October 16, 2009
Australians are the latest citizenry to turn against climate change catastrophism. For the first time, according to a Lowy poll released this week, a majority of the population turned thumbs down to the proposition that “global warming is a serious and pressing problem. We should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant costs.” This rejection applied to younger segments of the population as well as old, especially disappointing to Australian decision makers, given their efforts to indoctrinate youths through the educational system.
Last year, 60% of the populace bought into global warming fears and in 2006, the figure was 68%.
Neither did Aussies view tackling global warming as particularly important. When compared to other foreign policy issues, such as illegal immigration, protecting jobs, combating terrorism, strengthening the United Nations, or protecting Australians living abroad, climate change fared miserably. In fact, of the 10 foreign policy issues the poll cited, only “promoting democracy in other countries” was deemed less of a priority.
The Australian results come the same week that the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change released a survey showing most Britons do not fear harm from climate change. Until last week, the government had kept up a brave face, refusing to acknowledge that its relentless efforts over decades to convince the public of the need for action on climate change had failed.
With Copenhagen fast approaching, the government has decided to pull out all the stops with an unprecedented prime time TV ad campaign to turn public opinion around. “The survey results show that people don’t realize that climate change is already under way and could have severe consequences,” Joan Ruddock, the Energy and Climate Change Minister explained in justifying the need for her aggressive campaign. The £6-million ad campaign showing scenes of devastation through animation — flooding, drowning animals and humans, a sign that reads “The World’s End” — fittingly premiered on the night-time soap opera, Coronation Street, with an ad entitled “Bedtime stories.”
Editor’s note: This article is revised version of a story that first appeared in Lawrence Solomon’s Energy Probe blog.