A new survey by research firm Roy Morgan has over three-quarters of Australians, 78 per cent, are concerned about global warming.
This is up 12 per cent since February 2014 and the highest level of concern for well over a decade since April 2006 (82 per cent ) before the Global Financial Crisis.
After the Global Financial Crisis in 2007-08 Australians’ concerns shifted away from the environment to economic issues such as the cost of living, unemployment and the gap between rich and poor.
Roy Morgan surveyed 1,006 Australians aged 18-64 years old. A record high 28 per cent (up 12 per cent since February 2014) who when asked for their view of global warming believe “It is already too late,” while an unchanged 50 per cent said “If we don’t act now it will be too late.” Only 18 per cent (down 12 per cent) now say “concerns are exaggerated” and four per cent can’t say
Women are more concerned about global warming than men
A majority of 55 per cent of women believe “If we don’t act now it will be too late’ compared to 45per cent of men while only 14 per cent of women say “concerns are exaggerated” compared to nearly a quarter, 23 per cent, of men.
In addition an almost identical 27 per cent of women, and 28 per cent of men, said “It is already too late”.
Over a third of young Australians think ‘it is already too late’ to deal with global warming
Perhaps unsurprisingly views on global warming are heavily age related with over a third, 36 per cent, of 18-24 year olds saying “It is already too late” compared to 32 per cent of 25-34 year olds, and under a quarter of both 35-49 year olds (24 per cent) and 50-64 year olds (23 per cent).
In contrast over a quarter, 27 per cent, of 50-64 year olds say ‘“Concerns are exaggerated’ compared to a fifth of 35-49 year olds and only around one-in-ten of those aged 18-34 years old.
Commenting on the results, Roy Morgan CEO Michelle Levine said: “Views on Global Warming have hardened over the last five years and the overall level of concern towards the issue is returning to levels experienced prior to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2007-08. Now over three-quarters of Australians say of global warming that either “If we don’t act now it will be too late” (50 per cent) or “It is already too late” (28 per cent ) to deal with the issue.
“This survey marks a distinct move back towards heavy concern about global warming and today a record high 28 per cent of Australians now say ‘It is already too late’ to deal with the challenge – up 12 per cent on five years ago.
“The increased concern about the issue comes as the global climate strike held last Friday saw millions of protesters, including hundreds of thousands around Australia, walk off the job and out of school to participate in marches calling on governments to do more to combat global warming and climate change.
“There are more protests to come with Extinction Rebellion, a group focused on forcing action to address global warming and climate change, set to hold their ‘Spring Uprising’ protests throughout Australian cities in the week of October 7-14 to highlight the issue.
“The group has come in for criticism overseas for the more radical nature of their protests and it will be important to see whether this form of protest proves beneficial to those advocating for more action on the issue or counter-productive.”