Compared Results of Global Warming Survey 2013-14

474 oil and gas industry insiders completed this survey on global warming in 2014, and 330 did so in 2013.  The compared results make for fascinating reading. 

I present below the compared results of the 2013 and 2014 surveys.  The questions were the same in both surveys, although the 2014 was improved by making some of the syntax clearer.  I have not processed the data in any way.

Please share your views on this survey, or on global warming more generally, in the comments area.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Q1.  Do you think that global warming is happening?

 Q2.  Assuming global warming is happening , do you think it is…

Q3.  How serious a problem is global warming?

 Q4.  Which of the following statements comes closest to your view?

 Q5.  What do you think should be the priority of global warming for governments?

Q6.  Assuming global warming is happening, what is the best way to reduce mankind’s impact on global warming?

Q7.  What is the best policy tool that governments have to reduce pollution to the economic optimum?

Q8.  A little about you please.  Where do you work?




  1. Al Salman says:

    As geologists, we know that global warming is very largely a natural process that is known to have been taken place many times in Earth’s recent history. We’ve had at least 3 ice ages since the Cambrian (around 550mma) when earth’s atmospheric temperature cools to an average of 12 deg C (cold house) then naturally warms to a hot house environment (average of around 22 deg C). The warming process is gradual and irregular, with temperatures oscillating from low to high and visa versa. For example we recently had a 70 year mini ice age in the 1500s and around 8000 years ago the ice sheet was sitting just north of the river Thames. The ice sheet retreated around 2500 miles northwards to where it is today in 8000 years with a corresponding rise in sea level of around 120m. We don’t know where we are in one of those cycles presently and we could just as easily dip back again into another cold period. If humans are polluting the planet and contributing to warming, then clearly that must be stopped. Pollution dramatically increases with population rise and de-forestation. When we were young we used to be discouraged from having more than 2 children so as not to raise the world’s population which is now 7 billion +. With increasing numbers comes increasing demands on the plant’s resources and increasing pollution. Governments require growth and increased income (through taxes) so they naturally encourage increase in population. The subject of population control has nowadays become total taboo. It may be politically incorrect to say, but no doubt it is the huge rise in human population that must be controlled if accelerated global warming is to be reduced. reforestation would also be required to act as an efficient CO2 sink.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also as a geologist, I would say you cannot state that any global warming is a largely natural process. There have been no non-natural forces within the system until the evolution of humans and more recently industrialisation so there is no record to compare the importance of non-natural versus natural forcings.

      Therefore looking at the past record can only help us link natural phenomena to warming and cooling cycles. One such thing that strongly correlates to temperature is the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. When it increases the temperature increases, and vice versa. That fact is fairly hard to dispute no matter what reasoning you present, and many would argue this is one of the key factors controlling the global mean temperatures. Another fact very difficult to disput is that over the last few decades atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased at a rate that we cannot replicate in the geologic record. Nobody knows how the climatic system will respond to such a rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 but the likely outcome is temperature increase. Likely negative effects of this outweight the positive effects, particularly rising sea levels. Therefore it makes sense to limit our CO2 emissions rather than postulate whether other natural factors might be able to limit/increase the impacts (something we have no control over).

  2. In terms of policy options it would be interesting to add an option to next year’s survey. That option would be ” A tax on Carbon Consumption”.

    As an example, in the UK between 1990 and 2005 carbon production fell by 15% – but carbon consumption went up by 19%. (source: Prof Dieter Helm’s excellent book – The Carbon Crunch).

    De-industrialisation caused energy intensive industry to migrate to China where not only were the goods produced using less efficient coal fired power stations – but additional carbon is expended in transporting the goods from China to the EU. The UK’s Carbon Consumption is the driver of Global Warming – a tax on that would allow consumers to see an economic benefit from choosing lower carbon content alternatives.

    A tax on emissions in the UK does not impact on the prices of goods where the carbon is embedded in the product or service outside the UK – it only works for goods and services both produced in the UK and consumed in the UK – unless of course we had harmonised emissions taxes across the globe – a somewhat unlikely circumstance given the last 30 years experience of trying to get international agreements.

    • Angus Warren says:

      Peter – interesting idea and thank you for sharing it with us. I agree that having “harmonised emissions taxes across the globe” is of a tall order, at least in the short term. On the other hand figuring out the carbon consumption of goods produced in China and sold in the UK, say, seems equally difficult. We would have to rely on accurate data from the country where the goods are manufactured. Is there a work around for this?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I recently caught the tail end of a BBC 4 programme on atmospheric studies by scientists who commented that there may have been more solar penetration occurring following clean-up of the air in the many blighted industrialised countries over the latter part of the last century, resulting in increased global warming. I also recently found this link: It is an interesting idea and probably deserves further investigation, especially given the political, social, financial and commercial implications surrounding global warming and climate change today.

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