What is climate change scepticism? Examination of the concept using a mixed methods study of the UK public

TitleWhat is climate change scepticism? Examination of the concept using a mixed methods study of the UK public
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsCapstick, S., and N. Pidgeon
Journal TitleGlobal Environmental Change
Volume24
Start Page389
Issue1
Pagination389-401
Keywordsclimate change, Cultural theory, Perceptions, Public attitudes, Scepticism
Abstract

The holding of doubts about climate change is often referred to as 'scepticism'. However, there has been a lack of clarity in previous work as to what exactly this scepticism comprises. We integrate data obtained from discussion groups and a nationally representative survey, to interrogate and refine the concept of climate change scepticism with respect to the views of members of the public. We argue that two main types should be distinguished: epistemic scepticism, relating to doubts about the status of climate change as a scientific and physical phenomenon; and response scepticism, relating to doubts about the efficacy of action taken to address climate change. Whilst each type is independently associated by people themselves with climate change scepticism, we find that the latter is more strongly associated with a lack of concern about climate change. As such, additional effort should be directed towards addressing and engaging with people's doubts concerning attempts to address climate change. © 2013 The Authors.

DOI10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.08.012
Tyndall Consortium Institution

Cardiff

Research Programme

Governance