The CSIRO has released the results of a five-year study it has conducted into Australians’ views on climate change, and the findings paint a worrying picture.
At first glance, an encouraging 78 per cent of the almost 18,000 people surveyed over the period of the study said they agreed that climate change was happening.
But as you can see in the chart below, these numbers are based on the respondents answers to a simple yes/no question?
Drill down a bit into why it is people think climate change is happening and the results are not so encouraging.
As the next chart shows, less than half of respondents – 45.9 per cent – side with the overwhelming body of scientific evidence, which says that climate change is being caused by human activity.
A huge 38.6 per cent of respondents said they believed climate change was happening, but was just part of natural fluctuations in the earth’s temperatures. And when you combine that number with those who don’t think it’s happening at all, and those who are undecided, you have a total of 54.2 per cent – more than half of those surveyed – who aren’t convinced by the science.
And that’s a worry.
Interestingly, the study also revealed divisions along party lines, with only 28 per cent of Liberal voters found to believe human activity was responsible for climate change, compared to 58 per cent of Labor voters.
And 22 per cent of Nationals voters agreed, compared to 76 per cent of those who support the Greens.