Via the comments at Larvatus Prodeo, which runs an excellent “climate clippings” service, comes an (interim) report Public Risk Perceptions, Understandings, and Responses to Climate Change in Australia and Great Britain: Interim Report (86 page pdf)
by Joseph P. Reser, Nick Pidgeon, Alexa Spence, Graham Bradley, A. Ian Glendon & Michelle Ellul
Griffith University, Climate Change Response Program, Queensland, Australia, and Understanding Risk Centre, Cardiff University, Wales
The overall findings of this collaborative research were particularly striking in a number of respects: Despite dramatic differences in geographic regions, climate, climate change exposure, and recent histories of extreme weather events, the findings across most risk perception and concern domains were remarkably similar.
Public concern levels with respect to the threat and perceived impacts of climate change were very high.
Australian respondents viewed climate change as a more immediate, proximal, and certain threat to their local region and nation, than was the case for British respondents, for whom the problem was perceived to be more distant, uncertain, and less familiar in terms of anticipated consequences.
As with the findings from many overseas surveys, a distinctive minority of Australian respondents, approximately 5.8%, could be characterised as being disbelievers or strong sceptics with respect to the reality of current climate change and/or the causal role of human activities and environmental impacts, with these strong views disproportionately influencing overall survey findings. The comparable figure for British respondents who could be characterised as being disbelievers or strong sceptics was 5.1%.
Emphasis added. Am I trying to say that because they’re in a minority they must definitely be wrong? No, of course not. Am I saying they punch well above their weight in the public debate, because of their funding, their lying, their telling of soothing do-nothing tosh, their free time and their gish gallopping? Yeah, I am.