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Global Warming analysis January 2010

 Despite concern about global warming being still relatively well-spread we also found that respondents were not generally prepared to pay more than $10 per month extra on their electricity bill to fight it. There is also some relationship between views on global warming and voting intention.

We asked whether respondents believed that CO2 was making the earth warmer - effectively was it a greenhouse gas.

Is CO2 a greenhouse gas

There was a statistically significant increase in those who thought it was, but no change in those who thought it wasn't - the balance have gone to the neutral spot. (These figures have been derived from a sample that was adjusted to reflect voting intentions as represented in the most recent Newspoll results so should be more representative of the general public than an unfiltered selection from our sample).

We then asked them whether they thought man was substantially responsible for an increase in global temperature.

Percentage who think man is making a significant contribution to global warming

Again, the change in support is due to some people beginning to doubt global warming is manmade, but not changing their mind to disbelieve the proposition.

We then asked whether they thought there was an unacceptable risk that global warming would be catastrophic.

Percentage who think there is an unacceptable risk that global warming will be catastrophic

In this case there was movement across from one side of the argument to the other. Views on this issue appear to align fairly closely to voting intention. The same pattern is evident in the other questions.

Percentage who think there is an unacceptable risk that global warming will be catastrophic by voting intention

Finally we asked about support for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

Percentage who approve of the CPRS

Compared in the moves in the other figures this is a dramatic collapse in support for the CPRS.

However, a bare majority still believes that Australia should move on global warming, even if the rest of the world is not ready to move.

Percentage who think Australia should move before the rest of the world

But perhaps this should not be at any cost. The following table shows how much extra respondents would pay on their monthly electricity bill to fight climate change.

Percentages for how much extra respondents would pay per month on their electricity to combat global warming

59% would pay no more than $10 additional per week.

This was highly correlated with voting intention.

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0 #1 good job test 2010-03-15 18:00
good job
0 #2 Physics is not decided by politics. The Philip Machanick 2010-04-21 17:42
Physics is not decided by politics. The greenhouse effect is real because it is quantifiable and predictable using well-establishe d theory that works in many other fields. Meanwhile the satellite record, the last bastion of denial, is trending up despite the fact that natural determiners of short-term change indicate the opposite should be happening opinion-nation.blogspot.com/.. ./... and the long-term trend in Arctic ice volume remains sharply down psc.apl.washington.edu/.../... -- whatever political opinions anyone may have, the physics will stay the same.

The only "political" question is whether we refuse to accept the early warning afforded by the best science available or jump over a cliff in the hope that gravity is just a theory, for which there is no mathematical proof.
0 #3 Hi Graham, My comment is (admittedly afChris Munson 2010-04-21 19:27
Hi Graham,
My comment is (admittedly after a short review of results) is that maybe the wrong wuestion was being asked. I write this to you after reading Ian Plimer and Archer's respone, and I am none the wiser.
I think maybe most "thinking" people (that may be a give me away) believe that man is indeed contributing CO2, and this HAS to be added to normal earth emissions. So, an honest answer to is man contributing? ,,, YES has to be the answer.
However, on a global scale (ref vulcano in Iceland) man is a small interference. The Sun is also a major contributor to our climate, as is the cyclic movements of planets around the sun, and the Sun itself.
Quandry: We are in an interglacial period. The pehaps most appropriate question may be: "Would you rather have the norther ice sheet move to mid Europe, or have variable weather elsewhere?"
I'm positive this does not help, however it is the best contribution I could make.
0 #4 Rudd didn't bother to answer the denial Greg Platt 2010-04-21 20:22
Rudd didn't bother to answer the denial industry and also didn't bother to explain how the CPRS was supposed to work. I think his CPRS is bad news, but I could have sold it better than him. The way to do it is to emphasise that putting a price on carbon isn't about "a great big new tax" undermining existing living standards, but to change RELATIVE prices, because the proceeds from sale of carbon permits would be returned to the population.

Because Rudd was concentrating solely on winning business over through major hand-outs, and then winning Turnbull over through even more big business hand-outs, he didn't explain either the science behind global warming, or the way the CPRS was supposed to work. Meanwhile, Nick Minchin was telling anyone who'd listen that he'd love to run a big scare campaign over the CPRS.

Finally, having defended the concept of a CPRS above, I have to explain why it's still bad news. It's because, as time goes on, the material wealth of society will have to decrease - and, obviously, somebody has to pay. A CPRS is about preserving the existing distribution of income & wealth while society gets poorer in material terms. This is just not a goer. Somewhere along the line, a group of people will break out and insist that they don't have to pay & that somebody else should. Given the size of the bill, it would take the expropriation of the capitalist class to fund the transition to sustainable energy systems without the other 90% of the population having to have their living standards cut.

If you don't believe me, go back & check how many people are prepared to pay how much extra on their electricity bill. And then think about the role of petrol powered cars, the fuel used in agriculture, etc, and the effect which would flow on to prices across the board.

Somebody has to pay. And it should be the 10% who can most afford it and have benefited most from past greenhouse pollution.
0 #5 I feel that global warming is man-made aHarry 2010-04-21 22:32
I feel that global warming is man-made and that we should be doing smething really worthwhile about it.
I feel that the CPRS is far too weak in its goals and that the proposals from the Coalition are far from realistic and merely encourage the polluters to continue their work without penalty.
Let's get on with it NOW.
0 #6 The sceptical lobby has been active and David Klein 2010-04-22 21:16
The sceptical lobby has been active and effective of late. Their main purpose is to create doubt by whatever means. It is doing damage to the integrity of science, both scientists and the institutions/or ganisations. I fear that global warming will have to become evident enough for it to be too late for credible or effective action.
0 #7 the truble most partys are on the dout lERNIE 2010-04-27 07:27
the truble most partys are on the dout list, we stand by him or her then some body come up with well like the money that was spence on school's and gillard say well when you are doing a fast fex you have to spend more money, then oh were looking in to it, but only by presser that it was look in to,now my love first it was the hole in the space now it global warming and weather change come on i can take you to a place in townsville were as a kid my brother and sister were floating paper boats of the floor of that hiblock house in 46 and it is still there to day them people may not know about that and if you were to ask they would posable say not in our time,geting back to the hole if there was't a hole but is now then maybe you need to look at the spaceship and all that fuel going throw it and still are i rest my case.