Green Steve Poll Results: 87% Of Respondents Don’t Want To Pay For Renewables

no to renewable subsidies

In an exclusive poll I conducted on Facebook (very scientific I know), over 87% of people did not want to have to foot the bill for investment in new renewable energy capacity.

With the government’s soon to be announced Energy Bill and headlines such as this gem from the Telegraph: “Wind farms to increase energy bills by £178 a year”, I thought I’d try and judge public sentiment and, much as expected, the vast majority of people were against forking out for new renewable energy projects.

While I originally posted the poll on my own Green Steve Facebook page, I promoted it to the entire Facebook audience and the only targeting in place was that respondents should be 25 or over (as I figured these people are more likely to actually pay their own utility bills).

Of 141 people who were asked “Should the cost of building more renewable energy be passed on to homeowners?”, 123 answered no while just 18 were for the proposal. I tried not to load the question either way which I hope I’ve achieved.

Misleading Headlines Insult Our Intelligence

I am not surprised that some people felt the need to berate the journalist behind the sensationalist Telegraph’s headline (check the comments on that page) as it is a complete and utter falsity. In other words – she lied!

For a start, in the sub-headline she even admits this saying that the rise will “pay for a series of wind farms and nuclear power stations”. The problem is that even this is far from the truth.

I can’t tell you how much this angers me – I hate bullshit headlines that are designed primarily as a sales tool. The headline in question makes me sick.

There is a lot of talk right now about a free and independent press but I’m not sure they should be allowed to massage the numbers in such a way as to grossly mislead the public.

I’m not going to go into too much detail as to why the headline is wrong because Robin Webster of The Carbon Brief has already done a great job of this here. In brief, gas prices are expected to make up much of the rise and the DECC report being quoted also states that consumers are likely to pay MORE if such energy policies were not put into place.

If you look at the DECC report, the true headline should be more along the lines of “Energy Policy To Cut Bills By £46 By 2030″.

Misleading Headlines Manipulate Views

I don’t consider myself to be a particularly gullible person but I’m sure I’ve been duped by headline writers on more than one occasion and unfortunately for society, many people still take what the broadsheets say as fact.

The results of my poll suggest that this is the case. The general public at large do not see the reasons behind renewable energy and moving away from a reliance on foreign gas which is only going to get more expensive in the future.

If the government did nothing then they’d be blamed for doing so when gas prices start to rise. The fact that they are getting blamed now just shows what a tough position they are in and just how much public sentiment has to change if there is ever to be true support for a greener future.

With moronic headlines festooning some of the most respected newspapers in the land, what chance is there of such support any time soon?

We All Need Glasses

In my opinion (and it is just my opinion here, I could be completely wrong but at least I admit it!), a majority of people live their lives thinking more about the future than they do about the present moment. And yet, with regards to energy policy, it seems that these same people are a little short sighted.

Maybe it’s just that the human brain is not capable of envisaging the future on such a grand scale. Maybe the environment is too complex and the information too overwhelming. Maybe, just maybe, their vision of the future is being shaped by what they read in newspapers and on the internet.

What we need is a press that is capable or reporting stories in a balanced way. I guess you could say that as an environmental blogger, I am biased in one way or another but I do try my best to give advice based on research where appropriate.

Anyway, I’m done with this rant.

Steve (156 Posts)

I am chief writer and editor on Green Steve. Blogging since 2011, I like to delve into a wide number of topics to help people reduce their carbon footprint. You should follow me on Twitter here. And add me to your Google+ circles here.

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