The level of belief in climate change and the attribution of causes has varied significantly over the past 12 years in Australia and in the USA. Belief is currently higher than in the 2010 to 2012 period but not higher than in 2005 in Australia. The level of belief varies by age group and the divergence between the oldest and youngest age groups has increased in recent years.
Despite most people believing that the climate is changing and that human activity is at least a partial cause, it is not considered to be a particularly important issue relative to others health, living costs, and employment.
A minority of adults in Australia and the USA believe that climate change will have serious consequences over the next five or even ten years.
Accordingly, the general public is not putting enough pressure on politicians to take decisive and urgent action.
My report documents these findings based on a wide range of surveys of the general public over the past 12 years. It identifies the key reasons for variations in the level of belief. It also suggests a way forward.
A second report is currently being written which analyses the level of support for specific actions which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.