Australians more concerned by global warming than terrorism, says Lowy report

Tuesday, March 29, 2005 A report released by Allan Gyngell of the Lowy Institute on Monday, revealed many Australians view US foreign policy to be as dangerous as Islamic fundamentalism. It also found that 58 percent of the population had a positive view of the United States.

The Lowy Institute, established in 2003 with a $30 million endowment from Australian philanthropist Frank Lowy, claims it is "an independent, non-partisan think tank."

The report, entitled "Australians speak 2005: public opinion and foreign policy", showed that global warming and nuclear proliferation were greater foreign policy concerns than terrorism and illegal immigration. 70 per cent of Australians were worried about global warming, the report stated, while only 63 per cent were worried about international terrorism. The report also noted most Australians believed improving the global environment should be Australia's number one foreign policy goal.

Mark Wakeham of Greenpeace said, "Clearly Australians understand the warnings from scientists about greenhouse pollution far better than our governments do. Once again, the community is leading and governments will be pulled into line."

He continued by saying, "Scientists tell us that, to avoid dangerous warming of more than two degrees, we have to cut our greenhouse pollution by at least 60 per cent by 2050. This means moving rapidly and decisively away from dirty coal to clean, renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and energy efficiency."

The Lowy Institute surveyed 1000 randomly selected people to interview for the report.