Perceived Immediacy of Climate Change: 2008
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has provided evidence that humans are contributing to climate change.5 As a result of every day behaviour, emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are released into the atmosphere. Although technological innovation should, over the long term, enable the public to lower their emissions, behavioural change will also be required. Therefore, monitoring the extent to which the public sees climate change as a concern is important. This is particularly relevant as more recent UK evidence6 suggests a decline in the proportions viewing climate change as a problem.
The Scottish Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours Survey 20081 included a question to gauge public concern about the perceived immediacy of climate change. Respondents were asked to choose one statement that came closest to their own view.7
The majority of respondents (57%) said that "climate change is an immediate and urgent problem". However, more than one in three expressed some degree of doubt, with approximately one fifth (22%) saying that "climate change is more of a problem for the future" and around one in eight either saying "I'm still not convinced that climate change is happening" (9%) or that "climate change is not really a problem" (4%). Around 4% said that that none of these statements closely matched their own view on climate change.
Email: Callum Neil