Attitude to Scientific Evidence for Climate Change

Jun 20, 2011

Q. Which of the following statements best reflects your attitude to doubts recently expressed by opponents of action on climate change about the science evidence?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Doubts are valid because nothing is certain in science 15% 14% 18% 9%
Doubts are valid because man made climate change has not been proven 29% 15% 43% 11%
Doubts are misleading because the science evidence of man made climate change is overwhelming 21% 33% 14% 36%
Doubts are misleading because the science evidence has been rigorously tested and reviewed 11% 15% 7% 27%
Don’t know 23% 24% 17% 17%

Overall, 44% believe doubts about the science evidence for climate change are valid (mainly because man made climate change has not been proven) and 33% think doubts are misleading (mainly because the science evidence of man made climate change is overwhelming).

Those most likely to think the doubts are valid were Liberal/National voters (61%), men (50%), aged 55+ (59%) and incomes under $600pw (54%).

Those most likely to think doubts are misleading were Greens voters (63%), Labor voters (48%) and those on incomes over $1,600pw (41%).

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Position on Climate Change

Jun 14, 2011

Q. Do you believe that there is fairly conclusive evidence that climate change is happening and caused by human activity or do you believe that the evidence is still not in and we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate which happens from time to time?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Men Women Aged 18-34 Aged 35-54 Aged 55+ Nov 09 Dec 10 30 May 11
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 50% 64% 34% 83% 45% 54% 60% 49% 38% 53% 45% 52%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 39% 28% 55% 10% 44% 33% 27% 37% 55% 34% 36% 36%
Don’t know 12% 9% 11% 6% 12% 12% 13% 14% 8% 13% 19% 12%

50% agree that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity and 39% believe that we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate. This is little changed since this question was last asked in May.

By age groups, those aged under 35 split 60%/27% and those aged 55+ split 38%/55%.

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Confidence in Taking Action on Climate Change

Jun 14, 2011

Q. How confident are you that climate change can be averted if we take action now?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Very confident 13% 16% 11% 18%
Somewhat confident 48% 52% 45% 45%
Not very confident 30% 27% 32% 30%
Not at all confident 6% 2% 10% 5%
Don’t know 2% 3% 1% 3%

*Based on those who believe “climate change is happening”

Of those who believe climate change is happening, 61% are very or somewhat confident that climate change can be averted if we take action now. A majority of all voter groups are very/somewhat confident.

By age, 68% of aged under 35 are confident compared to 58% of those aged 55+.

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Important election issues

Jun 6, 2011

Q. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election?

One Two Three Total 24 Jan 11 11 Oct 10 25 Jan 10
Management of the economy 34% 18% 9% 61% 65% 62% 63%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 6% 10% 10% 26% 26% 32% 23%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 15% 15% 19% 49% 49% 48% 48%
Protecting the environment 4% 6% 5% 15% 13% 12% 16%
A fair industrial relations system 2% 3% 3% 8% 10% 11% *
Political leadership 6% 6% 5% 17% 16% 16% 23%
Addressing climate change 6% 4% 5% 15% 10% 11% 16%
Controlling interest rates 3% 5% 5% 13% 21% 17% 15%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 9% 11% 12% 32% 30% 30% 33%
Ensuring a quality water supply 1% 1% 3% 5% 6% 6% 12%
Housing affordability 4% 6% 6% 16% 16% 17% 14%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 3% 6% 8% 17% 18% 16% 14%
Security and the war on terrorism 2% 2% 4% 8% 5% 6% 9%
Treatment of asylum seekers 1% 2% 2% 5% 5% 5% *
Managing population growth 2% 4% 6% 12% 11% 10% *

*Not asked

61% of people surveyed rated management of the economy as one of their three most important issues, followed by 49% ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 32% Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

Since January, there has been an increase in the importance of addressing climate change (from 10% to 15%) and a decrease in the importance of controlling interest rates (from 21% to 13%).

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Important election issues

Jun 6, 2011

Q. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election?

Total Labor Liberal/ National Green
Management of the economy 61% 60% 76% 28%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 26% 29% 24% 27%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 49% 50% 50% 51%
Protecting the environment 15% 17% 10% 52%
A fair industrial relations system 8% 12% 4% 4%
Political leadership 17% 16% 20% 16%
Addressing climate change 15% 23% 6% 45%
Controlling interest rates 13% 15% 13% 6%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 32% 28% 36% 12%
Ensuring a quality water supply 5% 5% 3% 7%
Housing affordability 16% 16% 13% 16%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 17% 14% 19% 16%
Security and the war on terrorism 8% 4% 13% 1%
Treatment of asylum seekers 5% 3% 5% 12%
Managing population growth 12% 12% 12% 9%

There were few substantial differences between voters on issues they considered important. Compared to the average, Labor voters are more likely to rate addressing climate change (23%) as important.

Liberal/National voters attach more importance to management of the economy (76%) and security and the war on terrorism (13%) while Greens voters are more likely to nominate protecting the environment (52%), addressing climate change (45%) and treatment of asylum seekers (12%).

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Position on Climate Change

May 30, 2011

Q. Do you agree that there is fairly conclusive evidence that climate change is happening and caused by human activity or do you believe that the evidence is still not in and we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate which happens from time to time?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Nov 09 Dec 10
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 52% 71% 34% 78% 53% 45%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 36% 20% 54% 14% 34% 36%
Don’t know 12% 8% 12% 8% 13% 19%

52% agree that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity and 36% believe that we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate. This is a significant increase in the belief that climate change is happening and caused by human activity since December last year (and a return to the levels recorded in November 2009).

By age groups, those aged under 35 split 64%/24% and those aged 55+ split 47%/48%.

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Who Will Pay Carbon Tax?

May 26, 2011

Q. Thinking about Carbon Tax, how would you expect it will be paid? (This question has been commissioned by Network Ten)

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Men Women Age

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Industries will have to absorb the costs 14% 17% 9% 22% 14% 13% 16% 14% 10%
Consumers will end up paying it because industry will increase prices 63% 54% 79% 40% 63% 63% 59% 65% 65%
Industries will pay and consumers will be compensated for any price increases 13% 17% 8% 32% 13% 13% 12% 11% 16%
Don’t know 10% 11% 4% 6% 10% 11% 13% 10% 8%

Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents believe that consumers will end up paying the carbon tax because industry will increase prices – 14% think industries will have to absorb the costs and 13% think industries will pay but consumers will be compensated for price increases.

Greens voters are least likely to think that consumers will end up paying for it (40%). Otherwise perceptions are similar across demographic groups.

Of those who think consumers will end up paying, 30% support the scheme and 58% oppose.

Of those who think industry will absorb the costs, 74% support the scheme and 21% oppose.

Of those who think Industries will pay and consumers will be compensated, 74% support the scheme and 19% oppose.

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Tony Abbott and Climate Change

Mar 21, 2011

Q. As far as you know, do Tony Abbott and the Coalition support action to address climate change or are they opposed to taking any action?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Support action to address climate change 36% 27% 59% 31%
Are opposed to any action to address climate change 33% 47% 17% 48%
Don’t know 29% 26% 24% 21%

Overall, respondents were divided over the position of Tony Abbott and the Coalition on climate change – 36% believe they support action to address climate change and 33% think are they opposed to taking any action.

Those that intend to vote Lib/Nat were far more likely to believe that Tony Abbott and the Coalition support action to address climate change (59%).

Those that intend to vote for Labor (47%) or the Green (48%) were more likely to state that Tony Abbott and the Coalition are opposed to any action to address climate change.

Males (42%) were more likely than females (34%) to state that Tony Abbott and the Coalition support action to address climate change.

Females (39%) were more likely than males (19%) to state ‘Don’t know.’

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