Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Surprise – people who live close to the land in bushfire alley are more likely to ignore media climate change claims.
The number of climate deniers in Australia is more than double the global average, new survey finds
by Caroline Fisher and Sora Park, The Conversation
JUNE 16, 2020
Australian news consumers are far more likely to believe climate change is “not at all” serious compared to news users in other countries. That’s according to new research that surveyed 2,131 Australians about their news consumption in relation to climate change.
The Digital News Report: Australia 2020 was conducted by the University of Canberra at the end of the severe bushfire season during January 17 and February 8, 2020.
The polarised nature of the debate
The data show older generations are much less interested in news about climate change than news in general, and younger people are much more interested in news about climate change than other news.
News consumers in regional Australia are also less likely to pay attention to news about climate change. One fifth (21%) of regional news consumers say they aren’t interested in climate change information compared to only 11% of their city counterparts.
Given this survey was conducted during the bushfire season that hit regional and rural Australia hardest, these findings appear surprising at first glance.
But it’s possible the results simply reflect the ageing nature of regional and rural communities and a tendency toward more conservative politics. The report shows 27% of regional and rural news consumers identify as right-wing compared to 23% of city news consumers.
…Read more: https://phys.org/news/2020-06-climate-deniers-australia-global-average.html
The original report is available here.
Higher skepticism amongst older people is understandable. Older people remember the previous ice age hype, which alarmists these days try to pretend never happened. I remember watching Leonard Nimoy’s ice age documentary as a kid, everyone was talking about it – it was a big hit in Australia.
The late climate scientist Stephen Schneider appeared in Nimoy’s ice age documentary. A few years afterwards he did a backflip and started promoting global warming concerns.
What about rural Australia? The skepticism in rural Australia in my opinion is also a red flag for the credibility of climate claims.
If climate change was having a noticeable impact, rural Australia is where the impact of climate change should be felt first, but it is in rural Australia you find the greatest proportion of climate skeptics. The study authors dismiss rural skepticism as being due to the older rural demographic, but this is a pretty weak explanation IMO.