Why opinion polls may not matter as much as you think on climate change. Or much else besides

Winston Churchill said:  “There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion”.   Any opinion poll, or a report of a poll, is not a reality of raw public opinion but a processed, manufactured product.  The polling process, the publication process, the reporting process and even the process of subsequent debate and word of mouth, all manufacture the meaning that we think an opinion poll shows us.

The report notes how back in 2002 Pollster Frank Luntz successfully lured climate campaigners into trying to win the argument over climate change – in which ‘climate polls’ play a pivotal role – and even today, more than a decade later, many fall for his ploy, when all the fossil fuel lobby needed to succeed, was to keep the debate going.

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