Global warming "natural" for one in 10

Thu May 27, 2010 2:51am EDT
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SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Nearly one in 10 people believe global warming is part of a natural cycle of events, and nothing to really worry about, an alarming increase on the figures from two years ago, according to a global poll.

Although a third of respondents to the survey of more than 13,000 people this year said they were very concerned about climate change, 9 percent said they weren't, up from 4 percent when the same survey was conducted two years ago.

"The issue of climate change has continued its rough ride," said Steve Garton of market research firm Synovate which, along with German media company Deutsche Welle, conducted the poll in 18 markets from the United States to Australia.

"Global conferences that have been organized to tackle the challenges have struggled to reach a meaningful consensus whilst the underlying science has been questioned by some.

"At the very least, the most important beliefs of the impacts relating to climate change have not been made simple and clear enough to people around the world," Garton said in a statement.

Nearly two-thirds of those polled in China, Colombia and Ecuador said they were most concerned about global warming -- the highest numbers in the world -- and the vast majority of those surveyed, or almost 90 percent, feel that companies have a responsibility to help reduce climate change.

Globally, nearly a third believe humans are to blame for what is happening to the environment, although aircraft and cars were cited among the factors contributing the least to climate change.

Human waste, population increases, energy use and deforestation were listed as the worst contributors to global warming.

For almost a third of respondents, the biggest danger from climate change was extreme weather conditions, followed by desertification and drought.   Continued...

<p>A visitor places her hands on a "Tangible Earth", a digital globe which real time global metrological data is fed through the Internet from about 300 places in the world, is displayed at an exhibition pavillion inside the media centre for G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in Rusustu town, on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido July 6, 2008. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao</p>