Tuesday, 14 February 2012

New study of public opinion about climate change

"A must-read study published Monday in the journal Climatic Change debunks some pervasive myths about public opinion and climate change. [ ... ]

Here are some of the key findings from “Shifting public opinion on climate change: an empirical assessment of factors influencing concern over climate change in the U.S., 2002–2010″:

  • “… media coverage of climate change and elite cues from politicians and advocacy groups are among the most prominent drivers of the public perception of the threat associated with climate change”
  • The greater the quantity of media coverage of climate change, the greater the level of public concern.”
  • New York Times mentions of An Inconvenient Truth significantly boosted the public’s perception of the urgency of climate change (P≤.001). The number of mentions in the New York Times is a proxy for the extent of overall media attention to this film.”
  • “Articles in popular scientific magazines do reach significance” in terms of influencing public concern, but it is a modest effect."
The above was excerpted from the Climate progress blog. Unfortunately the study isn't open access (although people at RMIT and other institutions with a SpringerLink subscription can read the full text). However, the blog article is quite extensive.

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