New Scientist is usually sharp, but not with the poll that led them to conclude, “the US public has a clear preference for action in the electricity sector rather than vehicle fuel.” The methodology was flawed:
We split the sample into three groups. One was told that the vehicle fuel policies would result in the price of a gallon rising to $4. The second group was told that a gallon would rise to $7 and the third $15. We did the same for electricity, telling the groups that a typical monthly bill would rise from $85 to either $87, $95 or $155. Then we presented all the respondents with the six policies and for each asked: “If an election were being held today, would you vote in favour of this policy or would you vote against it?”
Gosh, people would rather their electricity bill rise a little than their gasoline bill rise a lot. Duh.
And this polling completely misses the point that you can cut emissions in both sectors without raising energy bills — if you focus on energy efficiency.
Jeers to New Scientist for trying to pass off this silliness as serious analysis.