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Australians change their mind about climate change

Fewer Australians believe that humans are responsible for climate change, but despite this, the market for environmentally friendly products such as LED bulbs is growing and manufacturers are releasing increasingly innovative and eco-friendly products.

An August 6 report by Gallup Worldview has revealed that while Australians are still concerned about climate change, fewer blame it on human activities.

The percentage of Australians who are aware of climate change and say it results from human activity fell from 52 percent in June 2008 to 44 percent in March 2010, while the number of Australians who attributed climate change to natural (i.e., not man-made) causes, rose by 10 percent from 21 percent in 2008 to 31 percent in 2009. Only 2 percent of Australians had not heard of climate change, down 1 percent from 2008.

This shift in attitude is surprising as Australia is considered one of the most knowledgeable countries in the world on climate change; 97 percent say that they know at least ‘something' about the issue.

However despite changing minds over the causes of climate change, the market for environmentally friendly products in Australia and the world is growing. One such area for growth is that of LED lighting: the market is expected to reach €15.5 billion ($20.4 billion) by 2012. LED lighting solutions are more energy efficient than standard incandescent bulbs, and it is estimated that the widespread adoption of environmentally friendly LED bulbs would reduce carbon emissions by 246 metric tons across the US alone. In Europe the EU plans to completely phase in LED lighting by 2016.

On August 4 Australian manufacturer Hot Beam released the innovative series of Streamline LED strip lamps (prices based on individual quotes): the 500 mm lamps, not bulbs, can be positioned on desks or hung from the ceilings and contain individual, changeable LED modules, making the lighting source more versatile than LED bulbs. In the global market LED lighting solutions such as Philips Endural bulbs (€13) or Toshiba's E-Core 500 bulbs (e40) are already widely available.

In 2008, when asked whether global warming was caused by natural or artificial reasons, 49 percent of Americans, 48 percent of British, 58 percent of Chinese, 63 percent of French and 88 percent of Japanese people  thought human activity was to blame.