Spectator Climate Debate – The Results!

I mentioned the Spectator debate last week but I didn’t go along as I was giving a talk in Manchester on Antarctic climate.

Someone from Climate Brief went along, though, and they have written a report.

Anyway, the motion was “The global warming concern is over. Time for a return to sanity.”

The results are quite interesting, which I guess I can comment on without having been there:

If the point of the debate was to change people’s minds then the “Against” panel clearly did a better job, so well done King, Singh and Palmer.

However, the clear message from the results is that the majority of people that go along to debates organised by The Spectator are not that concerned about global warming. I suppose you could also conclude (from the lack of change in the “For” votes and the make up of the panels) that this group of people are more interested in the policy implications of climate change than the science behind it.

I’m also wondering why Delingpole wasn’t on the “For” panel. He’s a Spectator contributor and has an interest in climate change. Any thoughts?

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8 Responses to “Spectator Climate Debate – The Results!”

  1. Christian Says:

    Nice chart.

  2. MarkB Says:

    It is an incredible result.
    One would hope that reality worked. And as David Aarronvitch said

    “In debating terms a good win … Every London Tory climate ostrich was there


  3. JamesA Says:

    It’s reassuring to see that ‘against’ managed to catch more of the fence sitters, but I guess the deniers will still make a song and dance about more ‘for’ going out, even when the majority that went in almost certainly had no intention of reassessing their opinions.

    Delingpole isn’t a debater, as was painfully demonstrated on that Horizon a while back. He’s much more comfortable writing opinion pieces and preaching to the choir.

  4. Tim McGregor Says:

    “I’m also wondering why Delingpole wasn’t on the “For” panel. He’s a Spectator contributor and has an interest in climate change. Any thoughts?”

    Because he’s such a [we’ll have none of that language here! – AR] even the spectator won’t wheel him out in public?

    • andyrussell Says:

      That was my thought as well – I thought I’d let someone else say it though.

      In fact, he was leaving comments on a blog recently implying that the conspiracy to silence “skeptics” might be coming for him. Can’t find it now. But maybe the Telegraph are re-thinking their range of columnists?

      • andyrussell Says:

        Here we go:

        In response to

        “Expect them to come after the sceptical blogs next.” Delingpole said “They already did. But I think I might soon have some interesting news for you on this score.”

  5. omnologos Says:

    Sounds like an Italian election night, when political parties going from 5% to 6% claim a 20%-increase and a famous victory, oblivious of the 94% of people that still couldn’t care less about them…

    Anyway we’re having debates on global warming and that can’t be bad. It’ll be a good day when we’ll be having public debates about policy response to global warming, even if I presume there should be more than 2 groups arguing with each other.

    • andyrussell Says:

      I think that the result is a bit more significant than you suggest – I think it’s safe to assume from the numbers that the “For” panel essentially convinced no-one who wasn’t already with them (which was most of the audience because it was a Spectator event and that seems to be their stand.) The “Against” panel influenced over half of the undecideds (assuming switching from “For” to “Against” was negligible.) That seems like a decent result for the “Against”.

      It would be interesting to see the event repeated with a randomly chosen audience.

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