Do we really understand the impact of climate change?


A key message highlighted through our recent survey on public opinions around climate change was that most of us do feel we understand climate change, but aren’t always sure where to find reliable information.

The vast majority of respondents – 75%, in fact – felt they had a clear understanding of climate change and its implications for our society, but almost half of those (48%) didn’t feel there was enough information to help them identify how they can play a role.

The fact that most of us understand climate change tallies with trends throughout the rest of the world. A US study in the Harvard Business Review found that: “The United States is now at an all-time record high in terms of people accepting that climate change is real and that it’s caused by humans. Until 2018, only 16% of Americans believed global warming is happening; today, it’s 72%.”

The key now, however, will be to deepen our understanding around how we as consumers, homeowners and business owners will be affected, and the actions we can take as individuals to help address its effects.

As the Natural Environment Research Council’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science says: “We need to know not only how temperatures are changing but also about other aspects of climate such as rainfall and storms – so that governments, businesses and society can adapt.”

Reliable information sources will be crucial in deepening this understanding. There’s a lot of good information out there, but also quite a lot of misinformation based on people’s opinions or historical data.

We recommend looking at trusted sources like scientific websites; NASA’s website has lots of authoritative data you can look at, and it’s also worth checking out Edie.Net, the Solar Trade Association, WWF, Friends of the Earth and National Geographic which all have really useful information about climate change and what you can do about it.

Keep checking back on our blog for more insights on climate change attitudes and opinions, or download the full research paper here.

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