Malcolm Turnbull

More than half of voters think the Turnbull government is failing to do enough to address climate change, according to today’s Essential Report. Some 18% think addressing climate change is among the most important issues for the government to address over the next 12 months (about the same number as who think education is most important).

According to Essential, 52% of voters say Australia is not doing enough to address climate change (that compares to 57% in March, and 53% in August last year). The number of Australians who acknowledge anthropogenic climate change is real is down two points since June to 57%; those who claim “We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate” is also down two points to 26%. Since last year, four polls have averaged 57.25% belief in anthropogenic climate change and 28.25% denialism.

Turnbull himself acknowledged that Tasmania’s June floods could part of a pattern of warming temperatures (though he acknowledged it was impossible to attribute a single storm to climate change): “Certainly, larger and more frequent storms are one of the consequences that the climate models and climate scientists predict from global warming.”

Turnbull has the slimmest of majorities, a recalcitrant Senate and dissension in his own ranks. It is unlikely he will last the full three years. It would be nice if he left a legacy of climate action — because we all know when you-know-who makes his move, climate change won’t be high on his list.

Peter Fray

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