Climate change message needs to be closer to home to hit home, say researchers

Jun 07, 2012

Effectively communicating climate change risks to the general public could all hinge on bringing the issue closer to home, research by a team from Nottingham and Cardiff Universities has found.

In a project that aimed to analyse of , the researchers focused on ‘psychological distance’ in prompting people to go greener and the significance of uncertainty as justification for inaction.

The study, led by Dr Alexa Spence, found that in general the closer people felt to the problem, the more concerned about climate change they were. It also recommends that more needs to be done to communicate the global impacts of climate change and highlight the severity of the problem. 

Dr Spence is a researcher in The University of Nottingham’s School of Psychology and a Horizon Transition Fellow at Horizon Digital Economy Research, a research hub and doctoral training centre based at The University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP).

She said: “Climate change is abstract, and if we make it more real for people then they are more likely to act sustainably.”

Real and present threat

The research was carried out in collaboration with colleagues Dr Wouter Poortinga and Professor Nick Pidgeon of Cardiff University, and their paper The Psychological Distance of Climate Change appears in the June edition of the international journal Risk Analysis

The research was conducted in conjunction with Ipsos MORI via face-to-face interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,822 people in the UK between January and March 2010.

To understand the psychological dimensions of distance in relation to climate change, the researchers assessed the geographical, social and temporal (or time-related) distance, as well as uncertainty.

Overall, whilst many people perceive climate change as a real and present threat, significant psychological distance remains. They found:

  • geographically, more than half (52.6%) of respondents agreed with the statement that climate change would affect their local areas, compared with 30% who disagreed; 
  • socially, 44.6% agreed that climate change would impact on people like themselves, compared with 32.3% who disagreed; 
  • temporally, 41% felt that Britain is already feeling the effects of climate change compared with less than 15% who believed it would never occur or would be felt beyond the next 100 years; 
  • regarding uncertainty, almost half (47%) believed that climate change is caused by a combination of human activity and natural processes – 31% said it is caused mostly or entirely by human activity, while 18% said it was mostly or entirely caused by natural causes.
Aspects of uncertainty

The authors note that it is important to distinguish between different aspects of uncertainty regarding climate change. Whilst a large proportion think that the effects of climate change are uncertain, only relatively small numbers think that is not happening or not caused by human activities.

This paper is part of a special issue on climate risk perceptions and communication in the June edition of Risk Analysis, at a time of growing scientific concern and political conflict over the issue.

Explore further: Predicting bioavailable cadmium levels in soils

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2011.01695.x/full

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User comments : 35

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mememine69
2.2 / 5 (17) Jun 07, 2012
When will phys.org renounce the CO2 exaggeration?
mememine69
1.8 / 5 (15) Jun 07, 2012
If my house was on fire I don't call 911 and say my house is on fire..........maybe. Hello fire department? My planet is on fire.........maybe.
Hello, United Nations? Yes we are the worlds climate scientists and we thought you should know that the planet is experiencing a CO2 climate crisis of unstoppable warming.maybe, possibly and potentially?
Trust me, I've looked; I can't find an IPCC warning of a catastrophic climate crisis from CO2 being issued without the words "maybe" and "possibly". Check for yourself. All they agree on is; "it is real and happening" but then I see that every single scientist has their unique conclusion to CO2 effects ranging all over the map from negligible to unstoppable warming. That isn't consensus of anything.
I wonder if the scientists condemn their kids to a CO2 death, or just ours? Do they act like what they say is true? No. Is exaggeration a crime? No.
ted208
1.4 / 5 (9) Jun 07, 2012
mememine69
Well said and thank god a few level headed people visit this doom and gloom climate site.
Yes I read it to see the level of the protectors of the CAGW cause!
ted208
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 07, 2012
PS - Dr Alexa Spence take another poll you'll find a 2010 poll doesn't cut it anymore it is total BS.

The research was conducted in conjunction with Ipsos MORI via face-to-face interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,822 people in the UK between January and March 2010.
gregor1
1.4 / 5 (9) Jun 07, 2012
Seems "climate science" is more about marketing than actual science with all it's messy uncertainties. If there is a massage that needs to be heard maybe the lesson from 'the boy who cried wolf needs to be learned.' Alarmism gets us nowhere I'm afraid.
Shelgeyr
1.6 / 5 (13) Jun 07, 2012
Climate change message needs to be closer to home to hit home, say researchers

"Propaganda not working as well as desired, need to try something else" say researchers (essentially).

Or, more to the point, "Waaaaaaaa, the stupid moronic no-nothing dumbo people aren't letting us have our way (with their money, their freedom, and their lives)!!!"

Which is funny, if you think about it, because regardless of how it is translated or rephrased, that last message is coming through loud and clear.
NotParker
1.6 / 5 (14) Jun 07, 2012
Ok ... so the planet warmed a small amount starting about 1980 (after 3 decades of cooling/stagnation) and then stopped warming. So they had to change the name of the scare story to climate change from global warming.

Now they think they need to hire psychologists to brainwash people into believing the bull****?

1984.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.1 / 5 (9) Jun 08, 2012
The denialists are growing ever more desperate and ever more shrill as the climate continues to warm.

http://www.youtub...ure=plcp

http://www.youtub...ure=plcp
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2012
ParkerTard's lie is easy to expose.

http://www.woodfo...80/trend

0.6'C warming since 1980 and I don't see any leveling off in that graphic.

"the planet warmed a small amount starting about 1980 (after 3 decades of cooling/stagnation) and then stopped" - ParkerTard

ParkerTard has publicly stated that he will never stop lying about Climate Change. He is mentally diseased.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2012
The United States, excluding Alaska, Hawaii and overseas territories, had an average temperature of 57.1 degrees Fahrenheit (13.9 Celsius) from March through May, 5.2 degrees (2.9 Celsius) above the average from 1901 to 2000, the data showed.

"Spring 2012 marked the largest temperature departure from average of any season on record for the contiguous United States," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement.
Captivation
2.7 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2012
Climate Defenders have been consistent in promoting the precautionary principle. The means they advocate caution when working with chemicals that alter our food, water, and air. Since CO2 has been understood since 1859 to change how air traps heat, this caution seems well advised.
Climate Deniers, on the other hand, seem to be risk averse about investing in things like clean energy. But when it comes to Climate Change, no limit to risky behavior must ever be imposed. I really have to LOL as they say.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (9) Jun 08, 2012
Since CO2 has been understood since 1859 to change how air traps heat,

How does CO2 trap heat?
If CO2 were such a good heat 'trapper' the night time low temperatures over very dry deserts should be increasing as all this CO2 'traps' the heat.
The data is easy to get but I have not seen any AGWite promote such data. Could it be CO2 doesn't really 'trap' that much heat?
Captivation
3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
"If CO2 were such a good heat 'trapper' the night time low temperatures over very dry deserts should be increasing..."

Which is exactly what happened during the Texas drought last year. The worst heat was in the evening. Although you tried your best as a Science Denier, you still ending up validating it. Thanks!
NotParker
1 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2012
The United States, excluding Alaska, Hawaii and overseas territories, had an average temperature of 57.1 degrees Fahrenheit (13.9 Celsius) from March through May, 5.2 degrees (2.9 Celsius) above the average from 1901 to 2000, the data showed.

"Spring 2012 marked the largest temperature departure from average of any season on record for the contiguous United States," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement.


24 of the 48 continental states had the warmest 12 month period before 1950.

http://sunshineho...ay-2012/
NotParker
1.5 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2012
ParkerTard's lie is easy to expose.

http://www.woodfo...80/trend

0.6'C warming since 1980


1980 = .2
1998 = .7C
2011 = .25C

.05C warmer than 31 years ago.

Thanks. You made my point.

http://www.woodfo...80/trend
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (10) Jun 08, 2012
"If CO2 were such a good heat 'trapper' the night time low temperatures over very dry deserts should be increasing..."

Which is exactly what happened during the Texas drought last year. The worst heat was in the evening. Although you tried your best as a Science Denier, you still ending up validating it. Thanks!

The humidity in TX is generally quite high.
The air can be humid and and still have no rain.
PeterD
1.4 / 5 (9) Jun 08, 2012
If the cause of global warming/climate change is human activity, why did everything that is taking place now take place for 3 or 4 hundred years, beginning in 800AD? Can any of you twits explain that?
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
It has been explained to you at least a dozen times Tard Boy.

"How does CO2 trap heat?" - RyggTard

If you don't understand by now then you are incapable of understanding grade 5 science.

No wonder you are a Libertarian/Randite.

A fine example of Free Market Capitalism and private education at work...

Official Seeks Review Of Oakland School With Panhandling Students

OAKLAND (CBS 5) A member of the Oakland School Board is taking action, following a joint CBS 5 and California Watch investigation into a school that sends children out to panhandle.

Students from Saint Andrew Missionary Baptist Church Private School have been seen at BART stations, seeking donations.

Yet court documents reveal the school has inflated class size to collect tens of thousands in federal education dollars. For the past 12 years, the school has been reporting at least 195 students a year, when in reality less than 20 children attend.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
Denialists are left with mouths so full of ignorant froth that they can't even compose a rational english sentence, let alone a rational argument.

"why did everything that is taking place now take place for 3 or 4 hundred years, beginning in 800AD?" - PeterDTard

Cows come ifn's the rain cause sucha isn't be doen the heat from the suns for Gawd's 6,000 yearen?

Answer that!
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
And yet a few weeks ago, Tard Boy was demanding that there would be more rain as humidity levels rose globally.

Meanwhile back her on Planet Reality, humidity levels are observed to be increasing while the U.S. grain belt reverts to desert.

"The air can be humid and and still have no rain." - RyggTard
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
http://www.woodfo...06/trend

Average anomaly 1975-1985 = 0
Average anomaly 2006-1011 = 0.45

Change = 0.45 over 30 years = 1.5'C per century presuming no acceleration.

"1980 = .2
1998 = .7C
2011 = .25C" - ParkerTard

.2'C = high from 1980
.25'C = low from 2011

ParkerTard is taking the difference between the warmest days of 1980 with the coldest days of 2011.

He is a chronic liar, and is mentally disturbed.

Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
Let's use ParkerTards method of determining a trend.

Lowest temperature in 1976 (approx) = -0.4C'
Highest temperature in 2008 (appcox) = 0.8C'

Trend is 3.75C' per century.

Again... Assuming no acceleration - which the models show will happen.
NotParker
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2012
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/to:2011/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/to:1985/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2006/trend

Average anomaly 1975-1985 = 0
Average anomaly 2006-2011 = 0.45


Your link is to HADCRUT4 which has no data for 2011.

2011 was pretty cold.

You keep trying to fool people that way. Pretty pathetic.
NotParker
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2012
Let's use ParkerTards method of determining a trend.

Lowest temperature in 1976 (approx) = -0.4C'
Highest temperature in 2008 (appcox) = 0.8C'

Trend is 3.75C' per century.

Again... Assuming no acceleration - which the models show will happen.


1878 0.028
2011 0.339

.311 in 133 years.

Have you ever looked at a thermometer and tried to mark off .311C?

http://www.mcmurr...main.jpg

Thats about .5F

Today in Central Park it was 70F at 9:51. And 73 at 10:51.

So .5F is the difference between 9:51am and say 10:01am.

We're doomed!!!

Ha ha ha ha ....
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2012
Poor mentally ill ParkerTard. he insists that climate is defined on 1 year intervals.

"Your link is to HADCRUT4 which has no data for 2011." - ParkerTard

Lets use GISS then to placate his diseased mind.

http://www.woodfo...06/trend

Average 1975 - 1980 (approx) = 0.1C'
Average 2008 - 2011 (approx) = 0.5C'

Trend is 1.2'C per century.

ParkerTard is taking the difference between the warmest days of 1980 with the coldest days of 2011.

He is a chronic liar, and is mentally disturbed.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
Now Tard boy is just pulling numbers out of his backside.

1880 Global average Temperature (GISS) -0.27C'
2011 "" 0.51C'

Difference = .77C'

"1878 0.028
2011 0.339" - ParkerTard

Poor Mentally diseased ParkerTard. Will he ever stop lying?
Vendicar_Decarian
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2012
Standard Error = Standard Deviation / sqrt(number of samples)

With a measurement precision of .5C' and 100 samples, one can expect the standard error to be approximately 0.1C'

For decades weather stations have been using digital thermometers that provide much higher precsion than .5'C.

"Have you ever looked at a thermometer and tried to mark off .311C?" - ParkerTard

Yes, as a matter of fact I have.

Here is a common temperature sensor from TI that measures accurate to 0.1C'

http://www.ti.com...p112.pdf

Poor Brain Dead ParkerTard. You need to get mental help.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2012
ParkerTard just cant bring himself to admit to a difference between weather and climate.

"Today in Central Park it was 70F at 9:51. And 73 at 10:51." - ParkerTard

His diseased mind and his corporate handlers won't permit it.
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (12) Jun 08, 2012
ParkerTard just cant bring himself to admit to a difference between weather and climate.

"Today in Central Park it was 70F at 9:51. And 73 at 10:51."


Do you think New Yorkers noticed when it went from 70F to 70.5F over 10 minutes?

Do you think the globe has noticed a .5F change over 133 years?

(And remember, the claim of .5F came from a cherry picked GAT that shouldn't be believed ... but is fun to use to mock the cult)

NotParker
1.7 / 5 (12) Jun 08, 2012
Standard Error = Standard Deviation / sqrt(number of samples)

With a measurement precision of .5C' and 100 samples, one can expect the standard error to be approximately 0.1C'

For decades weather stations have been using digital thermometers that provide much higher precsion than .5'C.



Not according to the papers written about it. And they aren't the same thermometers and they aren't in the same position ... etc
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
Given that 2C' to 3C' is all that separates current global temperatures with that needed to trigger an ice age, what NewYorkers feel is not relevant.

Do you think that New Yorkers noticed their missing winter this year?

Do you think that anyone will miss the 55,000 people who died in the 2010 Russian heat wave?

"Do you think New Yorkers noticed when it went from 70F to 70.5F over 10 minutes?" - ParkerTard

Poor mentally ill ParkerTard. He just can't understand the difference between weather and climate, even though 8 year olds can.

Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
"Standard Error = Standard Deviation / sqrt(number of samples)" - VD

"Not according to the papers written about it." - ParkerTard

Exposing ParkerTard's latest lie is very easy.

"The standard error of a sample of sample size is the sample's standard deviation divided by . It therefore estimates the standard deviation of the sample mean based on the population mean (Press et al. 1992, p. 465). Note that while this definition makes no reference to a normal distribution, many uses of this quantity implicitly assume such a distribution." - Wolfram Mathworld

http://en.wikiped...rd_error

Poor ParkerTard... He just keeps getting caught telling lie, after lie, after lie, after lie.

He has publicly stated that he will never stop lying about Global Warming. He is mentally diseased.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
True. If a number comes from you we know that it is either fabricated or cherry picked.

"And remember, the claim of .5F came from a cherry picked GAT that shouldn't be believed" - ParkerTard

Lying and deceit in defense of your Denialist Liedeology are your only Method of Operation.

Lying is after all, what you are paid to do here.
NotParker
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2012

For decades weather stations have been using digital thermometers that provide much higher precsion than .5'C.


The NOAA disagrees.

"The accuracy of the alcohol thermometers varies, and is generally within 1 degree F. The accuracy of the MMTS also varies, and is typically within 0.5 degree F."

http://www.wrh.no...rade.php
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 09, 2012
Sorry ParkerTard, but with your less than grade 5 comprehension of science you clearly don't have a clue as to what the NOAA says.

"The NOAA disagrees." - ParkerTard

ParkerTard now confuses the concept of "accuracy" with the concept of "precision".

"The accuracy of the alcohol thermometers varies" - NOAA

"For decades weather stations have been using digital thermometers that provide much higher precsion than .5'C." - VD

The NOAA is referring to accuracy ParkerTard while the statistical definition provided to you refers to precision I.E. standard deviation.

If you weren't being paid to come here to lie, I would say that you are probably the most ignorant person I have ever encountered.

But you are... So I won't.

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