Professor Sarah Wheeler is an agricultural and resource economist and the Associate Director of Research with the Centre for Global Food and Resources, Faculty of Professions at the University of Adelaide. Her research interests include climate change adaptation and behaviour by farmers and consumers, and water policy in the Murray-Darling Basin.
She recently spoke on the ‘Australian Public and Farmers’ Climate Change Beliefs and Behaviour.’ According to Professor Wheeler 99% of our scientists believe that climate change science is confirmed. The Australia population is not at those levels as yet and whilst our attitudes have changed, we are now at 60% of Australians believing climate change is a serious problem and in need of addressing.
She informed the audience that wealthier countries tended to be less worried about climate change being a world problem that must be dealt with. Climate change deniers tended to be older, wealthier, less educated, caucasian with a conservative political ideology.
Farmers are four times more likely to be deniers than general public as in the past farmers’ beliefs have driving policy for the Greens National Party which in turn, have influenced Liberal Party policies. However, there now seems to be a change in what farmers believe. In 2010 1-in-3 farmers did not believe in climate change, but in 2015 this changed to a 44% of farmers believing in climate change and action needing to be taken, which is fantastic!
Watch her full speech below.
This was at the public forum ‘Meeting Australia’s Climate Change Targets: Price, Opportunity and Pathways’ hosted by the Environment Institute and Centre for Energy Technology at the University of Adelaide on the 29th of April 2019.