University Of Tasmania

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It's only natural: conservatives and climate change in Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 03:18 authored by Bruce TranterBruce Tranter

With near consensus over the causes of climate change among scientific experts, only two-thirds of Australians believe that most scientists are in agreement. Ninety per cent claim climate change is occurring, yet almost one third claim climate change has ‘natural‘ causes. Women, ’global citizens’, those who mainly consume public broadcast news and those with high self-assessed knowledge of climate change are most likely to believe that climate change is occurring and has mainly anthropogenic causes.

As in other advanced industrialised countries, political divisions over the causes of climate change run deep in Australia. Australians who identify with conservative political parties are far more likely than those aligned with other parties to reject anthropogenic climate change, with conservative men, those living in rural areas, and on the right of ideological spectrum most likely to believe climate change is happening, but has mainly ‘natural’ causes. Politically conservative Australians remain sceptical of the risks of climate change, although even the majority of conservatives believe that climate change will seriously threaten the lifestyles of the next generation.


Publication title

Environmental Sociology






School of Social Sciences


Taylor & Francis

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified

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