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Open AccessArticle

Climate Change as an Involuntary Exposure: A Comparative Risk Perception Study from Six Countries across the Global Development Gradient

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School of Public Health, University of Alabama Birmingham, 1665 University Blvd., 310F Ryals Public Health Building, Birmingham, AL 35205-0022, USA
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School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, PO Box 87537-5302, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
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School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, PO Box 872402, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
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School of Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University 411 N. Central Ave., Ste. 550, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
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Environmental Studies, Augustana College, 639 38th Street, Rock Island, IL 61201, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1894; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061894
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 23 February 2020 / Accepted: 12 March 2020 / Published: 14 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction)
Climate change has been referred to as an involuntary exposure, meaning people do not voluntarily put themselves at risk for climate-related ill health or reduced standard of living. The purpose of this study is to examine people’s risk perceptions and related beliefs regarding (1) the likelihood of different risks occurring at different times and places and (2) collective (government) responsibility and personal efficacy in dealing with climate change, as well as (3) explore the ways in which climate risk may be amplified when posed against individual health and well-being. Previous research on this topic has largely focused on one community or one nation state, and so a unique characteristic of this study is the comparison between six different city (country) sites by their development and national wealth. Here, we collected 401 surveys from Phoenix (USA), Brisbane (Australia), Wellington (New Zealand), Shanghai (China), Viti Levu (Fiji), and Mexico City (Mexico). Results suggest that the hyperopia effect characterized the sample from each study site but was more pronounced in developed sites, suggesting that the more developed sites employ a broader perspective when approaching ways to mitigate their risk against climate-related health and well-being impacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk perceptions; comparative research; climate change; global health risk perceptions; comparative research; climate change; global health
MDPI and ACS Style

Gartin, M.; Larson, K.L.; Brewis, A.; Stotts, R.; Wutich, A.; White, D.; du Bray, M. Climate Change as an Involuntary Exposure: A Comparative Risk Perception Study from Six Countries across the Global Development Gradient. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1894.

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