming as a man-made danger has weathered the storm of climate controversies and cold weather intact,
according to a Guardian/ICM opinion poll published today.
Asked if climate change was a current or imminent threat, 83% of Britons agreed,
with just 14% saying global warming poses no threat. Compared with August 2009,
when the same question was asked, opinion remained steady despite a series of
events in the intervening 18 months that might have made people less certain
about the perils of climate change. Emails between climate researchers that were
released online in November 2009 had led to unfounded suggestions that the
scientific basis for global warming was flawed. World leaders also failed to
agree to a global deal to combat warming and a mistake over the melting of
Himalayan glaciers was handled badly by the UN’s science panel.
Supporters of action on climate change, from government to business to
campaigners, will be relieved that this series of negative news failed to
increase scepticism significantly. Polling by other organisations in early 2010
suggested a rise in the proportion of those unconvinced of the danger of climate
change. But over the 18-month period between the ICM polls, the proportion of
people saying climate change is not a current threat rose by just 3% and was
balanced by a 3% rise in those saying it is a threat, representing a small
polarisation of the opposing viewpoints.
The UK also suffered two unusually cold winters in 2009 and 2010. But three
times more people said the freezing weather had actually made them worry more
about global warming than those who were less worried. The finding runs counter
to the idea that people are influenced more by local conditions than by reports
of globally rising temperatures. It may also indicate an understanding of how
warming is projected to increase extreme weather events and that people
distinguish between changes in short-term weather and long-term climate.
A large majority of people think that humanity is causing climate change, with
68% agreeing and 24% choosing to blame non-man-made factors, which again is very
close to the August 2009 response, with figures of 71% and 23% respectively. In
2007, the UN’s science panel collated the work of thousands of scientists to
conclude that the link between the emission of greenhouse gases by human
activities and climate change was 90% certain.
While climate sceptics remain a vocal presence in some parts of the climate
change debate, the new poll shows them to represent a fringe position. An
analysis of those who think climate change poses no threat reveals them to be
predominantly men (70%) and about twice as likely to be over 65 and to have
voted Conservative in 2010 than the general population.
Examine the full Guardian/ICM poll data. ICM Research interviewed a random
sample of 1,000 adults by telephone on 22-24 January 2010. Interviews were
conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile
of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its
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