Britain is suddenly a nation of climate skeptics. In a February poll, just 26% agreed that “climate change is happening now and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41% as recently as November 2009, the New York Times reports. The sudden plunge is probably due in part to the so-called “climategate” emails, heavily covered by the UK media, and in part to the seemingly cold winter.
Of course, two independent panels have found that the “climategate” emailers didn't intentionally distort any data, and the winter was actually the fifth warmest on record, globally. But the perception persists, and has made climate change a non-starter politically. David Cameron barely touched the issue in his campaign, and in a poll, conservative lawmakers ranked it as their bottom priority.