On climate change, Britons are shaky on facts, strong on action - study

(Reuters News, 5 Sep 2019) From the impact of flying to how many record-breaking hot years we've had, people misjudge climate realities, researchers find.

From the amount of plastic recyled to how record-breaking recent temperatures are, the British public's grasp of the facts about climate change remain shaky, researchers said Thursday.

In a survey looking at public misperceptions about the environment, researchers at King's College London found two-thirds of people surveyed agreed with the British Parliament that the world is facing a climate emergency.

But nearly three-quarters of people think others are not concerned enough about climate change - even though four out of five people surveyed said they are worried enough to change their lifestyles.

"We tend to inform our own actions by what we think the norm is, by what other people do," said Bobby Duffy, d​irector of the Policy Institute at King's College London, which led the survey of about 1,100 people with polling company Ipsos MORI.

"If we think that other people are less worried, we're less likely to act, even though there's such a global, universal problem," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

According to the study, published Thursday, people guessed that 12 of the 20 hottest years on record happened in the last 22 years, despite the World Meteorological Organization declaring that all 20 fell within that timeframe.

External link

Reuters News, 5 Sep 2019: On climate change, Britons are shaky on facts, strong on action - study