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Aussies, Americans ‘Most Divided Over Climate Change’ Than Any Other Nation

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Australians and Americans are more divided over the push to fight climate change than voters in any other developed nation, according to a new Pew Research survey, which finds the fear of climate change nevertheless tops a list of voter concerns around the world.

The gap between the share of “right” and “left” leaning voters, respectively, who said climate change was a “major threat” was highest in the US, followed by Australia, whose “left-leaning” voters were also more concerned about climate change than those anywhere else. [bold, links added]

“In Australia, 91 percent of those who place themselves on the left side of the political spectrum say climate change is a major threat, compared with only 47 percent among those on the right,” Pew said, a 44 percentage point gap that turned out to be double that of the UK, and quadruples the gap in France.

In the US, 22 percent of right-leaning voters thought climate change was a major threat, compared to 85 percent of those inclined to vote Democrat.

Israelis cared the least, overall, given only 52 percent of those who voted left thought climate change was a major threat, and 37 percent of those on the right.

“Despite the dire concerns about climate change in Europe, concerns are relatively muted in the US, as they have been for years,” the survey, published on Wednesday (Thursday AEST) in Washington, found.

Women and younger voters were consistently more likely to express concern about climate change across countries, the survey of over 24,500 adults in 19 nations, also revealed.

“In Australia, 85 percent of those ages 18 to 29 say that climate change is a major threat, compared to 63 percent of those 50 and older,” the survey, conducted from February to June this year, as a soaring summer heatwave and record energy prices engulfed Europe, concluded.

Pew asked respondents to compare five potential threats: climate change, cyber-attacks, the spread of online false information, the prospect of a recession, and the spread of infectious diseases.

A median of 75 percent of respondents across the 19 nations said climate change was the biggest threat, followed by the spread of mis- and disinformation.

A little over 60 percent said the threat of disease was a major threat, the lowest among the five, and substantially lower than in 2020 when Covid-19 emerged as a global pandemic.

“Concerns about cyber attacks, possibly heightened by the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and prominent instances of hacking across the world, are at all-time highs,” the authors said.

Read rest at The Australian

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