Hampshire Residents and Climate Change, 2003


<p>Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.</p>The aim of this research was to examine the dimensions and determinants of public understanding of, and response to, climate change in order to inform the design of more effective public communication strategies and workable mitigation policies. Although this study explored a variety of potentially salient influences (age, gender, income, car ownership, education, highest science qualification, newspaper readership, political affiliation, environmental values and concerns) on perceptions and behavioural responses to climate change, two factors given particular attention were experiences of flooding and of the effect of air pollution on health (experiential factors have been largely unaddressed in previous research on public understanding and response to climate change, but their central role in risk perception, learning and behaviour is highlighted in the wider psychology literature). A further point of focus was the effect of terminology ('global warming' versus 'climate change') on survey responses. A split-sample method, using two versions of the questionnaire, was therefore employed to compare responses. Only the data from the 'climate change' version of the questionnaire is included in this data collection.<br> <br> This research focused on the South Coast area of England, which is particularly likely to be at risk from sea-level rise, extremes of weather and flooding associated with climate change. This geographical feature of the research is also original. It provides a detailed case study in its own right of a community at significant risk from climate change impacts, but also allows for some comparison with other surveys of public perceptions of climate change and energy use, for example the national <i>Survey of Public Attitudes to Quality of Life and the Environment, 2001</i> (held at the UK Data Archive (UKDA) under SN 4741) and the <i>UEA-MORI Risk Survey, 2002 (Public Perceptions of Risk, Science and Governance)</i> (held under SN 4707).<br> <br><B>Main Topics</B>:<br>This is a mixed methods data collection, comprising two elements. Firstly, a quantitative file is included that comprises responses to the questionnaire survey covering attitudes to climate change, general views on environmental concerns, global environmental issues, and demographic details. Secondly, text files are also included; these do not include any interview data, but comprise verbatim responses to the open-ended questions on the questionnaire

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