What Australian's really think about climate change

By Peta Ashworth, Group Leader, Science into Society at CSIRO

Current discussion in the news media highlights how polarised the issue of climate change has become. However, recent scientific research has shown that most Australians are sure about climate change and that those who have a preference for inaction are in the minority.

In late 2010 we conducted an internet survey with a random sample of 1,602 Australians to understand the current attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and knowledge of the Australian general public about climate change issues, their responses to climate change, and their preferred methods of communication about these issues.

Consistent with our earlier research the results showed the majority of respondents (78%) indicated a belief that climate change is real.

Only 7% believe that climate change is not happening, while 15% are unsure.

Perhaps the essential challenge for society is to clarify the relatively minor costs of acting now compared to those of acting later. We need to find a path forward that proactively address the needs of individuals while encouraging action on climate change.

» Read the full article in The Conversation