Climate change risk perception in the USA and alignment with sustainable travel behaviours
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionFletcher, J., Higham, J., Longnecker, N. (2021) Climate change risk perception in the USA and alignment with sustainable travel behaviours. PLOS ONE, 16 (2), e0244545.. 10.1371/journal.pone.0244545
In an online survey of 1071 Americans conducted in October 2016, we found technological optimism, environmental beliefs, and gender to be better predictors of climate change concern than respondents’ perceived ability to visualize the year 2050 and their future optimism. An important finding from this study is that in October 2016, just before the 2016 Presidential election, 74% of responding Americans were concerned about climate change. Climate change ranked as their second most serious global threat (behind terrorism). However, when asked to describe travel in the year 2050 only 29% of participants discussed lower carbon options, suggesting that actively envisioning a sustainable future was less prevalent than climate change concern. Enabling expectations and active anticipation of a low carbon future may help facilitate mitigation efforts.