Three quarters (76%) of Australians believe it is important to take action on climate change. This support, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean action and Australia is trying again to introduce a price on carbon.
So how important is the pitch? Here’s PM Julia Gillard on talkback radio (Feb 25 2011):
The government, in a methodical, careful, structured way is doing the right thing to create a clean-energy future for this country, to make sure we’ve got jobs in the future. I don’t want this country to be left behind.
The pitch mirrors what we know from climate change polling. Words and perspectives are important. This Stamford University study on USA attitudes illustrates just how important. The study asked the following questions with significant changes in results. And you’ll see some of the lessons mirrored in the statements above.
1. What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?
In this traditional question, about 49% answered economy or unemployment. Only 1% environment or global warming.
2. What do you think is the most important problem facing the world today?
This increases environmental issue responses to 7%. 32% say economy issues.
3. What do you think will be the most important problem facing the world in the future?
With the future, 14% chose environment/global warming. Economic down to 21%.
4. What do you think will be the most serious problem facing the world in the future if nothing is done to stop it?
Now, 25% say environment issues. Only 10% pick economic.