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UK youth unconvinced about climate change — peak believers 30-50 years old

I’ve discussed the big ComRes/ITV survey before, which  showed that 62% of UK citizens are skeptics and are not convinced that humans are changing the weather. This is the same interesting survey which also showed that the highest proportion of skeptics were in the educated upper middle class, and the lowest was in the unskilled workers and pensioners. I didn’t explain then that this survey also split the groups according to age. So here (finally) are those graphs. Fittingly the young are undecided and the wise are more skeptical. But surprisingly there is a peak believer age, and that’s around 35 – 44. Either this generation has been assailed with more propaganda than any other, or something else is going on.

Is this the beginnings of the youthful revolution? Only 20% 34% of 18 – 24 year olds would be called believers?

They quizzed 2047 people from across the UK early last year and I’ve graphed the results according to age, and the “peak believer” band is clearly visible. In all three questions I colored believers red, and skeptics blue. The undecided are grey.

People generally switch from the “don’t know” category when they are young into the skeptic camp as they get older. Some may go via the “believer” group in their 20s and 30s.

The first graph shows results from an unusually specific and accurate question.

An unusually specific and accurate question.

  “Climate Change” is an ambiguous term. Some people answer according to the coded meaning where any change means man-made change, others read it literally.  The vagueness artificially adds another 10-15% to “believer” scores.

This is a little less ambiguous.  Same trend.

Are the 35-45’s just too busy looking after kids and careers to pay attention to this debate? Retired people are not just older and wiser but have more time to do research. They’re harder to fool…

It would be interesting to follow these trends across past and future years. Will the current crop of 18-24 undecideds pick up the believer-theme, or is this a new crop who are rebelling against the propaganda?

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