More than three quarters of Australians believe climate change is real, according to a new report released by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
The Australian attitudes to climate change: 2010-2014 report, which surveyed a total of 17,493 Australians between 2010 and 2014, found that 78 per cent of Australians answered yes when asked, “Do you think climate change is happening?”.
While nearly 46 per cent of respondents thought climate change was caused by human activity, more than 38 per cent believed it was due to natural fluctuations in the Earth, rather than humans. Almost 8 per cent thought climate change was not real.
The report also found results varied depending on a person’s political preference, with 59 per cent of Labor voters believing climate change was due to the actions of humans, compared to only 28 per cent of Liberal supporters, 22 per cent of National Party voters, and 76 per cent of Greens voters.
Dr Zoe Leviston, one of the report’s researchers, told ABC Radio on Wednesday that “People’s attitudes towards climate change are more opinions that are responsive to changes in the social environment, and also possibly the physical environment.”
“I think it’s an oversimplification to say it’s driven by political leanings,” Dr Leviston said.
The report was released one week after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appointed Dr Alan Finkel, who is pro renewable energy, as the new chief scientist, and just weeks before Mr Turnbull heads to Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference with former prime minister Tony Abbott’s plan to reduce green house gases by 26 to 28 by 2030, based on 2005 levels.
Mr Abbott was strong in his views and actions against climate change, global warming, and the use of renewable energy sources, including wind and solar. He abolished the Carbon Tax and the Climate Commission when he was first appointed to the top job in 2013, and attempted to shut down the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). – story by Daniel Walker, video produced by the Digital Team and presented by work experience student Malachi Young
Top photo from Paul VanDerWerf’s Flickr photostream.