Older Australians care about climate change and are unhappy with the Government’s stance on global warming, saying responsible environmental policy will count towards their vote at the next Federal Election.
While there is still a portion of climate sceptics among those aged between 55 and 74, the overwhelming majority of respondents in the YourLifeChoices’ Friday Flash Poll: Do older Australians care about climate change? said they believe in man-made climate change and care about what is happening to our planet.
The poll’s results put paid to the misconception that older people don’t care about global warming because they won’t be around to experience its effects.
With 1859 respondents, this poll was one of the most participated-in since the Friday Flash Poll’s inception.
While some say that global warming is a hoax, 74 per cent of voters said they believed in man-made climate change and 81 per cent said they cared about its effects.
When asked ‘Do you understand how climate change works?’ 94 per cent said ‘yes’, but others responded that climate change is a natural phenomenon.
“Climate change is real but not caused by emissions. Our climate is continually changing as a natural science and has been this way since the beginning of time. We will always have droughts, storms, floods, heat and cold as this is Earth’s science. We need to respect and understand the very delicate nature of our precious Earth. Ceasing coal-powered stations will not change our climate. These climatologists are just scaremongers and solar businesses, individuals and countries are making a lot of money out of using these tactics, especially brainwashing our younger generations. Wake up Australia! Read I Love a Sunburnt Country,” said one member.
“The real science shows conclusively that the very small climatic movements are well within historical and statistical movements – so-called climate science is simply misleading and not in context,” said another.
Of those who didn’t care about climate change, 17 per cent nothing they do would make a difference unless the rest of the world gets on board, while two per cent said they don’t believe in science and another two per cent said their efforts wouldn’t make a difference regardless. Only 23 respondents said they didn’t care because they wouldn’t be around to witness the effects.
Last week, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its most dire warning yet on the catastrophic effects the planet faces if global warming is allowed to rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Further to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Environment Minister Melissa Price’s claims that the IPCC report would not sway Coalition policy – even thought they had not read the full report – we asked if politicians should arm themselves with all the facts before making these types of decisions.
A whopping 90 per cent said yes.
We also asked older Australians whether climate change issues would influence their vote at the next Federal Election – 62 per cent said ‘yes’ and 74 per cent said they were unhappy with the current Government’s stance on climate change.
This leaves us with the question of whether politicians are even capable of creating responsible environmental policy. The answer is: older Australians are split. Thirty per cent of respondents said yes, but not the current government while a further 20 per cent said they thought our pollies considered the best interests of the planet. The other half of voters said no, with 26 per cent saying politicians are only interested in economic motives and 24 per cent saying they only look after their donors.
Surprisingly, Labor just pipped the Greens by four votes as the party with the best chance of creating responsible climate change policy, although 33 per cent of respondents were Labor voters compared to 13 per cent Greens.
There was, however, a significant amount of ‘resignation’ among voters. One member’s response was typical of many: “None. I feel they are all looking out for their own interests and that makes me sad, angry and totally fed up with all parties. I don’t like feeling this way, so I hope some great person comes along to change their minds because certainly they are not listening to the public.”
As to how our members work towards reducing emissions, 51 per cent said they limit power use around the house and 20 per cent have solar panels installed.
The survey goes a long way to eliminating the misconception that older Australians don’t care about climate change.
“We care because of our children and grandchildren who will be here long after we are gone. Oldies care very much,” said YourLifeChoices’ member Paddington.
This is the demographic the major parties are trying hard to attract, so environmental policy could be a powerful motivator for voters at the next Federal Election.
Do you care about climate change? Are you surprised by any of these results?