Public Opinion and Voting Behavior

Public Opinion and Voting Behavior

Explaining Perceptions of Climate Change in the US

Matthew Loveless University of Bologna
,
Chiara Binelli University of Milano-Bicocca
,
Brian Schaffner Tufts University
Abstract
Despite extensive scientific evidence, a significant proportion of the US population does not believe that climate change is a serious problem and immediate action is necessary. We merge individual-level data on climate change perceptions and the main determinants previously identified by the literature with county-level data on an exogenous measure of local climate change. Doing so allows us, for the first time, to test whether individuals’actual experience with long-trend changes in their local climate can override the power of partisanship that appears to have captured this opinion process. We find that partisanship and political ideology have the strongest effect on climate change perceptions, more so than long-run changes in local climate. We then run a randomized online experiment to test whether partisanship also drives the willingness to take action to combat climate change and individual environmental-friendly choices as much as it drives perceptions.
Content
Thumbnail image of content item
Comments
Log in using your APSA account or Register to comment
Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.