NZ climate change survey – most have some concern, 6% dismissive

An online survey of more than 2000 New Zealanders has found that most people have some concerns about climate change – about 70-80 per cent of the population believes climate change is real- with just 6% are dismissive, and they were more likely to be men over 55.

 

Stuff: Six New Zealands of climate change: Which one are you?

The survey confirmed what many middle New Zealanders will know already – often, people simply don’t think about climate change. While multiple studies have shown climate disturbance is already increasing severe drought, flood risk and fire risk, on average, people think any impacts on them are still 30 years away.

Boomers (aged 55-75) in the survey were six times more likely to dismiss climate change than New Zealanders aged 16-24 (Gen Z.

Gen Zers are 50 per cent more likely than Baby Boomers to consider the environment and/or climate change to be the most important issue facing New Zealand, but represent a cohort roughly half the size.

“That cohort (of Baby Boomers) is quite big and they vote a lot. They have a 90 per cent intention to vote, whereas for Gen Z, even when you only consider those who can vote, it’s more like 40 per cent,” says Winton. “That means there are roughly eight times more Baby Boomers who are likely to vote than there are Gen Zers, and they are six times more likely to vote actively against climate action.”

Women were less likely than men to be Dismissive, and more likely to be Alarmed or Concerned. That means the Dismissive are over-represented in the older male demographic that is most likely to be running company boards.

SIX NZs: WHICH GROUP ARE YOU?

Alarmed (14 per cent): Fully convinced of the reality and seriousness of climate change and already taking individual, consumer, and political action to address it.

Concerned (28 per cent): Also convinced that climate change is happening and a serious problem, but have not yet engaged in the issue personally.

Cautious (8 per cent) and Disengaged (27 per cent): Average scores for Cautious and Disengaged people are almost identical, however the Disengaged have stronger belief in climate change and want stronger societal action, but display weaker behaviours and personal involvement.

Doubtful (17 per cent): Generally question climate change or don’t believe it is a problem, however their behaviours show they are not engaged in the issue.

Dismissive (6 per cent): Actively disbelieve in climate change and want a weak or no response from society. Actively oppose national efforts to cut emissions.

The online panel – polled in November and December 2019 – was modelled on the Six Americas survey developed by Yale and George Mason Universities. Polling company Dynata conducted a similar survey in New Zealand for a climate action start-up, the 1.5 Project. With the help of funding from fitness business pioneer Phillip Mills and the Tindall Foundation, the study took a sample of 3500 and whittled it to 2034 to get a representative mix of sex, age, location, ethnicity and income.

Respectful conversations between people with varying opinions are crucial on climate, but we often avoid them, says researcher Jess Berentson-Shaw, whose consultancy The Workshop studies how to have constructive conversations.

There is a hard-core group in opposition who are virtually unpersuadable, says Berentson-Shaw, but there’s also a huge majority in the middle who care, but don’t know what to do. This group steps back from issues they see as difficult and polarised, she says.

I don’t fit into those groups. I’m not alarmed, I’m concerned, but have taken some individual and some political action to address climate change and environmental issues generally. I guess that makes me out of step with a bunch of male baby boomers (who probably are over-represented on Kiwiblog).

 

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34 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  6th May 2020

    The survey found many people in the middle probably aren’t talking about climate change to their more worried friends and relatives. The Alarmed group told the surveyors they talked a lot about climate change, but mainly with people who agreed with them.

    Respectful conversations between people with varying opinions are crucial on climate, but we often avoid them, says researcher Jess Berentson-Shaw, whose consultancy The Workshop studies how to have constructive conversations.

    There is a hard-core group in opposition who are virtually unpersuadable, says Berentson-Shaw, but there’s also a huge majority in the middle who care, but don’t know what to do. This group steps back from issues they see as difficult and polarised, she says.

    Berentson-Shaw says people in the middle often believe extreme views are much more common than they really are. “The more extreme positions tend to get amplified on social media, and that freaks people out,” she says. “It disengages the middle.”

    I’d already copied that pull quote when Griff posted this article in today’s Open Forum, because I couldn’t see myself clearly in those choices, drawn from a Six Americas survey.

    I’d the closest match for my position is Concerned (28%). I think (or “feel”, might be more accurate) that what seem like increasing extreme weather globally, & warming Winters here, especially, are accumulating physical evidence of AGW Climate Change already happening, but at present its still lost in the statistical noise, 25 year natural hurricane intensity cycles, & the difficulties inherent in trying to report on & model / predict climate & weather accurately.

    The reason I’m not 100% convinced it’s happening, and/or that reducing emissions & curtailing many other activities the greenies claim need to be shut down is because I read & try to keep up with debates here on the topic, & in particular with ideas for how we must adapt if we actually cannot stop the warming.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  6th May 2020

      *I’d say the closest match…

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th May 2020

      This is what passes for Lefty science these days. A study on how many “right think”. Those who disagree with the author are judged by how readily they may be converted to “right thinking”.

      Reply
  2. David

     /  6th May 2020

    I have decided not to fly anywhere for 3 months and then only domestically for the rest of the year.
    I would shut down Instagram and make Facebook photo free after hearing how much energy is consumed from storing photos, predominantly of ladies bottoms which seems a poor reason to cook earth.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  6th May 2020

      True. Ladies bottoms generate sufficient heat for me internally. No need to cook the whole planet.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  6th May 2020

      But the cats …dont forget the cats

      Reply
  3. Extreme heat to affect more than 3 billion by 2070: study

    Up to 3.5 billion people could be struggling to survive in conditions of extreme heat in 50 years’ time, if the world fails to curb greenhouse gas emissions, a major new Dutch study has found.

    Around a third of the world’s population will by then live in areas where the average annual temperature is predicted to rise above 29 degrees Celsius – unless they emigrate, according to scientists from the Netherlands’ Wageningen University.

    Living in such conditions would place them outside the climatic niche humans have inhabited for the past 6000 years, said Marten Scheffer, who lead the study published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/300005366/extreme-heat-to-affect-more-than-3-billion-by-2070-study

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th May 2020

      The usual weasel words that obviate the whole article: “could be”.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  6th May 2020

        The usual climate modelling of a chaotic system- virus spread modeling is a breeze by comparison but unfortunately for researchers credibility play out in 3 – 4 months not 50 years.
        We are of course currently in ‘interglacial’ between Ice Ages and Ive always understood the swapping between those climate systems over long periods drove evolution of man.
        The growth of the vast ice fields can take 70,000 years but the melting only takes 5000, with more variations even on that.

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  6th May 2020

        Wilco , ‘could be’ is actually not that great a confidence level..

        it ‘could be’ 1 level above junk science level ( like bond ratings) which is ‘should be’ which is above ‘might be’ ( where you lose all your money)

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  6th May 2020

          It’s not science, it means nothing because it is not testable.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  6th May 2020

            A lot of say high level physics isnt testable , but they use extraordinarly high confidence levels.

            “Popper wrote in his classic book The Logic of Scientific Discovery that a theory that cannot be proven false—that is, a theory flexible enough to encompass every possible experimental outcome—is scientifically useless. He wrote that a scientific idea must contain the key to its own downfall: It must make predictions that can be tested and, if those predictions are proven false, the theory must be jettisoned.

            When writing this, Popper was less concerned with physics than he was with theories like Freudian psychology and Stalinist history. These, he argued, were not falsifiable because they were vague or flexible enough to incorporate all the available evidence and therefore immune to testing. ”

            and more to your point
            “Historically, sometimes theories that seem untestable turn out to just need more time. For example, 19th century physicist Ludwig Boltzmann and colleagues showed they could explain many results in thermal physics and chemistry if everything were made up of “atoms”—what we call particles, atoms, and molecules today—governed by Newtonian physics.

            Since atoms were out of reach of experiments of the day, prominent philosophers of science argued that the atomic hypothesis was untestable in principle, and therefore unscientific. ”

            https://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/falsifiability-and-physics

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  6th May 2020

              A lot of Einstein’s work has been tested only long after his death. The distinction is between work that makes predictions that are in principle testable although not currently practicable and those which are logically incapable of being falsified.

            • Duker

               /  6th May 2020

              Thats a good point. Climate Science is mostly at the level of Leninist/Stalinist History…it too at the time was considered ‘science’
              Around this time last century there would have been 15% or so of ‘total believers’ as well

    • Maggy Wassilieff

       /  6th May 2020

      I suggest you read the original paper carefully, not the “shock” version for the unthinking.

      You will see they base their extreme scenario on the RCP8.5 model which is now taken by most climate modellers as being extremely unlikely.
      https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/04/28/1910114117

      So cut back to the paper and you will see that the authors reckon the ideal human niche is within a mean annual temperature of -11C to 15C.
      Well that might suit you Dunedin folk, but Billions of humans are perfectly happy at mean annual temperatures above 15C.
      https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/04/28/1910114117

      Reply
      • Griff

         /  6th May 2020

        The difernce between rcp 8.5 and 6 is only a few years
        Rcp is not off the table it has been superceded by other methods to bracket possible outcomes

        Boomers will all die off leaving future generations to clean up thier mess

        Reply
        • Maggy Wassilieff

           /  6th May 2020

          The paper is racist nonsense.
          Humans evolved in tropical-semi tropical climates.
          Civilizations have flourished in tropical and semi-tropical climates for the last 6,000 years.

          A few melanin-deficient folk have adapted to the foggy, vitamin-D deficient niches of high latitudes, but most are damned please to escape to warmer climes.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  6th May 2020

            The Fertile Crescent where agriculture developed…. for example
            The Incas built a civilization in the Andes, its not just for humans , imagine trying to establish agriculture for millions
            No wonder they had a central deity of the SUN god

            Reply
        • Duker

           /  6th May 2020

          “The difference between rcp 8.5 and 6 is only a few years”…. ah the ‘high class bulls#@$ answer experts’ give when they get told they are wrong…it doesnt matter anyway

          Reply
  4. Conspiratoor

     /  6th May 2020

    Nothing to see here, move along…

    These days online surveys come at us from all directions. Most folks have become conditioned to ignore them, unless they press our buttons. This confers upon these surveys a high bullshit factor as it ignores the silent, can’t be arsed majority who basically just wanted a weather forecast for the weekend

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  6th May 2020

      Id agree…Id think I was politically active but in NZ the political polls come with 50 other questions on your shampoo preferences, power company etc.
      And any question isnt yeah/nah but given 3 or 4 different versions of ‘yes’ or ‘no’

      The NY Times went into detail once , as they want people/names who are are enrolled and previously voted available . It still takes 10s thousands of cold calls ( most no answer ) to get the magic sample size.
      The NZ company that does online panels only , has to juice up response rate of their panels by sending them emails about ‘this weeks survey’ and the prizes on offer. When its a cannabis question the prizes jump up to fancy apple gear way about the normal prize level and the response rate rises 3x fold especially amoungst the instant gratification crowd.

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  6th May 2020

        Slightly off topic but that instant gratification crowd are going to love what the THC industry has got cooking up for them…

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  6th May 2020

          KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN …ha

          This picture alone could kill the Yes vote stone dead…its dying anyway , but something needs to push into the grave

          Reply
          • Conspiratoor

             /  6th May 2020

            Another three letters synonymous with the THC industry …RTD

            If we vote yes we deserve what’s coming…

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  6th May 2020

              I bet the LTSA runs its anti-drugged driving campaign again close to the referendum date. Just got a feeling that’s going to happen.

            • Gezza

               /  6th May 2020

              Their tv ads, I mean

  5. BobJ

     /  6th May 2020

    I’m cautious – there looks to be a problem but there is little NZ can actually do to mitigate it. Our contribution on the global scale is tiny, if we went to a Level 5 lockdown tomorrow, no transport, no electricity, nothing at all, it would make little difference to the world. This usual prompts wailing responses of – ‘Ohhh but our per capita is soooo much higher!’ – Why care? Most is from agriculture that we sell to other countries, if we didn’t then they would just buy it from somewhere else, the global problem is the total volume of emissions, not a mathematical calculation of per capita.

    Then its – ‘We must lead by example and show the world the right way’ – I couldn’t care less if we lead the way or about headlines about how good and virtuous we are.

    The reality is that we have an interest in what is happening, do have a voice and use it, but ridiculousness fantasies about wholesale change to EV’s or any number of other Green dreams are just self destructive for the actual results achieved.

    Its the big and rising emitters and population growth that are biggest problem, and thinking that they are going to care about what NZ thinks or does, particularly now with CV19 is hubris.

    (Numbers on our global contribution vary, around 0.17% in 2017)

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  6th May 2020

      What’s main point? I’m busy here. No point laboriously opening that link on the FiP if it just turns out to be something I’m not interested in.

      God, you’re a lazy blighter, Sir Alan. Do some teasers or a pull quote!

      Sir Gerald

      Reply

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