Tuesday, March 10, 2015

YouGov in need of apocalyptic education

I wonder about YouGov sometimes, I really do.  They've randomly asked a question about the likelihood of six different global apocalypse scenarios -

Nuclear war 37%
Climate change 13%
Worldwide revolution 5%
Zombies 3%
Judgement day 3%
Alien invasion 1%


- and somehow managed to include three joke options, while excluding the very real, scientifically-established risk of a comet or asteroid strike. And I can think of quite a few other technological or biological risks that I would rate considerably higher than "zombies". However, on the basis of the selection that is offered, I'm heartened to see that people do recognise that nuclear weapons remain the biggest single threat to humanity's survival. There's a complacent tendency in some quarters to regard the end of the Cold War as the solution to that problem, but in fact it did nothing more than buy us some breathing space - for as long as we leave thousands of these weapons sloshing around, it's inevitable there will be a devastating nuclear exchange sooner or later.

Indeed, the closest we've come to catastrophe since the Cuban Missile Crisis had nothing (or at least very little) to do with the Cold War - in the spring of 1990, the Americans were in a state of panic because Pakistan appeared to be preparing to launch a nuclear attack on India.

In case you're wondering, the purpose of the poll seems to have been to establish that UKIP voters are more fearful about the future than others. Hmmm. Some us are fearful about the future because of UKIP voters.

15 comments:

  1. Hmm, i'm claiming (with no evidence whatsoever) that UKIP voters are more likely to support nukes and more likely to deny the existence of climate change. Just a hunch, like.

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  2. They left out another option - self replicating, SNP supporting robots.

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    Replies
    1. Prepare to be assimilated.

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  3. Are these raw results or have they been weighted by a previous apocalypse, and if so, which one?
    Exit polls should be more reliable; not that anybody will care.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not so sure. Weighting by the dinosaur extinction event would probably produce more accurate results than Ashcroft's 2010 recalled vote weighting.

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  4. Only 13% reckon climate change is a likely apocalypse scenario? Where did they do the fieldwork - Florida?

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  5. Didn't you know, the worlds gonna end before the SNP are allowed to 'meddle' with disgrace that is Westminster politics?

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  6. Replies
    1. Yellowstone would make Laki look like a local firework display.

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    2. Oh! Dear God!

      I hope you are joking.

      'Tell me it ain't so bro'

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  7. The prospect of an apocalyptic meteorite strike seems to have become a bit discredited by its association with Lembit Opik.

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  8. Can anybody out there please tell me how much it costs to commission a YouGov poll? I see from G A Ponsonby on Newsnet that the BBC commissioned a YouGov poll on immigration, in order to run a week-long phone rant on Radio Scotland to justify employing their hirpling presenters.

    The BBC does not appear to have asked license payers if they wanted a YouGov poll on immigration, so if they didn't, and want their money back, how much can they demand?

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    Replies
    1. I can't give you an exact figure, but it would probably have been a few thousand pounds.

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