Public Opinion on Climate Change: the Roles of Risk Perception and Scientific Knowledge in Preventing Passivity
Existing research shows that two factors stand out as the best predictors of people's stated intention to take action against climate change: accurate understanding of the scientific processes by which the Earth warms, and a perception that the risks associated with its consequences are of higher magnitude. This research explores whether a similar but reverse relationship exists between these factors and the development of passivity or resignation in the face of the massive environmental challenge of climate change. It finds that while accurate knowledge and high risk are able to predict support for policy action, inaccurate knowledge and low risk perceptions also contribute significantly to the specific non-action sentiment of passivity.
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