Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Trisha Shrum

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Community Development and Applied Economics

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Presentation Title

Who Really Cares About Climate Change? The Demographics of Perceptions of Climate Change in the United States

Time

11:30 AM

Location

Chittenden Bank Room

Abstract

Anthropogenic climate change is a great threat to the environment (including humans), but some people and governments believe otherwise; their reasons vary from political interests to religious beliefs to just not seeing it as a problem they can personally address. This study examines the demographic differences between people from the United States that (1) believe climate change is an issue and try to adjust their daily actions to address it, (2) perceive climate change is an issue but do not change their daily routines, (3) do not believe climate change is a threat (or real), or (4) are indifferent to whether or not anthropogenic climate change is a threat. Using longitudinal survey data collected (using the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform) from over 1300 people living in the United States, this study asks who the people are who fall into each of these categories and the context surrounding their perceptions of climate change. Although literature about the perception of climate change of Americans exists, this study takes a new approach by analyzing sentiment in essays and letters written by respondents about climate change using textual analysis to provide a quantitative review of the results.

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Who Really Cares About Climate Change? The Demographics of Perceptions of Climate Change in the United States

Anthropogenic climate change is a great threat to the environment (including humans), but some people and governments believe otherwise; their reasons vary from political interests to religious beliefs to just not seeing it as a problem they can personally address. This study examines the demographic differences between people from the United States that (1) believe climate change is an issue and try to adjust their daily actions to address it, (2) perceive climate change is an issue but do not change their daily routines, (3) do not believe climate change is a threat (or real), or (4) are indifferent to whether or not anthropogenic climate change is a threat. Using longitudinal survey data collected (using the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform) from over 1300 people living in the United States, this study asks who the people are who fall into each of these categories and the context surrounding their perceptions of climate change. Although literature about the perception of climate change of Americans exists, this study takes a new approach by analyzing sentiment in essays and letters written by respondents about climate change using textual analysis to provide a quantitative review of the results.