Climate change? Yeah, nah
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of climate change scepticism in the developed world, a study has revealed. Surprisingly, we have more sceptics per capita than in the US, where large numbers of right-wing media and politicians refuse to accept climate change is man-made.
A new paper from the University of Tasmania, called Scepticism in a changing climate: a cross-national study, found 13 per cent of New Zealanders were climate change sceptics.
It was third only to Norway (15 per cent) and Australia (17 per cent). The United States came in at 12 per cent.
The study, which was published in the journal, Global Environmental Change, was based on surveys taken in each of the 14 countries and was designed to be representative of adults aged over 18.
It found countries with higher levels of CO2 emissions corresponded with nations with higher rates of climate change scepticism.
According to data compiled by the US Department of Energy, New Zealand was ranked 50 out of 214 nations for CO2 emissions per capita, with each Kiwi creating about 7.8 tonnes each year.
Scepticism also increased a country’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change, the study said.
It found that men, political conservatives and people with low environmental concern were most likely to be sceptics.
Contrary to the authors’ expectations, education level and age were not found to be relevant predictors of scepticism.
The study supported earlier Canadian research that found that “those who value the free market system over environmental quality tend to believe that global climate change is not occurring, that the causes of global climate change are more natural than human caused and that its consequences will not be negative”.
Climate denial and climate change minimisation stopped being a scientific issue some time ago, it is a cultural wilful ignorance generated by those who refuse to believe the economic base of their privilege is under threat.
Those who benefit from the current system don’t want to accept that system is broken and requires radical change for us to be able to adapt to the climate change realities our pollution is creating.
They don’t want to see how climate change exacerbates inequality and they don’t want to hear about need for change.
These climate change minimisers and deniers are in fact putting faith in the free market that has so benefitted them to somehow find a solution to a distant problem that’s just some communist green conspiracy anyway.
The believers are faith based, not fact based.
When scientists in NZ feel ‘gagged’, we have some major problems…
Late last year the association released a poll showing 40 percent of scientists surveyed felt they were not able to speak out on issues within their areas of expertise because of management policy or concern over losing funding.
Its president, Nicola Gaston, said since the survey was made public she had been approached by several scientists who have felt pressured or gagged.
Dr Gaston said the pressure on scientists was occurring in universities and Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), as pressure went on to raise more funding from industry.
She said a university scientist told her he was about to go on live television to talk about a contentious issue when the Vice Chancellor called, but he refused to take the call.