World leader in climate scepticism

I saw this at Tim Blair the other day which I found quite depressing, even though he wrote it up in a kind of upbeat way: We’re Number One! We’re Number One!. And sure enough, there we are at the top, as reported by the SMH: Australia tops the world for climate change denial: study. So far so good, right? Alas, it’s when you get to the detail that you see just how much we are the best of a very bad lot. This is the same excerpt as taken by Tim:

Nearly one in five Australians do not believe in climate change, making the country the worst in the world for climate sceptics, a study of almost 20,000 people has found.

The research by the University of Tasmania found 17 per cent of Australians thought climate change was not real, compared with 15 per cent of people in Norway, 13 per cent of New Zealanders and 12 per cent of Americans …

“Despite the findings of climate scientists, the proportions of climate sceptics appear to be increasing in many countries,” the study said.

That means that 83% think not just that the climate is changing, which it always does, but that humans are responsible and we need to stop doing whatever, or change something or other, as a matter of urgency, to make it stop changing. And the story finished with this:

Highly educated people and those who lived in a large city were also less likely to be climate sceptics.

The kind of people, that is, who write news stories for the press, and see our 17% as “the worst in the world”. Absolutely unconscious on the part of the writer, this highly educated inner-city university grad. So what facts are these judgements based on? We here all know that global temperatures haven’t risen in almost twenty years, and then this just arrived this morning in my inbox:

Just one cool summer caused the much-worried-about Arctic icepack to swell by no less than a third in 2013 and it has grown even more since – more than making good its losses during the previous few years. Meanwhile of course, the southern sea ice around Antarctica has continued to spread out and cover bigger areas all the time, a circumstance which has frankly stumped climate scientists as their models cannot account for it. Antarctic ice hit a new all-time record last year, in fact.

Whether the climate is changing or not, it is the 83% who will determine who gets to govern this country. It is SH-Y who may better represent average opinion in Australia than anyone else around.

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