Friday, June 10, 2011

Push Poll Shows Support for New Investigation of Building 7

Since I was asked to nicely by a family member (hat tip) I'll comment on the latest Truther idiocy.

First the Truther Version:
As the 10 Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches quickly, a new Siena poll shows that half of New Yorkers today are in support of a new probe into the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7.


Now the reality. Let's start out by examining the poll questions that dealt with WTC-7.
Q4, Are you aware that in addition to the Twin Towers, another skyscraper in the World Trade Center complex collapsed on 9-/11?

On that one, about 2/3rds of the respondents said yes. Notably, the least likely to say yes were aged 18-34 (54%) women (61%) and those who had "less than college" education (61%).
Q5 (If aware of the collapse of another skyscraper) When did you first become aware of the collapse of this third skyscraper?

This is pretty embarrassing for the Remember Building 7 dolts. A full 82% of those who knew about the third skyscraper falling found out about it on 9-11 or shortly afterwards. Only 4% said they found out about it in the last few years. Heckuva job with those educational advertisements, guys!
Q6 (If aware of the collapse of another skyscraper) From the following list of the ways that people may have come to find out about the collapse of the third skyscraper, which was the first way that you became aware of its collapse?

I guess the most surprising thing about the results here is that the second most common way of hearing about it was from another person (18%). Over half (55%) heard about it from various forms of mainstream media (TV, radio, newspapers). You know, that mainstream media that never covered the collapse of Building 7?

Only about 20% of the respondents could name the third buildng that collapsed correctly. Men (30%) did quite a bit better than women (14%), younger people did better than seniors, and those with a college degree (30%) did better than those without the sheepskin (16%).

Q9. (If aware of collapse of another skyscraper) Of the following, what in your opinion was the primary cause of the collapse of Building 7 at the World Trade Center on 9/11?

Only 24% said controlled demolition. Now we can pretty much assume that anybody who wasn't aware of the collapse of Building 7 is not a Truther, which indicates that something like 16% (2/3rds times 24%) of the respondents to the poll are Truthers. And the crosstabs reveal some interesting facts about the controlled demolition crowd. They are more likely to be men (27%) than women (21%), more likely to be Democrats (24%) than Republicans (12%), yet more likely to be conservative (27% than liberal (22%). I'm not sure what to make of those last two results, but the overall poll only surveyed 634 people, so the margin of error on the crosstabs is quite a bit higher than on the overall results.
Q10. In 2008, the federal government issued a report that found that fires caused this skyscraper, World Trade Center Building 7, to collapse. Critics, including a group of more than 1,400 architects and engineers, have argued against the findings of the report stating that prior to 9/11, no steel-framed skyscraper had
ever collapsed as a result of fire. These critics suggest that only the use of explosives can account for Building 7's collapse. Are you more inclined to believe the findings of the federal government that fire caused Building 7's collapse or the critics that believe explosives were responsible?

Here's where the push-polling comes in. After being pushed with the 1400 architects and engineers nonsense, suddenly the number of people believing in controlled demolition goes up to 36%. Women (39%) suddenly believe it more than men (33%), but still those with college degrees (28%) are less likely to be impressed with Gage's clown posse than those without (43%).
Q11. Many have signed a petition calling for a NEW investigation into Building 7's collapse. Others consider the case closed and do not think a new investigation is warranted. Would you be in favor of or opposed to a local government agency like the New York City Council or Manhattan District Attorney opening a new investigation into the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7?

A total of 48%, having been pushed by the 1400 idiots, now support a new investigation of Building 7. Men (51%) support it more than women (45%), the young (62%) more than the old (36%), those with less than a college degree (55%) more than those with diplomas (39%), the unemployed (50%) more than the employed (48%).

Somebody over at Flogger suggested looking at the crosstabs to see how outreach should be targeted to those most receptive to the "Truth". Looking at that last result, I'd say that the most receptive group has been young, less-educated, men without jobs. Shocking, I know.

On the 48% figure being pushed, how many people would have agreed with a new investigation if they'd been told that nobody died in the collapse of Building 7? How many would have agreed if they'd been given a comparison of Richard Gage's resume and that of Shyam Sunder?

Update: See also Triterope's analysis at JREF.

26 Comments:

At 10 June, 2011 15:45, Blogger Triterope said...

I wrote a long piece about the methodological problems of the poll at JREF:

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=7269802&postcount=15

 
At 10 June, 2011 16:11, Blogger Triterope said...

And I see you had a lot of the same reactions I did.

A full 82% of those who knew about the third skyscraper falling found out about it on 9-11 or shortly afterwards. Only 4% said they found out about it in the last few years. Heckuva job with those educational advertisements, guys!

What's really mind-boggling about this poll is that they made absolutely no attempt to ascertain the effectiveness of said educational advertisements.

If anybody sane or competent was involved in this project, that would be the whole reason for the poll. Because $100,000 is a lot of money to spend on advertising without knowing if it worked. But these idiots don't care. Run the ad, generate the phony poll, run the ad again.

Only about 20% of the respondents could name the third buildng that collapsed correctly.

Which makes sense, because there is no "third building." There are several buildings that collapsed other than the Twin Towers. The "third building" is a phony construct that exists only in Trutherland, and it skews the responses they get.

Q9. (If aware of collapse of another skyscraper) Of the following, what in your opinion was the primary cause of the collapse of Building 7 at the World Trade Center on 9/11?

Even though 80% of respondents couldn't even identify "the third building", and most said they hadn't seen the video clip, they're going to ask them their opinion about it anyway. Stupid, but mainstream polls often do the same thing, asking people things they couldn't possibly have an informed opinion about (CNN, I'm looking at you).

 
At 10 June, 2011 17:24, Blogger Len said...

The sample doesn't seem to be representative of the general public:

"Employed
Yes 58%
No 40%"

http://rememberbuilding7.org/poll-results/Building7_Poll.pdf

But the unemployment rate in NYC is 8.6%

http://www.labor.state.ny.us/stats/pressreleases/pruistat.shtm


Of course e have to add in people who have given up looking and retirees but it is hard to believe they make up 32% of the population especially since only 16% of the sample is over 65. I assume there are more people over 65 who still work than retirees below that age. But let's be nice and say one cancels out the other. Is it reasonable to assume about 16% of city residents who have not retired but have given up finding a job?

My guess is most the calls were made during working hours.

Based on the question it isn't clear that all or even most of the 24% who responded “controlled demolition” to question 9 were toofers, they could have assumed the building as demoed for safety reasons (like WTCs 4, 5 & 6)

I’m not surprised they this time round they aonly broke down educational level into 2 groups

 
At 10 June, 2011 18:48, Blogger Triterope said...

it isn't clear that all or even most of the 24% who responded "controlled demolition" to question 9 were toofers, they could have assumed the building as demoed for safety reasons (like WTCs 4, 5 & 6)

That's a great point. The question as asked could evoke that response for that reason.

 
At 10 June, 2011 20:02, Blogger Ian said...

A full 82% of those who knew about the third skyscraper falling found out about it on 9-11 or shortly afterwards.

That would be me. I had never heard of WTC 7 until 9/11 when the media told me for something like 5 hours how the building was in danger of collapse and then...it collapsed.

However, I only became aware of the truth movement when I started seeing stuff about WTC 7 plastered on the internet. I couldn't possibly fathom what they thought WTC 7 meant as far as a conspiracy, and 6-7 years later, I still don't.

Also, young, uneducated men without jobs. Hmm, what Screw Loose Change poster fits that description (well, except for the being young part)?

 
At 10 June, 2011 21:52, Blogger M Gregory Ferris said...

"Q10. In 2008, the federal government issued a report that found that fires caused this skyscraper, World Trade Center Building 7, to collapse. Critics, including a group of more than 1,400 architects and engineers, have argued against the findings of the report stating that prior to 9/11, no steel-framed skyscraper had
ever collapsed as a result of fire. These critics suggest that only the use of explosives can account for Building 7's collapse. Are you more inclined to believe the findings of the federal government that fire caused Building 7's collapse or the critics that believe explosives were responsible?"

This one is the old snake-oil testimonial. You see it today with diet supplements and various scam-health remedies. There's one I hear on the radio these days that say's "it's so effective that it was included in gift-baskets at last year's Grammy awards" as if that is equal to actual clinical testing.

In sales it's the old "Keeping up with the Jones" ploy. We'd tell them that all the cool people were buying it, and that was all it usually took.

This is the oldest trick in the book, and it still works.

 
At 10 June, 2011 23:48, Blogger Richard Gage's Testicles said...

Something else kind of stands out: the "don't know" responses are relatively high for Q9 ("What brought down WTC7?") and Q10 ("Who do you believe?"). For virtually everything else it's about 8%, indicating that people have their minds made up about all this. Even if they succeed in moving people out of the Undecided column on those particular questions, I don't see how that's going to be enough for a revolution.

 
At 11 June, 2011 05:30, Blogger ConsDemo said...

Len said...The sample doesn't seem to be representative of the general public:
"Employed Yes 58% No 40%"
But the unemployment rate in NYC is 8.6%


Actually, those aren’t quite identical comparisons. The “unemployment rate” that is published monthly is the share of those out of work but looking for a job divided by the sum of the share out of work and looking for a job plus the number of those with a job. There are actually a number of employment statistics and another is the share of the working age population who has a job and that figure tends to bounce around between 60 and 65 percent and is lower than normal today because of the recession. That statistic isn’t talked about as much because it includes plenty of people (e.g. stay at home moms, etc) who aren’t interested in working, however, it is the closest comparison to this poll demographic characteristic. Siena is a legitimate polling organization, although I’ve lost respect for them since they stoop to working for these sorts of “clients.” There are certainly plenty of other problems with the poll but not the employment statistic.

They are more likely to be men (27%) than women (21%), more likely to be Democrats (24%) than Republicans (12%), yet more likely to be conservative (27% than liberal (22%). I'm not sure what to make of those last two results…

This is actually not that surprising either. Polling generally shows far fewer people who call themselves “liberal” than “Democrat” and more people who call themselves “conservative” than call themselves “Republican.” "Conservative" has been a more popular label for decades but plenty of people who describe themselves as “conservative” often express views that aren’t at all conservative or are ideologically incoherent, i.e. “I’m against big government but don’t cut Medicare.” That person might describe themselves as conservative but they could still vote Democratic.

Now we can pretty much assume that anybody who wasn't aware of the collapse of Building 7 is not a Truther, which indicates that something like 16% (2/3rds times 24%) of the respondents to the poll are Truthers.

That is actually consistent other survey results so it is probably about right, about one in six New Yorkers have some twoofer sympathies without prompting, it is sad that even that many are so cynical about or hateful of their own country they are willing to believe this crap or atleast lend it credence. However, it would be interesting to know what the percentage would be if the war in Afghanistan were to end tomorrow. I suspect it would drop precipitously and prove how few people are actually motivated by twoof pseudoscience as opposed to nibbling on twooferism as a way to vent ideologically.

These critics suggest that only the use of explosives can account for Building 7's collapse.

Is that what AE911 twoof actually says? I thought they just call for a new investigation. In any case, even if one buys that these 1,400 people really exist and have the credentials they claim this is akin to a two part question 1) Were you aware candidate X beats his wife, 2) would you vote for Candidate X.

 
At 11 June, 2011 07:46, Blogger Dave Kyte said...

"prior to 9/11, no steel-framed skyscraper had ever collapsed as a result of fire."

This is incorrect, buildings have collapsed due to fire, the WTC was just the largest. But let say it were true, it doesn't mean collapse from fire is impossible, only the WTC would be the first. Its like saying the Titanic could not have sunk from hitting ice because not other ship had done so before. Its a nonsense statement.

 
At 11 June, 2011 08:16, Blogger Ian said...

This is incorrect, buildings have collapsed due to fire, the WTC was just the largest. But let say it were true, it doesn't mean collapse from fire is impossible, only the WTC would be the first. Its like saying the Titanic could not have sunk from hitting ice because not other ship had done so before. Its a nonsense statement.

One Meridian Plaza in Philadelphia had to be dismantled after a fire started by....rags soaked in linseed oil.

That's right, kids. Fire started by oily rags damaged a steel-framed skyscraper enough that they had to take it down. Just imagine what two fucking 767s loaded with jet fuel could do....

 
At 11 June, 2011 09:02, Blogger Billman said...

"prior to 9/11, no steel-framed skyscraper had ever collapsed as a result of fire."

This is incorrect, buildings have collapsed due to fire, the WTC was just the largest. But let say it were true, it doesn't mean collapse from fire is impossible, only the WTC would be the first. Its like saying the Titanic could not have sunk from hitting ice because not other ship had done so before. Its a nonsense statement.


I totally agree. This is my biggest pet peeve about the "Troof Movement" (aside from Dylan Avery's face). This nonsensical statement has been debunked and debunked and debunked. But they STILL say it like it's a new concept.

 
At 11 June, 2011 10:07, Blogger Dave Kyte said...

Truther dim-wittedness is on par with what you get from creationist. The idea something can't happen unless it has happened before is on par with creationist asking "what came before the big bang? " or "if man evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?"

The very fact they ask these obviously ludicrous question shows you are dealing with people who will never get logical clear ideas, you have to have something to work with as far as brains and they don't have that. And they will think they have made a point by asking silly questions.

 
At 13 June, 2011 12:37, Blogger snug.bug said...

What steel frame high rise has fallen down from fire? The only one I know of was the Equitable Building in 1912. It was only 130 feet high, it was just a partial collapse, and cast iron structural columns were involved.

When has there ever been a total collapse of a modern steel-frame high rise from fire?

 
At 13 June, 2011 15:27, Blogger WhyAskQuestions said...

What steel frame high rise has fallen down from fire? The only one I know of was the Equitable Building in 1912. It was only 130 feet high, it was just a partial collapse, and cast iron structural columns were involved.
-------------

Brian, how the hell do you think they got the steel and iron out of iron ore?

A: Fire
B: Explosives
C: Thermite
D: Brian's insane!
--------------
When has there ever been a total collapse of a modern steel-frame high rise from fire?
--------------
Here's the answer you dickwad:

http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/spain_fire_2005.html

Here's the scoop on the Madrid Tower fire:

"Given the seriousness and extent of the damage ... the adoption of any security measure to avoid new collapses would be totally useless," urban affairs councillor Pilar Martinez said on Thursday.

"As a result it will be declared a ruin and (we will proceed with) its complete demolition," she added.

Fire cause the damage, they had to tear it down because of saftey issues (not related in anyway to WTC7 either).

 
At 13 June, 2011 17:08, Blogger Ian said...

What steel frame high rise has fallen down from fire?

WTC 7, for one.

 
At 13 June, 2011 21:45, Blogger snug.bug said...

WAQo, they get iron out of ore by using a blast furnace with coke fuel and forced air. Is that what we had in the WTC?

The Madrid Tower was not a steel-framed highrise and it didn't totally collapse.

Ian, thanks for proving my point. No modern steel-frame highrise has collapsed from fire before 9/11.

 
At 14 June, 2011 04:45, Blogger Ian said...

Ian, thanks for proving my point. No modern steel-frame highrise has collapsed from fire before 9/11.

And the Madrid Tower, which you just mentioned.

You're not very bright, are you?

 
At 14 June, 2011 05:38, Blogger Ian said...

Also, Brian, prior to 9/11, no terrorist attack had ever used hijacked planes to crash them into buildings.

I guess the no-planers have a point, huh?

 
At 14 June, 2011 05:39, Blogger Ian said...

Also, there was One Meridian Plaza, Brian. You don't like mentioning that one, huh?

 
At 14 June, 2011 10:08, Blogger snug.bug said...

Ian, the Madrid tower was concrete and the collapse was only partial. Meridian Plaza did not collapse.

A plot to fly Air France flight 8969 into Eiffel Tower was disrupted by French commandos who stormed the plane when it stopped for refueling.

A guy tried to fly a small plane into the White House but crashed into a tree.

A guy tried to hijack Fed Ex flight 805 to crash it into the Fed Ex HQ in Memphis but he was overpowered.

 
At 14 June, 2011 19:38, Blogger Ian said...

Ian, the Madrid tower was concrete and the collapse was only partial. Meridian Plaza did not collapse.

That's nice, Brian.

A plot to fly Air France flight 8969 into Eiffel Tower was disrupted by French commandos who stormed the plane when it stopped for refueling.

A guy tried to fly a small plane into the White House but crashed into a tree.

A guy tried to hijack Fed Ex flight 805 to crash it into the Fed Ex HQ in Memphis but he was overpowered.


Thanks for proving my point. In none of these examples did terrorists ram jetliners into skyscrapers.

 
At 15 June, 2011 23:57, Blogger paul w said...

Regarding the 'no steel frame building' bullshit, both Europe and Japan suffered many loss of buildings due to the firebombing of the large cities, and the resulting firestorms.

The buildings fell from fire alone, and not bomb damage.

I got this from http://skeptoid.com/

The relevant podcasts:

1/29/08 World Trade Center 7: The Lies Come Crashing Down

7/10/07 The Twin Towers: Fire Melting Steel

http://skeptoid.com/episode_guide.php?cat=2

 
At 16 June, 2011 00:00, Blogger paul w said...

Ian, the Madrid tower was concrete and the collapse was only partial.

So, Brian accepts the steel framed section of the building collapsed, due to fire.

Well done, Brian.

 
At 16 June, 2011 10:20, Blogger snug.bug said...

Ian, you said "prior to 9/11, no terrorist attack had ever used hijacked planes to crash them into buildings."

And after I provided three examples of attempts to do just that, you shifted the specification to "skyscrapers" and claimed I'd proved your point. Your discredit yourself and anyone who tolerates you.

 
At 16 June, 2011 15:57, Blogger paul w said...

Ian, the Madrid tower was concrete and the collapse was only partial.

So, Brian accepts the steel framed section of the building collapsed, due to fire.

Well done, Brian.

 
At 17 June, 2011 17:53, Blogger Ian said...

Ian, you said "prior to 9/11, no terrorist attack had ever used hijacked planes to crash them into buildings."

Yes.

And after I provided three examples of attempts to do just that

Who cares about "attempts"? I asked for examples of terrorist attacks where planes were crashed into the targets. You provided none.

you shifted the specification to "skyscrapers" and claimed I'd proved your point.

Brian, you provided no examples of terrorist attacks in which airplanes were crashed into any targets, skyscraper or not. Thanks for proving my point.

Your discredit yourself and anyone who tolerates you.

My, such squealing!

Brian, you've been pwn3d again by me. You really need to stop trying to win against me. It's pathetic.

 

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