Scientists pessimistic over global warming response

Less than 50 per cent of scientists are confident the world's governments will act effectively on climate change, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by New Scientist magazine, asked representatives from 62 national science academies about their concerns for the world and whether those concerns would be met with action.

The results, published in Thursday's New Scientist magazine, show less than half of the scientists who responded to the survey are confident the world's governments would reach a meaningful agreement on climate change.

Of those surveyed only three per cent were "very confident" and 40 per cent were "reasonably confident" that an effective outcome would be reached.

In contrast, one per cent were "not at all confident" and 36 per cent were "not very confident" with the remainder straddling the fence of neutrality.

The survey also tracked the results on the basis of whether the respondent resided in a high-income country or a low to middle-income country, based on OECD and World Bank ratings.

The most optimistic bunch where those from the low to middle-income countries with all of those who were "very confident" and the majority of those who were "reasonably confident" originating in those places.

The richer countries were considerably more pessimistic, with 48 per cent of high-income respondents subscribing to the "not very confident" standpoint compared with only 28 per cent of their poorer counterparts.

The discrepancy in attitudes aside, when the group was asked to list which three global issues would be of most concern in the year 2020 both groups had similar concerns.

Both the rich and poor listed climate change as the number one area of global concern with the related issue of food security coming in second.

Global population was the third most concerning matter for the rich and water security for the poor, closely followed by biodiversity.

The results for the most concerning national issues shows the different challenges facing developed and developing countries over the coming decades with an ageing population being the main concern of the more affluent countries and education the standout for the less well off.

 

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