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One-third of Americans unwilling to spend $1 to fight climate change

May 26, 2021

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dennis Ambler

From the Washington Post:





President Biden wants to spend in excess of $1 trillion to combat climate change, but more than one-third of Americans are unwilling to chip in a single buck.

A poll of 1,200 registered voters released Tuesday by the Competitive Enterprise Institute found that 35% were unwilling to spend any of their own money to reduce the impact of climate change, with another 15% saying they would only go as high as $10 per month.

Another 6% said they would be willing to spend between $11 and $20 per month. At the other end of the spectrum were those who said they would part with between $901 and $1,000 per month on climate — they numbered 1%.

The results of the survey by CRC Research are consistent with previous polls showing that by and large, Americans are climate tightwads.

The 2019 AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs survey that found 57% were willing to spend an additional $1 per month on climate change, but only 28% would pay $10.


I have long complained about biased polls, which ask whether people are concerned about climate change, but fail to question how much they would be prepared to pay.

This latest poll suggests that 56% would not want to pay more than $20 a month. By contrast, only 1% would pay $1000 a month; indeed only the wealthiest could afford to pay that much.

  1. Tim Leeney permalink
    May 26, 2021 12:45 pm

    Would be interesting to know what the public in the UK, France and Germany, to name but a few would be prepared to pay, if asked as opposed to being simply robbed.

    • May 26, 2021 1:00 pm

      A very sensible suggestion. But I cannot see any of the UK polling organisations wishing to go against the perceived wisdom and ask the appropriate questions

      • Eric Johnson permalink
        May 26, 2021 4:05 pm

        Same thing happened in western Washington state. Voters approved a light rail extension, paid from increased car license fees located in a wide parallel strip either side of the rail’s footprint.

        When the piper’s due showed up in the mail, a major uproar ensued. Multiple billions of $ on the state level have to come from somewhere. Only the feds can print money.

        Sorry, UK, you don’t have a stranglehold on morons.

      • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
        May 26, 2021 4:43 pm

        @ Eric Johnson 4:05 pm

        The rest of the story – vote/fees/light-rail

        The proposal as voted on did not mention that the value of a car and thus the fee would come from a guide that “over valued” the price. The Kelley Blue Book value is a “standard” but in Washington State there is an inflated value resulting from the state legislature’s money raising antics of the 1990s.
        I’m shocked, I tell you. Shocked!
        [Washington State has more ways of getting citizen’s money via fees – not taxes – than any polity in the world.]

        Seattle Times – inflated car values


      • Eric Johnson permalink
        May 26, 2021 5:28 pm

        WHAT??!! We were lied to by our freely elected representatives??
        Or mislead??
        Tickled our ears with what we wanted to hear??
        Skipping the hard facts and bottom lines??
        Amazing watching MY dinero funding a boondoggle second only to California’s high-speed rail… oh, did that die a fiscal-dinosaur death? Or was it Boston’s Big Dig?
        So far in the US, unit light rail cost is greatest in Washington state — good to be first in something.

    • Ian Magness permalink
      May 26, 2021 1:00 pm

      Exactly Tim.
      Further, at the same time, make sure the participants understand what net zero means in terms of cash per household and ask whether they’d be happy paying for that.

      • May 26, 2021 3:13 pm

        So are we really saying that as giving an opinion to a pollster is free you will then feel able in the real world to express an opinion diametrically opposite to the view you claim to hold, if any sort of expenditure was needed to endorse it?

        If so, surely the idea of spending £30000 on an electric car , £30000 on heat pump and insulation plus the many associated costs of going green would be a complete turn off for people? Yet they endorse the green revolution.

        I suspect it is our old friend ‘not putting 2 and 2 together” otherwise known as “burying your head in the sand.”

        Householder Why are you building a motorway 10 yards from my house?

        Council; It has been debated and costed and publicised for 10 years sir, In fact I see from my notes that you were one of those who supported it.

        Householder; Well I didn’t realise it would inconvenience ME! You’d better put it somewhere else.

        Council. Much too late for that sir. You had the chance to make your views known 10 years ago, and every other week something has been put through your door telling you about the situation.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        May 26, 2021 5:26 pm

        There has always been a disconnect between principle and practice in human nature.

        It was always a puzzle in the 70s/80s in Central Scotland why Labour continued to dominate local government while charging the highest domestic rates. (It was when the worm finally turned after one revaluation that George Younger, Sec of State, persuaded Maggie to do away with the domestic rates!)

        A psychiatrist friend of mine explained it succinctly. “The hand that puts an ‘x’ on a ballot paper is connected to the higher brain. The hand that signs the rates cheque is connected to the wallet.”

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        May 26, 2021 9:50 pm

        It’s very common – expressed versus revealed preferences. It’s well-known and researched so no government really should justify its decisions in such a way.

  2. George Herraghty permalink
    May 26, 2021 1:02 pm

    You won’t see this on the BBC!

  3. Derek W Wood permalink
    May 26, 2021 1:44 pm

    Why would anyone want to fund a lie? Unless of course they planned to make money from it.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 26, 2021 2:36 pm

      SSE for example having sold its energy supply business to OVO so it can focus on being an unreliable energy generator. I suppose it makes sense while taxpayers are forced to fund above market rate prices but when the whole thing collapses they will have worthless assets.

  4. DJE permalink
    May 26, 2021 1:45 pm

    The problem with polls like this is that there are no explanations about how much is needed, what is intended to be done and how it will affect people’s lives. If things such as ‘your heating bills will go up as we are going to close coal and gas fired powered power stations to rely on wind and solar’ or, ‘we are going to force you to spend thousands on electric cars as we don’t want you buying petrol or diesel cars any more’, then I expect it would be a lot less.

  5. AC Osborn permalink
    May 26, 2021 1:55 pm

    I wouldn’t voluntarily grant them a bent penny for their Climate Change fighting fund.

    • May 26, 2021 2:06 pm

      And net zero is the amount I would subscribe if given the choice.
      Indeed income tax and fuel and electricity bill rebates, calculated realistically, would be justified.

      The only expenses I would meet would be willing to meet are the costs of disbandment of the CCCommittee and prosecution of those great and good people in authority behind these policies for fraud and extortion and falsely predicting climate disaster.

      • Broadlands permalink
        May 26, 2021 7:30 pm

        Cajw… “And net zero is the amount I would subscribe if given the choice.”

        Do you have any idea what that would cost? Net-zero means removing enough CO2 to equal the amount being added. At the moment we have just emitted about 40 GtCO2 last year. Removing that amount cannot even be done, but if it could the cost would blow all budgets. 40 billion tons multiplied by any plausible per-ton average is not chump change. And that would remove only what is being added and none of what has already been added. Thus, there is no way to lower the Earth’s temperature, presumably the goal. Take a survey and ask how much the temperature will be lowered if we subscribe and pay all those costs? Good luck with that.

      • May 26, 2021 7:42 pm

        By “net zero” I simply meant no money, zilch, nichts, rien and so on, because that government target is meaningless in terms of benefit except to people hoping to profit financially.

  6. AC Osborn permalink
    May 26, 2021 1:56 pm

    Paul, as an aside, do you have any idea why Gridwatch stopped updating their Gas data?

  7. Gerry, England permalink
    May 26, 2021 2:44 pm

    Luckily, the American people will have no choice but to fund Dementia Joe’s green new deal fantasy. And there is not much they can do about it as how do you vote out somebody who was never voted in?

  8. May 26, 2021 4:15 pm

    What’s interesting is California has something called a low carbon fuel standard which likely adds $0.25 to every gallon of gasoline and they have an ETS that probably adds a similar amount. So there are likely 30 million drivers in the Golden State. Considering that most people likely by more than 40 gallons of gas per month, they are already spending $20 per month on the climate taxes and fees. I suspect most don’t even realize it.

    • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
      May 26, 2021 4:50 pm

      Some rules do bring about cleaner air in large cities, and that’s a good thing.
      The climate doesn’t care.

      • May 26, 2021 11:24 pm

        Low carbon fuel is ethanol from sugar cane while ethanol from corn is not. It’s about the vintage not the fuel.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        May 27, 2021 7:50 am

        How? A modern petrol car cleans dirty city air as it drives along and has done for 25 years. You need to check your facts.

  9. Jack Broughton permalink
    May 26, 2021 4:17 pm

    On the much-loved theme of polls: in this week’s poll “The Engineer” asked its readers for their reaction to the proposed 2025 ban on conventional domestic heating boilers. Is it feasible, practical and desirable?

    The response was that 12.4% thought that it was practical and achievable.

    As usual, the article was phrased in “fighting the climate war terms” with no costs or benefits. I’ve written my response, as below, but it may not get published: some of my missives do, but many don’t:-

    “It would be good if someone looked at this in terms of a cost / benefit assessment. The cost is vast in terms of replacing about 38 million serviceable heating systems and providing a suitable reliable electricity system to match this. The cost of fitting air-heat pumps is not fully clear, but exceeds £ 15000 per house = £ 570 b. Remember that at present, the winter peak heat load (170 GW) is over 3 times the winter peak electrical load (53GW) and as we stand there is no viable alternative to air-cycle heat pumps whose CoP in cold winter tends towards unity. Even with ground sourced heat pumps we would need another 60 GW at about £ 150b plus distribution costs. Thus, the costs from taxes etc is about 50% of current UK GDP, taken from schools, hospitals etc., so what are the benefits?

    The claimed benefit is “fighting the climate war” as emotive headlines always cry. However, the effect of this change on the worlds CO2 emissions is so small as to be negligible: so, who will actually gain from squandering a vast amount of money on replacing things that does not need replacement, rather than spending on what really needs improvement (health and welfare??)?”

  10. Curious George permalink
    May 26, 2021 4:22 pm

    How much do we spend to fight Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter?

  11. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 26, 2021 4:44 pm

    Just about on topic…the wonderful JHB was on the panel on Politics Today where they actually discussed NZC and the threat to gas boilers. Only JHB was aganst it all and monstered some LibDem woman who kept saying that the new (ASHP) heaters were both cheap and efficient and, like solar would pay for themselves anyway. JHB just threw her hands in the air!

  12. Richard Greene permalink
    May 26, 2021 6:33 pm

    I tried inputting this comment once, and my computer “exploded”, so I’ll try again:

    Climate change polling is still biased.
    People will be biased to claim they believe in climate change, and support actions to reduce climate change, because they see that as the popular, consensus position.

    It doesn’t cost anything to say that anonymously..

    People who are “concerned” about climate change are likely to exaggerate how much they would be willing to spend fighting it … because it doesn’t cost anything to say that anonymously.

    Summary: A survey gives people a chance to virtue signal about climate change.

    But even after those potential biases, the support for “climate change” is one mile wide and one inch deep, or maybe I should say one kilometer wide and one centimeter deep.

    While the question of money is not asked often, it has been asked before in the US, and long ago I have written about the mile wide and inch deep responses on my climate science and energy blog.

    Back when I was an employed productive worker, contributing to society, rather than a retired lazy bum, I sometimes developed surveys and polled engineers about their jobs.

    The best question is open ended, where the respondent can write in whatever he feels, when the survey is anonymous, and the respondents are convinced their answers WILL be anonymous. Then the truth flows in, with much more detail than you get from multiple choice questions. By the way, I’d be willing to contribute most of my vast fortune ($49) if the climate change zealots would just shut up about their imaginary coming climate emergency for a couple of days !

    Richard Greene
    Bingham Farms, Michigan

  13. marlene permalink
    May 26, 2021 6:55 pm

    I was hoping it was more than that, much more. Maybe more Americans are refusing and they’re lying about it to fool us into believing we the people actually support such a scheme in the first place.

  14. Mad Mike permalink
    May 26, 2021 7:02 pm

    The French have a saying that goes like this

    “I talk with my heart but vote with my wallet.”

    Lets see what happens when Joe America sees just how much his wallet will be affected.

  15. May 26, 2021 7:59 pm

    Whenever a pollster stops me to ask for my opinion, my first response is to ask how much they are going to pay me for my time. Curiously no money is ever offered to me, so I refuse to answer their questions for free.

  16. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 26, 2021 8:25 pm

    Good to see Ben Pile getting an article at Spiked:

    He points out that the costs are rather more than $1.

  17. May 26, 2021 10:00 pm

    This American won’t go one red cent for this fantasy

    • May 26, 2021 10:15 pm

      Sound thinking. No benefits would be forthcoming.

  18. Mack permalink
    May 26, 2021 10:38 pm

    The answer to your question Jack ‘who actually will gain from squandering a vast amount of money on replacing things that dont need replacement?’ is simple: China and the useful idiots in the West feeding from the subsidy trough. What difference will it make on reducing global co2 emissions? Nothing. What difference will it make to the world’s climate? Nothing. What impact will it have on the population funding this lunacy? Disastrous. Apart from that, it will make our virtue signalling masters, who are immune from the consequences of their actions, feel all nice, warm and fuzzy inside. Looking on the bright side, an inevitable collision with reality is coming down the track. Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later.

  19. May 27, 2021 7:14 am

    I wouldn’t bet against those Americans.

  20. Lez permalink
    May 27, 2021 10:07 am

    Tony Heller posted this to mark the 15th anniversary of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Well worth a watch.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      May 27, 2021 10:22 am

      Glad to see his site back on line. He must be a real pain up the rear end to alarmists when he goes back to the data that shows them to be plain wrong. Very inconvenient.

  21. Ben Vorlich permalink
    May 27, 2021 3:07 pm

    Totally off topic, but have you seen the Greenland Surface Condition chart today. After more than a week of nothing much the last two days have seen an unprecedented spike.

    • Richard Greene permalink
      May 29, 2021 12:14 am

      I saw the chart this morning and it was so unusual that I have to wonder if someone made a mistake.

      On another subject:
      It is unusually cold in Michigan USA today and it has been far too cold this year — we’ve had perhaps three weeks with above average temperature in five months. so far in 2021.

      There are a lot of people in this world who like global warming — and our planet has had warming for the past 45 years — so perhaps seven billion people have experience living with with some, or all, of the ACTUAL global warming

      Most don’t like this unusually cool 2021 (in many Northern Hemisphere nations).

      I have no idea why so many people have been brainwashed to fear global warming — it’s global cooling that would be bad news.

      Since this planet is always warming or cooling, you’d think people would be thrilled they live in a warming trend, that started in the late 1600’s.

      But they seem brainwashed by leftists, who, it seems, are never happy with anything.

      I hope it gets warmer next week.
      Because we LOVE global warming here in Michigan USA
      End of ranting and raving (caused by cold weather).

      Richard Greene
      Bingham Farms. Michigan

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