Barometer For Measuring German Public Interest In “Climate Protection” Sets Record Low!

More than ever Germans are showing less and less interest in “climate protection”. It’s a worn out issue.

The German Federal Ministry of Environment’s public information campaign dubbed Klima Sucht Schutz (Climate seeks protection) site here, among other functions, measures German public interest in protecting the climate every quarter using it’s so-called climate barometer index.

Climate-barometer index for Q3, 2012, falls to an all time low of 52. Source:

The results for the 3rd quarter are in, and they are not good if you are concerned about “saving the climate”. Public interest in protecting the climate has reached an all-time low in Germany. The site writes:

The trend that has been observed for a long time continues: Interest in climate protection in the 3rd quarter of 2012 continues to fall and the index value of 52 is the lowest level ever reached.”

The index is made up of three factors: 1) media interest in the topics of climate protection and energy saving, 2) Internet searches on the subjects of climate protection, climate change and energy saving, and 3) the assessment of the situation by experts.

Google searches on the subjects of Energiewende (energy transition) also show a downward trend in Germany:

Google “Energiewende” searches for Q3, 2012. Source:

So what could be the reason for the waning interest in climate change? Klima-sucht-Schutz says that climate change is getting old, and has lost its novelty and media value. The site writes: “Reduced accordingly is the demand for the subject among the citizens.” In plain English, audiences are tired of hearing about it, especially now with their electric bills skyrocketing. Nobody wants to hear about it anymore. They’re fed up.

But with the hype surrounding Doha in December, we expect the Q4 index to be up a bit, as is the case every year. However, expect the overall downward trend to continue.


6 responses to “Barometer For Measuring German Public Interest In “Climate Protection” Sets Record Low!”

  1. DirkH

    As their index is made up of three sources, one of which being the media interest and one being the “expert assessment” I would draw the conclusion
    a) journalists have noticed that they can’t sell units with climate change anymore, and that class warfare/ banker bashing works better now. (of course, with the exception of public media journalists who don’t have to care whether anyone’s interested in their reporting).
    b) “experts” see diminishing returns on their attempts at getting climate protection funds and explore other keywords.

  2. Walter Schneider

    Perhaps the graphs by co2online Klima-Barometer do not accurately reflect public opinion on the issues of climate protection (Klimaschutz) and energie transformation (Energiewende).

    Aside from that, and I am nitpicking a bit, the last-12-month moving average for the graph on Energiewende should not have been used. A centered 13-month moving average would have centered the data on the monthly data and not shifted it by about six months to the right.

    I believe that Google Trends is capable of producing far more objective trend lines indicating changes in public interest in specific issues. Here is what it shows for Klimaschutz and Energiewende:

    Those trendlines make it clear that:

    1.) Although Klimaschutz was a concern that had had the public’s attention for some time, it did not become a great public concern until March of 2007, after which the public’s interest in the issue steadily waned (far more rapidly and to a far greater extent than the graph in the article indicates), to return to the level of interest it had had in late 2006.

    2.) Energiewende had not become an issue of interest to anyone until the issue of Klimaschutz had been brought to prominence in March 2007. Relatively low interest in Energiewende continued then until June 2011, when the Bundestag ratified Energiewende-legislation. After that, public interest in the issue of Energiewende awoke and has even doubled since then. That is not at all surprising, given the fiscal and financial calamities that the legislation began to produce. Again and far more so than the Klima-Barometer graph, Google Trends appears to produce a more accurate indication of true public interest trends.

    3.) Google Trends also puts the assertion that the issues of Klimaschutz and Energiewende are of world-wide interst into the correct perspective. The issues are of great interest only in Germany, as the map depicting regional interest shows.

    It is of interest to make comparisons of the two terms, Klimaschutz and Energiewende, to corresponding terms, environmental protection and renewable resources (although you may want to play with those terms and substitute more appealing ones), used in the English-speaking world. It puts the issues into an entirely more revealing perspective.

    The trend lines produced with Google Trends present a somewhat biased picture that probably overstates what the public interest in such issues currently is, compared to earlier times. There is increasing penetration of the market as time progresses with respect to the ability of people to make searches for issues of interest. Therefore, all other things being equal, an issue that experiences a steady level of public interest over time should spark steadily increasing numbers of searches.

  3. Nonoy Oplas

    I think it’s a global phenomenon too. Here in the Philippines, there are less climate news too about “saving the planet” and GW. Rather, there are just too many storms, low pressure area (LPA) leading to more rains, instead of more drought under an AGW scenario. A storm entered this week, another storm to enter next week, two storms in the first 2 weeks of January, big headache to explain for the climate alarmists why there are lots of rains instead of having less.

  4. TimiBoy

    We are having a dry, hot spell in Australia. Here in Brisbane it is unusually dry. Wait for the Alarmists to carry on about it. We need to remind them of the wet Summers we have just had – three in a row, including major flooding – that we were told we would NEVER have again. South East Queensland has just dumped water restrictions because our dams are FULL. We were told in 2007 they would never fill again by Tim Flannery.

    I’d love to see an index like this for Oz. I think it’s falling off the radar here too. We have a Federal Election coming up, and I look forward to hearing how little of it is fought on Climate.

  5. Ric Werme

    The spike in late 2009 is likely due to the Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conference 2009 (COP15), the last COP that had any chance that governments would cut their country’s CO2 production.

    President Obama bailed a day early to get back to Washington before the first blizzard to clobber the mid-Atlantic states that year. He and other leaders haven’t been to a COP since.

  6. intrepid_wanders

    The spike in late 2009 is likely due to the Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conference 2009 (COP15), the last COP that had any chance that governments would cut their country’s CO2 production.

    Indeed. We also need to factor in the non-technical interest of “What is this COP15 and how does it affect me?”. Around the same time-frame, I noted many US people in support of “Cap ‘n Trade” had no clue as to it being an energy policy.

    Who knows what that spike could have been 😉

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