Most Australians don’t believe climate change caused by humans: CSIRO

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CSIRO survey finds more than half of people surveyed over past five years still not convinced that humans causing climate change.

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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?

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 2.00.34 pm

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.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 2.01.04 pm

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.

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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.



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  1. Sam0077 4 years ago

    Whats to discuss? Anyone with ability to think things out for themselves knows that CO2 is what makes plants etc grow and if we didn’t have enough – the earth would be barren and all life extinct. Now originally 52 scientists supposedly signed off on UN report. Later most said didn’t sign off at all as altered. Then came East Anglia emails. And NASA also apology re mistaken data. And of course we knew the aim of the left is to re-distribute the so called wealth of the west to those poorer nations and this scam is the delivery vehicle by ripping us off on power. Didn’t work and cant think why intelligent people simply allow themselves to carry on being blindsided. Except of course its greed as usual. Left aim for OWG which means bottom line grows with only having to pay donations for favours to just 1 lot of politicians. Saving millions. Saw the wealthy grab solar hand outs when pensioners and low incomers couldnt afford it. Now can maybe and its being altered on tariffs. Wake up if you’re still hoodwinked,it hasnt warmed for 18 years 9 months.

    • Robert O'Keefe 4 years ago

      Sam: chocolate, water and CO2 can kill anything if you have too much of it. We also did the CO2 experiment in year 8 science class, fill a bottle with it and drop in a thermometer to prove the greenhouse effect, that CO2 traps heat and increases the temperature. The more you have of it in the air, the hotter the air gets.

      All the world’s weather observation agencies have been recording record temperatures, especially here in Australia where we are again having the hottest year on record. Last year the BOM had to add a new colour to their temperature map for the first time because it had never passed 60 degrees before.

      If you want to avoid bursting your bubble, make sure you never talk to a meteorologist, antarctic scientist, marine biologist, firefighter, farmer or anyone whose job is affected by the climate.

      • Jacob 4 years ago

        We never did that experiment at school. How many years ago was this.

        • Robert O'Keefe 4 years ago

          Roughly 7 or 8 years ago, late 2000s.

      • orko138 4 years ago

        …or an insurance company, or the business community (definitely not Exxon), any economists, the Bank of England, medical doctors, the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD… But, gotta love a global conspiracy.

    • JeffJL 4 years ago

      I will rely on the science for my facts Sam.

      You throw a lot of allegations around but very little of substance.

      We know that 250ppm CO2 is enough for plant life. Nobody is suggesting we drop CO2 levels below that so what are you trying to say in your second sentence? Some facts, and I acknowledge that they are facts, but with no relevance.

      The emails. There have been about eight investigations into the so called email scandal. They have all cleared the scientists of wrong doing. Of course you would argue that it is evidence of a cover up.

      So what do you believe? No changes in the climate. The warming is due to natural events. The earth is cooling. The earth is warming but it is cheaper to adapt to the consequences than deal with the problem. The earth is warming but it is too late to do anything about it.

      Were there a consistent line being peddled then I would take people who disagree with the peer reviewed, published science out there then I would be inclined to take more notice of the position.

    • Island fisher 4 years ago

      If you really believe that your comments maybe you should at least RESEARCH your facts first, as not one of your comments actually include any real data and is not referenced.
      If you believe that renewable energy is so expensive then how is that that the Brits have just signed a PPA for a Nuc power station that will sell power to the British people at more that twice the going rate of renewable energy and will continue to rise every year which in fact will cause a major shift of wealth to OS corporations
      As for your last comment even the climate change deniers of the LNP admit that the the reverse of what you state is true

    • Pedro 4 years ago

      Well done. I was really starting to worry that climate change was really bad, but with all that extra CO2 in the air, all the plants should grow much bigger and faster. I had no idea those loony greenies and lefties were conspiring to rob honest companies that we all grew up with and just throw it all away to those despotic third world nations.

    • lin 4 years ago

      Actually, there has been no statistically significant deviation in the long term warming trend from 1970 till now, with temperature increasing at about 0.15 degrees per decade.
      And we have broken the 1998 temperature record 3 or 4 times in the past 15 years, and look likely to have the new warmest record in 2015. Wishing away the facts because they don’t fit with your politics is intellectually dishonest.

    • trackdaze 4 years ago

      Your right co2 is plant food presuming they can survive the additional heat, drought, storm or havent been overcome by the sea

      There is additional trouble hear seeing plants are loosing the battle to date in balancing co2. Seems we have busted through 400ppm. You see the majority of plants provide no extra growth past the fast approaching 420ppm. They become saturated. So much of the additional growth has already been seen. Excluding areas affectd by wildfires of course!

    • Geoff 4 years ago

      and at the rate of deforestation and bush fires that is happening around the world, what’s going to soak up all that CO2 then? the oceans? oh – they are dying due to over fishing, pollution, warming temperatures and are due to collapse by 2048 on current trends. and then what?

    • nakedChimp 4 years ago

      ..the aim of the left is to re-distribute the so called wealth of the west to those poorer nations..

      Just LOL.

      Sam, please tick here:
      [ ] I have no clue what I am talking about. Nada. Zilch.

  2. Jacob 4 years ago

    But most Americans want more electricity to come from renewables. Even 51% of those who vote Republican.

    According to a recent survey.

    So no wonder the Republicans are going to lose the presidential election.

    • Geoff 4 years ago

      I only hope to god and any other higher power that the republicans DO NOT get in. it would be disastrous for everyone no matter where you live on this planet…

  3. trackdaze 4 years ago

    Mmm, Over 80+ years of study not once has anyone witnessesed an ostrich stick its head in the sand…..yet ask someone what they do when faced with a scary situation?

    In all seriousness a touch of cognitive dissonance at work there I suspect. Oh yeah Its happening but in no way could I (as a human) be part of the problem!

    • Pedro 4 years ago

      Think you hit the nail on the head there. Once you admit to yourself that climate change is real and that we caused it. The consequences are happening right now and those consequences are only going to get worse the longer we flaph around. Any rational person is compelled to do something. Survey results show there are not too many rational people out there. Trouble is what ever one individuals positive action does has virtually no impact…what to do??….Give up…make up some plausible climate denier excuse to let yourself off the hook and hope you get run over by a bus before it gets really bad.

    • MaxG 4 years ago

      It also explains why Abbott got elected, and why people continue to vote for the two major parties — utterly depoliticised, disinterested, vested in consumerism, etc.

  4. Paul Turnbull 4 years ago

    Tragic.Meaningful action is required which is will cost very effective fossil fuel and farming businesses. Coal, oil and gas businesses need to be managed to no emissions. Fertilizer, sheep and cows require controlled practices to reduce emissions. New areas of forests and trees to store carbon can help. Getting on with it reduces harm to all of us – its tragic. Public good requires leaders to explain the problem, work on solutions and then implement them. We seem pretty good at saving people from fire, flood and storms – we need to the same focus and urgency to save ourselves for global warming. NIce bit of research, sadly the impacts are being felt even if you are unaware of the underlying reason.

  5. Ian 4 years ago

    Climate change, nothing an air conditioner cannot fix. So much oil, coal and gas to burn and we have to run out of air, Oh the irony of it all.

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