Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

Archive for July 26th, 2011

The risk perception paradox on The Conversation

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The perception paradox: understanding risk is key to selling the carbon tax

Science is strengthening its view that business-as-usual emissions of greenhouse gases will result in serious risks while the Australian public’s perception of climate change as a risk erodes.

A recent Lowy Institute Poll shows the proportion of the public who say “until we are sure global warming is really a problem, we should not take any steps that would have economic effects” has risen from 7 to 19% between 2006 and 2011.

81% believe climate change to be a problem, but support for a serious/gradual response has shifted from 68%/24% to 41%/40%.

75% think the federal government has done a somewhat to very poor job of addressing climate change. And in current political polling, a majority of Australians are opposed to a “carbon tax”.

This shows an increasing gap between the calculated and perceived risks of climate change, although a majority remained concerned.

It also shows a gap between the perceived risks of climate policy and benefits of implementing that policy. Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Roger Jones

July 26, 2011 at 7:24 am