This report was conducted to examine whether people believe that the amount of CO2 emissions is the main cause of climate change. The study found out that a majority of the people believe that the amount of CO2 emissions and human activities such as burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are the main cause of climate change.
The responses from the participants were consistent with our hypothesis that a majority of the people believe that CO2 emissions and human activity are the main causes of climate change. This scenario is mainly attributed to education and the amount of information in the mainstream media about the causes and effects of climate change (Garnaut Climate Change Review, 2011, pg. 1 & The Climate Institute 2013, pg. 4). Australians are aware that climate change is real and its effects are being felt in the country and all over the world. 73% of the respondents agreed that the high amount CO2 emissions is the main cause of climate change, and 78% agreed that the human activity of burning of fuels was a cause of climate change. Most of the respondents (68%) agreed that deforestation was a cause of climate change. As per the responses in the study, a large number of people who believe that climate change is occurring believe that human beings bear at least some responsibility for climate change (The Climate Institute, 2013, pg. 4). A majority of our respondents, 83%, were in agreement that human activities are causing climate change. Only 8 % of them disagreed. This is the case because nearly all of the respondents are aware of climate change and know that it is occurring.
The respondents also agreed that other factors such as the increasing population and the lack of adequate policies were responsible for climate change. A majority of the respondents (77%) were in agreement with the statement that population growth was a cause of climate change. This could be explained by the fact that an increase in population would lead to an increase in the demand of resources and space. Population growth may lead to a demand for food, products, electricity and transport, which would ultimately lead to the increased burning of fossil fuels and coal (Bongaarts 1992, pp. 299-319). However, when asked on whether the reduction of family size would lead to a reduction in climate change, more than half of the respondents (54%) were in disagreement. This is quite paradoxical, as larger families would only mean a larger population. This is mainly due to the family attachments that most of the respondents (Garnaut Climate Change Review, 2013, pg. 1). Most of the respondents (71%) agreed that more people should be educated on family planning as a way of reducing population growth.
Apart from population growth, the lack of policies on climate change is also contributing to climate change. A majority of the respondents, 81 %, agreed that the government should have policies aimed at protecting the climate. Most people agree that the policies currently in place are inadequate in tackling the climate change menace and believe that government policy would go a long way in dealing with climate protection. The majority of the people believe that the government plays a key role in tackling climate by formulating relevant policies and ensuring their enforcement. Policies on key areas such as waste management and energy usage regulation among others would ensure that carbon emissions are kept at a minimum. However, there is a lack of consensus on which policy actions that the people prefer, such as carbon taxing or emissions trading (Garnaut Climate Change Review, 2013, pg. 1).
This report was conducted to examine if people believed that the main concern facing climate change is the amount of CO2 emissions. The results showed an overwhelming support for the hypothesis as a large number of respondents were in agreement with the statement. The research findings also showed that a majority of the people agreed that human activities (burning of fuel and deforestation), populations growth and lack of policies as the other causes of climate change.
BONGAARTS, J 1992, ' Population and Development Review', Population Growth and Global Warming, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 299-319, viewed 30 October 2014, <http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1973681?uid=2134&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21104179820531>.
GARNAUT, R. (2007). Garnaut Climate Change Review. Melbourne, Garnaut Review Secretariat, pp. 1-10, viewed 30 Oct 2013 http://www.garnautreview.org.au.
STEFANOVA, K. (2013). Climate of the nation 2013: Australian attitudes on climate change, pp. 4-10, viewed 30 Oct 2014 http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/verve/_resources/TCI_ClimateOfTheNation2013_web.pdf.