A nice little paper was published last month in Nature Climate Change, which needs to be taken seriously by anyone campaigning on climate change.
The paper draws on the 2010 poll by the Understanding Risk Group, and shows that “those who report experience of flooding express more concern over climate change, see it as less uncertain and feel more confident that their actions will have an effect on climate change”, and that “these perceptual differences also translate into a greater willingness to save energy to mitigate climate change”.
That is, people who’ve had first-hand experience of something that could be attributed to climate change, care more about it and are more willing to act to stop it.
The difference in views between those who’d experienced flooding and those who hadn’t is clear:
And secondly, on the questions: ‘I can personally help to reduce climate change by changing my behaviour’; ‘I am uncertain that climate change is really happening’; and ‘My local area is likely to be affected by climate change’:
Nowhere is the gap vast, but it’s always statistically significant. The message is clear: personal experience of the impact of extreme weather makes people more likely to think that climate change is worth tackling, and that it can be tackled.
All of which is a pretty clear lesson for anyone campaigning on climate change.
But a selection of campaigning videos raises questions about this: