Poll Suggests Global Warming is No Hoax

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
(NOTE: this piece was an assignment for my current JOURN 300 class.  We were tasked to conduct a sidewalk poll to practice doing 'cold' interviews.  I was to interview 10 strangers to get their answers to two questions:  

QUESTION #1– Do you believe global warming is a hoax?


Below is the finished 499-word article.)

Poll Suggests Global Warming is No Hoax
by JoB!
February 5, 2012

Seven out of 10 people responding to a recent informal survey doubt that global warming is a hoax, mirroring levels seen in recent polling conducted by CNN and MSNBC on this issue. 

Two out of 10 expressed personal belief that it is a fabrication, with one person stating that he was “between a hoax and reality.” 

The poll was conducted on Feb. 3 at the Huddle, an indoor activity center associated with Super Bowl XLVI activities in Indianapolis.  Twelve individuals were selected randomly with 10—five men and five women ranging from the mid-20s to mid-60s—agreeing to participate.  Due to the low number of respondents, the poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 26 percent.

The issue of global warming has permeated political debates both internationally as well as in the United States.  In a recent debate prior to last week’s Florida Republican primary, former Pennsylvania senator—and current presidential candidate—Rick Santorum scolded two of his fellow rivals for buying into the “global warming hoax.” 

A variety of business groups and special interests have a stake in the outcome of these ongoing deliberations and have pushed these discussions into public forums to advocate their positions among this country’s information consumers. It is very hard to find anyone in today’s society who does not have an opinion on this subject and this recent poll reflects that trend.

The reason cited by many participants for their non-belief of the hoax theory was the unseasonably warm weather currently enveloping the nation’s 12th largest city.  In a month where local average high temperatures seldom break 40 degrees, thermometer readings were in the mid- to upper-50s, causing one respondent to regret her choice of outerwear.

Other justifications for rejecting fraudulence were based in specific observations of climate change.  One respondent called out the changing landscape at Glacier National Park and the sharp reduction in areas where one can ski and hike there.  Others mentioned information provided by former vice president Al Gore during his environmental awareness campaign, the melting of the polar ice caps and the multitude of record-setting temperatures in recent years.

Conversely, the two hoax supporters provided little to no tangible evidence to support their positions.  In those cases, one called it a “made-up” thing while the other just could not “buy into that kind of stuff.”  During the course of the polling, the former did allude to the mild winter and was about to hedge her opinion before returning to her previous subjective rationale.

The poll’s lone indecisive participant provided what was to be the most avaunt-garde rationale of the session.  He saw a long-term balance between past ice ages and our current warm period and cited the 2009 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in highlighting our planet’s high tolerance for extremes.  The wavering middle-aged gentleman ended his comments with the phrase “nature took care of itself,” suggesting that mankind would have to inflict a lot more punishment on our environment to do any permanent damage.

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