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Climate 2015, 3(3), 668-688; doi:10.3390/cli3030668

What Butterfly Effect? The Contextual Differences in Public Perceptions of the Health Risk Posed by Climate Change

1
Department of Political Science, Idaho State University, 921 S 8th Ave, Pocatello, ID 83209, USA
2
The Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A & M University, 4350 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4350, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alessandro Pezzoli
Received: 17 June 2015 / Revised: 11 August 2015 / Accepted: 13 August 2015 / Published: 19 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Impacts on Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [360 KB, uploaded 19 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

One of the most difficult aspects of persuading the public to support climate change policy is the lack of recognition that climate change will likely have a direct impact on an individual’s life. Anecdotal evidence and arguments within the media suggest that those who are skeptical of climate change are more likely to believe that the negative externalities associated with climate change will be experienced by others, and, therefore, are not a concern to that individual. This project examines public perceptions of the health risk posed by climate change. Using a large national public opinion survey of adults in the United States, respondents were asked to evaluate the health risk for themselves, their community, the United States, and the world. The results suggest that individuals evaluate the risk for each of these contexts differently. Statistical analyses are estimated to identify the determinants of each risk perception to identify their respective differences. The implications of these findings on support for climate change policy are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; health risks; risk perceptions; public opinion; public policy climate change; health risks; risk perceptions; public opinion; public policy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Stoutenborough, J.W.; Kirkpatrick, K.J.; Field, M.J.; Vedlitz, A. What Butterfly Effect? The Contextual Differences in Public Perceptions of the Health Risk Posed by Climate Change. Climate 2015, 3, 668-688.

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