Is the IPA’s climate change poll plausible?

In a Club Troppo comment, online pollster Graham Young questions recent IPA polling on climate change:

From my research it is certainly true that there has been a decline in support in Australia for the proposition that manmade climate change will be catastrophic. And when you ask questions designed to find how high a priority it is, you find Australians aren’t prepared to pay or do much to avoid it. But the IPA poll has a much larger collapse than I would have thought possible.

I’ve tried to compare the IPA’s 2010 results with the Lowy Poll’s 2008 results on how much extra people are prepared to pay to combat climate change. I had to convert Lowy’s monthly question to match the IPA’s annual question, and so the categories are not an exact match. But as you can see in the table below, particularly by comparing the cumulative totals, the overall patterns are quite similar.

The main difference is that the IPA found significantly more people willing to pay nothing at all. But if we add together the people willing to pay nothing with those only willing to pay a trivial amount we have a consistent just under half of the population who oppose all but the most trivial climate change measures. Continue reading “Is the IPA’s climate change poll plausible?”