By Ros Donald, Carbon Brief
People in the UK overwhelmingly trust scientists more than any other source to give them accurate information about climate change, according to a new survey.
In contrast, politicians and social media come joint last on the list.
According to a new poll conducted for Carbon Brief by pollsters Opinium, 69% of those asked agreed that scientists and meteorologists are trustworthy sources of accurate information about climate science.
Only 7% disagreed that scientists could be trusted to do this.
Next highest came ‘green’ charities such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, and BBC journalists and commentators, with 39% and 31% respectively saying they trusted these sources.
But these groups divided opinion – 23% don’t trust green charities, and 25% think the BBC can’t be trusted to provide accurate information.
Sharing last place: politicians and social media
While scientists topped the trust league table, politicians, blogs and social media came bottom.
Only 7% said they considered politicians to be reliable sources of climate change information – and websites and social didn’t do any better, also scoring a seven per cent rating.
64% said they didn’t think politicians could be trusted to give them accurate information, compared to 53% for social media sources.
Question: How trustworthy do you think the following information sources are in providing you with accurate information about climate change?
Carbon Brief’s results tally closely with a previous study Ipsos Mori carried out last February for Climate Week of around 1,000 respondents. Asked whose views they trust on climate change, 66% of those asked said they trust scientists the most.
In this survey, celebrities were deemed least trustworthy, with only 1% professing trust in their views on climate change.
A poll last year by press agency Associated Press tells a similar story. 67% of those asked (in the USA) trust what scientists say about the environment either completely or a moderate amount. 21% said they trusted scientists a little and 11% said they didn’t trust them at all.
A survey by Living with Environmental Change differs from the bulk of survey data. It says 51% of those asked said they trusted “independent scientists” to tell the truth about climate change – but only 38% agreed that climate scientists can be trusted to do so, according to the results of a second question.
Carbon Brief polling
Carbon Brief conducted a poll of over 2,000 people, asking questions about their attitudes to climate change and energy policy.
Here is the table this blog is based on (click image to enlarge):
This article first appeared on the Carbon Brief website