Climate change as an involuntary exposure: A comparative risk perception study from six countries across the global development gradient

Meredith Gartin, Kelli L. Larson, Alexandra Brewis, Rhian Stotts, Amber Wutich, Dave White, Margaret du Bray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Climate change has been referred to as an involuntary exposure, meaning people do not voluntarily put themselves at risk for climate-related ill health or reduced standard of living. The purpose of this study is to examine people’s risk perceptions and related beliefs regarding (1) the likelihood of different risks occurring at different times and places and (2) collective (government) responsibility and personal efficacy in dealing with climate change, as well as (3) explore the ways in which climate risk may be amplified when posed against individual health and well-being. Previous research on this topic has largely focused on one community or one nation state, and so a unique characteristic of this study is the comparison between six different city (country) sites by their development and national wealth. Here, we collected 401 surveys from Phoenix (USA), Brisbane (Australia), Wellington (New Zealand), Shanghai (China), Viti Levu (Fiji), and Mexico City (Mexico). Results suggest that the hyperopia effect characterized the sample from each study site but was more pronounced in developed sites, suggesting that the more developed sites employ a broader perspective when approaching ways to mitigate their risk against climate-related health and well-being impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1894
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2020

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Comparative research
  • Global health
  • Risk perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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