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climate_change
(07/09/07) -

Britons Ponder Human Impact on Climate Change

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in Britain believe capable scientists are still uncertain about global warming, according to a poll by Ipsos-Mori. 56 per cent of respondents say many leading experts still question if human activity is contributing to climate change, and 46 per cent expect the world community to find a solution to the problems posed by global warming.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in Britain believe capable scientists are still uncertain about global warming, according to a poll by Ipsos-Mori. 56 per cent of respondents say many leading experts still question if human activity is contributing to climate change, and 46 per cent expect the world community to find a solution to the problems posed by global warming.

In addition, only 18 per cent of respondents believe human activity does not have significant effect on the climate, 40 per cent say climate change is too complex and uncertain for scientists to make useful forecasts, and 26 per cent feel there is nothing they can personally do to avert climate change.

The term global warming refers to an increase of the Earth’s average temperature. Some theories say that climate change might be the result of human-generated carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Earlier this year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report which states that global warming has been “very likely”—or 90 per cent certain—caused by humans burning fossil fuels.

In 1998, several countries agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, a proposed amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The agreement commits nations to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. As a member of the European Union (EU), Britain ratified the protocol in May 2002.

In October 2006, British prime minister Tony Blair called for “bold and decisive action” on global warming, declaring, “It is not in doubt that, if the science is right, the consequences for our planet are literally disastrous. Unless we act now, these consequences will be irreversible.”

Last month, Labour leader Gordon Brown officially took over as prime minister from Blair. Brown recently announced a plan to create five “eco-towns” in the country, each with 10,000 to 20,000 houses, which will be designed to meet carbon-neutral and affordability standards. Brown explained his rationale, saying, “By building new eco-towns and villages we will show Labour on the side of aspiration, that new housing can respect our environment too, and that by involving and engaging the British people in a national debate about the future of housing we can make affordable housing for all one of the great causes of our time.”

Polling Data

I am going to read out a number of statements about climate change. For each one, I would like you to tell me if you agree or disagree

Agree

Neither

Disagree

Not sure

Human activity does not have significant effect on the climate

18%

9%

69%

5%

Climate change is too complex and uncertain for scientists to make useful forecasts

40%

15%

38%

7%

Many leading experts still question if human activity is contributing to climate change

56%

13%

22%

9%

Nothing I can do personally could avert climate change

26%

8%

62%

5%

Ultimately, I am confident that the world community can find a solution to the problems posed by climate change

46%

15%

33%

7%

Source: Ipsos-MORI
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 2,031 people in Britain, ages 16 and up, conducted from Jun. 14 to Jun. 20, 2007. No margin of error was provided.