This paper examines the lack of awareness and feelings of personal responsibility for climate change. Previous literature suggests that while part of the United States population may be aware of climate change, they do not feel personally responsible for causing it despite feeling climate change’s effects just like everyone else. Furthermore, studies suggest that individuals also do not believe climate change will affect them now, but rather it is an issue for future generations. Using a survey, we examine which demographics and personal factors are most important in eliciting awareness for climate change, and furthermore, personal responsibility for its effects. Finally, we examine how an individual's’ beliefs regarding the effects and cause of climate change shape their sense of awareness and responsibility. Results show that for this sample, respondents take more responsibility for climate change if they believe climate change will impact them in the near future or was caused by human; respondents take less responsibility if they are “risker” or older. These results have broader implications since those who feel responsible for climate change often take more action that those who do not. Our study supports previous research, adds onto it, and leaves the groundwork to conduct choice experiments to determine willingness to pay to stop climate change.
Clancy, Connor P. and Solomon, Sarah Beth
"A Survey on Climate Change: How Beliefs Shape Responsibility,"
Journal of Environmental and Resource Economics at Colby: Vol. 2:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.colby.edu/jerec/vol2/iss1/4
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