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New Study Reveals Education the Biggest Predictor of Climate Change Awareness

New Study Reveals Education the Biggest Predictor of Climate Change Awareness

In a new study published in Nature Climate Change, researchers used global data to determine that education is the strongest predictor of climate change awareness and therefore the biggest factor in increasing support for taking on environmental issues.

According to Arstechnica.com, the study used 2007-2008 Gallup World Poll data from 119 countries where respondents were asked questions about how much they knew about climate change and what kind of threat they believed climate change posed to their families.

Whereas many studies revolving around climate change include a limited sample size, this study is unique because the quantity of countries sampled provides a comprehensive global perspective.

"The most salient findings were that education and beliefs about the cause of climate change were the strongest predictors of both awareness and risk perceptions worldwide. This finding is important because previous research found that local weather changes have a major influence on risk perceptions. These results suggest that, even if areas don’t experience more atypical weather, awareness and risk perception are likely to increase worldwide as societies become more educated," said Arstechnica.com.

The findings are also important because they indicate the best way to get scientists and the general population on the same page when it comes to climate change. Despite the scientific community being in agreement that climate change is happening as a result of human activities and is a serious threat for humans in the future, the general population continuously demonstrate a limited understanding of what climate change means with many in denial that it is an actual occurrence.

The study suggests the best way to begin raising climate change awareness and fixing inconsistencies in perception is through a commitment to researching and implementing climate change education.

"The authors suggest that national and regional programs to increase citizen engagement with climate change need to be tailored to the unique context of each country. They also write that this data suggests cross-cultural research in anthropology, psychology, sociology, and geography could provide insight into the contextual factors that affect a particular group’s views on climate change," the article said.

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

08/10/2015

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