It hits the headlines on a regular basis and the majority of people think warnings from scientists about climate change are appropriate.
But a new survey by YouGov and Yahoo News UK’s podcast Britain Is a Nation Of..., has revealed that a considerable number of people still think warnings on climate change are exaggerated.
According to the poll, discussed on the latest episode of the podcast which focuses on conspiracy theories, one in three Britons over the age of 55 think the threat of climate change is over-exaggerated.
The vast majority of people (70%) think warnings are appropriate, but the survey revealed that 32% of those aged 55 and over think they’re over-exaggerated.
This compares to one in 11 (9%) of 18 to 24-year-olds.
Analysis of the poll also revealed that men are twice as likely as women to say that definitely true that the threat is over-exaggerated.
Listen to a discussion of these statistics on Yahoo and YouGov’s podcast, Britain is a Nation of…
Speaking on the podcast, Penny Sarchet, news editor at New Scientist, said: “I’m not that surprised, I’m honestly just relieved that that many people believe in climate change now.”
She said a similar poll in the US recently had revealed similar results which was even more significant, adding: “The fact that 70/71% now accept it as fact is huge and great news.
“There are so many reasons people are wary or it’s taken this long for people to accept climate change, but the ones that stick out are that there’s a lot of uncertainty and... when there’s uncertainty we tend to lean towards the truth that is more useful for us and fits with our world view and means we don’t have to change anything.”
She said that could explain why older people are less inclined to worry about climate change, as it is unlikely to affect them in the same way.
Also speaking on the podcast, BBC science presenter and writer Dallas Campbell said people often see the uncertainty in climate science as a flaw, adding: “It’s not a flaw, it’s actually just the way that science works.”
This survey was made possible by YouGov’s panel of 6 million respondents. Join the trend and share your opinions with the world today.