Liberals have been trumpeting a recent poll result that suggests people are willing to pay more for their energy bills in order to fight global warming a.k.a. climate change.
“By an almost two-to-one margin, 62 percent to 33 percent, Americans say they would pay more for energy if it would mean a reduction in pollution from carbon emissions,” says the Bloomberg National Poll website.
This goes against the headlines from 2012, where a Huffington Post poll said that 54% would be unwilling to pay more to fight climate change, compared to only 20% who said they would be willing.
Has the American population shifted its opinion THAT DRAMATICALLY in less than two years?
(the answer is below the image… can you guess it before you scroll down?)
No, it hasn’t. In fact, there is no evidence that the American people have changed their opinions on this issue at all. This is something that gets us really, really mad here at Liberal Bias because it involves biased reporting about NUMBERS AND STATISTICS, and unfortunately in this case it is not tied to one side of the partisan divide or the other. Both liberals and conservatives have mis-reported this result.
The difference is in the details of the questions on the surveys.
The 2012 survey asked: “If it meant we could stop climate change, would you personally be willing to pay 50 percent more on your gas and electricity bills?” (emphasis added).
The 2014 survey asked: “What if that significantly lowered greenhouse gases but raised your monthly energy expenses by 20 dollars a month – in that case do you think the government should or should not limit the release of greenhouse gases?” (emphasis added).
So the first survey did not find “people unwilling to pay more”; it found “people unwilling to pay 50% more.”
The second survey did not find “people willing to pay more”; it found “people willing to pay $20 more.”
These two survey results, together, do not show that people’s opinions about climate change are “evolving”. They merely show that the amount of money that people are asked to pay to fight climate change matters.
Shocking result, right?
Now, let’s talk about liberal bias. For dedicated Tea Partiers and Conservatives, who live in a world where “unbiased” means “not liberal” and “fair and balanced” actually describes what Fox News does, the 2012 poll result represents the real truth, because “OMG FIGHTING GLOBAL WARMING WILL BE SO EXPENSIVE IT WILL CAUSE TOTAL ECONOMIC COLLAPSE!!!!1”
Obviously, asking people to pay a mere $20 more for climate change is unrealistic, right? We have to make the number big enough to seem scary. If we don’t make regulation seem scary, well then that is just LIBERAL BIAS.
Do you agree?