Peoples Attitudes towards Climate Change

Category: Climate Change, Nature
Last Updated: 07 Dec 2022
Pages: 11 Views: 532

I. Introduction

Climate Change or Global warming is the increase of the average temperature of earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and landmasses. Scientists believe earth is currently facing a period of rapid warming brought on by rising levels of heat-trapping gases, known as greenhouse gases, in the atmosphere (Harvey, 2012). Ironically, “It is not climate change that is our problem, but the attitude of people that should be addressing the problem” (Fernandez, 2012). Most previous studies evaluating the cause of awareness to the people towards the climate change is the effects of people’s attitude towards climate change (Gallup, 2008; Barret & Dannenberg, 2012).

Most of the studies confirm the explicit and implicit attitudes towards climate change suggest targeting hidden thoughts a better way to change people’s behavior (Corner, 2010; Kormos & McIntyre, 2011). There are also findings that proved the countries to firm one another to build human activities towards climate change.

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This paper is intended to transport cognizance on the necessary ideas on what are the people’s perception towards climate change that have been affected the existence of the of the mother nature and all the life form that exist in this world.

A. Objectives

The students intend to:

1. To Discuss the nature climate change and its causes;

2. To provide data supporting that there are causes and effects in every peoples attitude towards climate change;

3. To determine the authenticity of the claim that there are causes and effects in every peoples attitude towards climate change; and

4. To associate the findings to the personal lives of parents and children in particular and to the people in general

B. Significance of the study

This study aims to expound the effectiveness of people’s attitude towards climate change in enhancing human activities for the global benefit of the world. It creates a goal to the students, instructors, children and parents which provide them more intellectual improvement in their years of existence.

People’s attitude towards climate change evidently influences many positive effects although there are also negative effects, in order to explain the level of peoples attitude towards climate change, this paper would like to be evident to the fact that climate change does exist to the occurrences of people’s conditional attitude towards climate change.

C. Definition of terms

In order to understand clearly the subject matter, we define the following key concepts:

Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years, it may be a change in average weather conditions , or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions (example: more or fewer extreme weather events).

Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a measure within a social psychology designed to detect strength of a person’s automatic association between mental representations of the objects (concepts) in memory. Anthony Greenwald, Debbie McGhee, and Jordan Schwartz introduced the IAT in scientific literature in 1998.

Peoples Attitude is determine more by their immediate situation or surroundings than by any internal characteristics, it is to say that surroundings and situation have great impact on people’s attitude.

Socioeconomic Status (SES) is an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person’s work experience and of individuals or families economic and social position in relation to others, based on income, education and occupation.

II. Nature of Climate Change

It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide.

Hence, estimates of the earth’s changing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration (top) and Antarctic temperature (bottom), based on analysis of ice core data extending back 800,000 years. Until the past century, natural factors caused atmospheric CO2 concentrations to vary within a range of about 180 to 300 parts per million by volume (ppmv).

In addition, warmer periods coincide with periods of relatively high CO2 concentrations. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased by almost 40% since pre-industrial times, from approximately 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv) in the 18th century to 390 ppmv in 2010. The current CO2 level is higher than it has been in at least 800,000 years. Some volcanic eruptions released large quantities of CO2 in the distant past. However, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported last 2011 that human activities now emit more than 135 times as much CO2 does as volcanoes each year.

However, human activities like greenhouse gases, currently release over 30 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.This build-up in the atmosphere is like a tub filling with water, where more water flows from the faucet than the drain can take away.

Moreover, methane is produce through both natural and human activities. For example, natural wetlands, agricultural activities, and fossil fuel extraction and transport all emit CH4.Methane is more abundant in Earth’s atmosphere now than at any time in at least the past 650,000 years. [2] Due to human activities, CH4concentrations increased sharply during most of the 20th century and are now more than two-and-a-half time’s pre-industrial levels. In recent decades, the rate of increase has slowed considerably.

Nitrous oxide is produce through natural and human activities, mainly through agricultural activities and natural biological processes. Fuel burning and some other processes also create N2O. Concentrations of N2O have risen approximately 18% since the start of the Industrial Revolution, with a relatively rapid increase towards the end of the 20th century.

In contrast, the atmospheric concentration of N2O varied only slightly for a period of 11,500 years before the onset of the industrial period.

III. How does Climate Change Work?

The Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty that sets binding obligations on industrialized countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The UNFCCC is an environmental treaty with the goal of preventing "dangerous" anthropogenic (example: human-induced) interference of the climate system.

One hundred ninety countries are United Nation members, except Afghanistan, Andorra, Canada, South Sudan and the United States. The United States signed but did not ratify the Protocol and Canada withdrew from it in 2011. The Protocol was adopt by Parties to the UNFCCC in 1997, and entered into force in 2005.

As part of the Kyoto Protocol, many developed countries have agreed to legally binding limitations/reductions in their emissions of greenhouse gases in two commitments periods. The first commitment period applies to emissions 2008-2012, and the second commitment period applies to emissions 2013-2020. The protocol was amended in 2012 to accommodate the second commitment period, but this amendment has (as of January 2013) not entered into legal force.

On the other hand, 37 countries with binding targets in the second commitment period are Australia, all members of the European Union, Belarus, Croatia, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Norway, Switzerland, and Ukraine. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have stated that they may withdraw from the Protocol or not put into legal force the Amendment with second round targets.

Moreover, Japan, New Zealand, and Russia have participated in Kyoto's first round but have not taken on new targets in the second commitment period. Other developed countries without second-round targets are Canada (which withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 2012) and the United States (which has not ratified the Protocol).

Thus, international emissions trading allow developed countries to trade their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. They can trade emissions quotas among themselves, and can receive credit for financing emissions reductions in developing countries. Developed countries may use emissions trading until late 2014 or 2015 to meet their first-round targets.

Developing countries do not have binding targets under the Kyoto Protocol, but are still committed under the treaty to reduce their emissions.Actions taken by developed and developing countries to reduce emissions include support for renewable, improving energy efficiency, and reducing deforestation. Under the Protocol, emissions of developing countries are authorized to grow in accordance with their development needs.

The treaty recognizes that developed countries have contributed the most to the anthropogenic build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (around 77% of emissions between 1750 and 2004), and that carbon dioxide emissions per person in developing countries (2.9 tons in 2010) are, on average, lower than emissions per person in developed countries (10.4 tons in 2010).

Because, a number of developed countries have commented that the Kyoto targets only apply to a small share of annual global emissions. Countries with second-round Kyoto targets made up 13.4% of annual global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 2010.[27] Many developing countries have emphasized the need for developed countries to have strong, binding emissions targets. At the global scale, existing policies appear to be too weak to prevent global warming exceeding 2 or 1.5 degrees Celsius, relative to the pre-industrial level (King, D., et al., 2011;)

IV. Providing Data Supporting the Claim that there are Causes and Effect in every people attitudes towards climate change.

In the study conducted by The World Bank’s World Development Report 2010 on Climate Change and Development commissioned on international poll of public attitudes to climate change their findings indicate that attitudes on international cooperation on climate change results in one thought, that if their countries acted, other countries would be encouraged to act as well. Should an agreement on cutting emissions emerge from the Copenhagen meeting, very large majorities in all 15 countries said their nation should commit to cut emissions as part of the agreement.

Then, if such an agreement does not emerge, majorities in 14 countries and a plurality in one still thought their nation would have a responsibility to act.Effect of one country’s example on others one overhanging question in the difficult global process of forming measures against climate change is the power of example and mutual efforts: if some nations lead, will others be inclined to follow—not only on a world scale, but also regionally, or among neighboring countries?

Furthermore, respondents were asked whether they thought, “That if our country takes steps to deal with the problem of climate change, other countries would then be more willing to act, or do you think it wouldn’t make much difference?.

Similarly, in 14 of 15 countries, majorities thought the example of their country acting would affect other countries’ willingness positively—and in Russia, a plurality thought so (47% to 32%).

For that reason, an average of 68% in all 15 countries thought other countries will be affected by their example, and only 24% did not developed countries that have smaller majorities believed in the power of their example, while many developing countries showed much more confidence in it.

Thus Bangladesh, Senegal, Kenya, Indonesia and Vietnam all had majorities of 79% or higher who thought that if their country took such steps, other countries would be then more willing to act.

In addition, Mexico, Iran and China were almost as confident (all at 73%). Egypt (66%) and India (61%) had substantial majorities thinking so; France was similar at 63%.

However, Japan, the United States and Russia were all significantly less confident that their example would make any difference. In Japan, 54% thought their example would encourage other countries, while 46% did not; in the US 52% thought it would make a difference, while 46% did not; and in Russia 47% thought it would, and 32% that it would not.

WhereasGallup conducted the first comprehensive survey of global opinions about climate change, posing two questions to respondents in 128 countries:
1) how much you know about global warming or climate change.Moreover 2) How serious of a threat is globalwarmingto you and your family?Gallup finds that a majority of the world's adult population is aware of the climate change issue, but a substantial minority is not aware.

Further, those who are aware are more likely to say climate change poses a serious threat to themselves and their families. Results vary by region and among each of the top five greenhouse gas-emitting countries, underscoring the challenges leaders face in reaching a global climate agreement.

Regionally, people in Europe and the Americas (which includes North, South, and Central America) are the most likely to be aware of climate change. More than 8 in 10 adults in Europe and the Americas say they know at least something about climate change.

Fish Ponds Cause the brunt of typhoons “Pedring” and Quiel”.

It is one of the major reasons of a prolonged flooding in residential and rural areas in the plains of Bulacan and Pampanga because of the proliferation of fishponds and aquaculture projects in the major waterways, thus, this result to the slowed flow of the water from the typhoon and dams.

On the other hand, cities of Butuan and Cotabato experiencing the prolonged flood because of the rivers that is clog by water lilies.

Similarly, the city of Cotabato experienced the said problem because of the industries that polluted the river with nitrates which induce the growth of lilies to cause a certain scenario.

Implicit Association Test

Using the Implicit Association Test (IAT), developed in the 1990s and now widely used in social psychology, Geoffrey Beattie and Laura McGuire at Manchester University asked whether people's "explicit" attitudes (the responses people give in surveys and opinion polls) or their "implicit" attitudes (which can only be revealed by people's reaction times on a specially designed task) best predicted the amount of attention they paid to iconic images of climate change.

Situational Survey

Participants were asked to rate how much they agreed with statements such as: "I prefer a product with a low carbon footprint". But they also completed an IAT where they had to assign a series of positive or negative terms to the target category of "low carbon footprint". The researchers then showed them a series of images, some of which were iconic negative images of climate change (for example, a stranded polar bear), some of which were positive images of nature (for example, a field of sunflowers), and some of which were everyday household objects. Intermingled across a series of slides, participants could choose which images to look at.

The results were striking:

Only implicit attitudes predicted how long people looked at iconic images of climate change. It did not matter if people had expressed a positive explicit attitude towards low-carbon products. Only people with strongly positive implicit attitudes (i.e. the people with quick reaction times between positive terms and the low carbon footprint category) chose to linger on the climate change images.

These findings suggest that even people who express a high degree of concern about climate change, or who claim a great deal of interest in low-carbon products, may actually be unconsciously shielding themselves from imagery associated with climate change and by extension, a deeper reflection on how to change their behavior in response to it.

What about interpreting the Climate Change as an emergency?

People also reject climate change because of other commitments in their life. If climate change is real, that might mean we need to change how we live. If we don’t want to change, that can influence our thinking all the way back up to whether we consider the issue a problem. Broadly, you can call this motivated reasoning(Nordhaus, and Shaw, 1994)

Psychologists recognize that people have a complex set of social identities based on their age, gender, religion and many other groups. These memberships drive attitudes, feelings and behavior. Social identity exists whenever a person feels they are a member and feels a sense of psychological identification with a group (Latane,& Darley, 1968)

Political party is a powerful social identity that informs how people think about themselves and the world. Following this very brief description of social identity theory, consider how political party shapes how we process incoming information. It’s not easy to go against your political party, because you can be derogated and excluded from the group. It’s uncomfortable to feel social influence and not go along. Political identification matters in evaluating information on climate change (Frant & Mayer, 2009).

V. Implication of the study

People cannot change their attitude towards climate change if their socioeconomic status (SES) priority on climate change is not on their list of commitments in life. Someone must encourage them to change their belief in their attitudes towards climate change. Through the interaction with the media, people in the society will be aware on how climate change got worst in this time of decade.

Hence, creatinga law that will be a major concern of the people, and implement it to all citizens that live on a certain country that implement such law. As a result people may continue their attention and could gain more as they interact with the intellect of climate change just like a footprint in wet cement, it hardens as it goes by, thereby, and there should be a good footprint to leave so they could have much better through thedevelopment.

VI. Conclusion

We arrived with a conclusion that Global Climate Change is a fact, although there are skeptics in no way a majority group. That is why governments around the world have reacted to this growing threat nearest major climatic changes that may put their economies at risk.

People Attitudes towards Global Climate Change, on the other hand, has made it very clear globalization of pressing environmental issues if it is not a company that involves all nations. Population pressure and development taken by most developed nations along with developing nations placed increasing pressure on natural resources and environmental systems on land.

At present, the self-regulatory capacity of the atmosphere are carried to their limits and according to many, surpassed. It is not sound policy, for humanity, let the search for solutions for the future or if they are strongly needed. The atmosphere and the processes that maintain their characteristics are not very fast reaction times compared with the periods humans.

Cite this Page

Peoples Attitudes towards Climate Change. (2016, Jul 14). Retrieved from

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