Public risk perceptions, understandings, and responses to climate change and natural disasters in Australia and Great Britain

Authors: Joseph P. Reser, Graham L. Bradley, A. Ian Glendon, Michelle C. Ellul and Rochelle Callaghan
Year: 2012

A survey of almost 3100 Australians and 1800 Britons has found strong similarities in matters of climate change-related risk perception, belief and concern domains. The study found that fewer than 6% of Australians surveyed (and 4% of Britons) could be called true ‘climate change sceptics’, suggesting that public opinion has been greatly misrepresented in the media. While Australian respondents viewed climate change as more immediate, proximal and certain, their British counterparts perceived the problem as more distant, uncertain, and less familiar in terms of anticipated consequences. The results of this study provide evidence that people want the government to act on climate change, and also feel a personal responsibility to act.

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