Majority of Australians believe in climate change: report

2015-11-04 09:32

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More than three-quarters of Australians believe that climate change is the real deal, according to a study released by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

The survey, which quizzed more than 18,000 Australians from different backgrounds and voting preferences, showed that 78 percent of respondents believed climate change - through natural fluctuations or through human interference - was affecting the Earth. Zoe Leviston from the CSIRO said on Wednesday that the survey encompassed many walks of life, and provides an accurate representation of the general feelings toward climate change in Australia.

"It was quite interesting to see that things like income, age, gender, really didn't have a noticeable impact both on what people thought about climate change and what they were doing in response to climate change," Leviston told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The study, which was a compilation of data from 2010 until 2014, also showed that half of all respondents changed their mind at least once over the course of the study. During the study, up to 45 percent of people said they believed in climate change and that it was caused by human interference, while up to 38.6 percent believed in climate change, but that it was a natural fluctuation in the Earth's temperature.

More than half of all Liberal voters were found to believe climate change was purely a natural phenomenon, which 76 percent of Greens voters are of the opinion that it is a result of man - compared to just 22 percent of National (part of the coalition) voters. Leviston blamed political influence as one major driver about people's opinions of climate change.

"I think it's an over simplification to say it's driven by political leanings," she said. "It suggests that people's attitudes towards climate change are more opinions that are responsive to changes in the social environment and possibly the physical environment, and that fluctuation reflects quite subtle changes."

The research also found that those who believed in man-made climate change were more likely to consult scientific research when basing their opinion, while climate change skeptics based their views more on "common sense."

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