IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/climat/v149y2018i3d10.1007_s10584-018-2251-x.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Place, proximity, and perceived harm: extreme weather events and views about climate change

Author

Listed:
  • Chad Zanocco

    () (Oregon State University)

  • Hilary Boudet

    (Oregon State University)

  • Roberta Nilson

    (Cornell University)

  • Hannah Satein

    (Oregon State University)

  • Hannah Whitley

    (Pennsylvania State University)

  • June Flora

    (Stanford University)

Abstract

Advances in event attribution have improved scientific confidence in linking climate change to extreme weather severity and frequency, but this confidence varies by event type. Yet, scholars and activists argue that extreme weather events may provide the best opportunity to raise awareness and prompt action on climate change. We focus on four cases of extreme weather with low attribution (tornado outbreaks in Laurel County, Kentucky, and Winston County, Mississippi; wildfires in Yavapai County, Arizona, and Lake County, California). We survey county residents to examine the role of event proximity, community- and event-specific characteristics, and reported harm in shaping climate change views post-event. Using multilevel regression analysis, we find that reported personal and community harm aligns with event proximity and larger community damages. For our respondents’ climate change views, however, political ideology dominates, suggesting the importance of motivated reasoning in individual interpretations of extreme weather events. At the same time, while event proximity is irrelevant, we find reported harm to be related to climate change views. Thus, while respondents appear to be making connections between extreme weather events and climate change among our four cases, these connections seem to be most likely to occur in communities where belief in climate change is already high, the event caused significant impacts and is more attributable to climate change, and elites frame the event in these terms—as in Lake County. Our findings are particularly relevant for policymakers and activists looking to such events as catalysts for climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • Chad Zanocco & Hilary Boudet & Roberta Nilson & Hannah Satein & Hannah Whitley & June Flora, 2018. "Place, proximity, and perceived harm: extreme weather events and views about climate change," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 349-365, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:149:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-018-2251-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-018-2251-x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10584-018-2251-x
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charles Adedayo Ogunbode & Yue Liu & Nicole Tausch, 2017. "The moderating role of political affiliation in the link between flooding experience and preparedness to reduce energy use," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 445-458, December.
    2. Robert Brulle & Jason Carmichael & J. Jenkins, 2012. "Shifting public opinion on climate change: an empirical assessment of factors influencing concern over climate change in the U.S., 2002–2010," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 169-188, September.
    3. David M. Konisky & Llewelyn Hughes & Charles H. Kaylor, 2016. "Extreme weather events and climate change concern," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 134(4), pages 533-547, February.
    4. Peter Howe & Hilary Boudet & Anthony Leiserowitz & Edward Maibach, 2014. "Mapping the shadow of experience of extreme weather events," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 381-389, November.
    5. Adam Corner & Lorraine Whitmarsh & Dimitrios Xenias, 2012. "Uncertainty, scepticism and attitudes towards climate change: biased assimilation and attitude polarisation," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 463-478, October.
    6. David Konisky & Llewelyn Hughes & Charles Kaylor, 2016. "Extreme weather events and climate change concern," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 134(4), pages 533-547, February.
    7. Rosseel, Yves, 2012. "lavaan: An R Package for Structural Equation Modeling," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 48(i02).
    8. Christina Demski & Stuart Capstick & Nick Pidgeon & Robert Gennaro Sposato & Alexa Spence, 2017. "Experience of extreme weather affects climate change mitigation and adaptation responses," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 140(2), pages 149-164, January.
    9. Jeremiah Bohr, 2017. "Is it hot in here or is it just me? Temperature anomalies and political polarization over global warming in the American public," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 271-285, May.
    10. Matthew R. Sisco & Valentina Bosetti & Elke U. Weber, 2017. "When do extreme weather events generate attention to climate change?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 227-241, July.
    11. J. Carlton & Amber Mase & Cody Knutson & Maria Lemos & Tonya Haigh & Dennis Todey & Linda Prokopy, 2016. "The effects of extreme drought on climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and adaptation attitudes," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 135(2), pages 211-226, March.
    12. Tatyana Deryugina, 2013. "How do people update? The effects of local weather fluctuations on beliefs about global warming," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 118(2), pages 397-416, May.
    13. J. Stuart Carlton & Amber S. Mase & Cody L. Knutson & Maria Carmen Lemos & Tonya Haigh & Dennis P. Todey & Linda S. Prokopy, 2016. "The effects of extreme drought on climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and adaptation attitudes," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 135(2), pages 211-226, March.
    14. Corey Lang, 2014. "Do weather fluctuations cause people to seek information about climate change?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 291-303, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. 2018 Saw Simultaneous Wildfires Devastate California. That Could be the New Normal
      by ? in Discover Top Stories on 2018-12-12 20:27:11

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Karine Lacroix & Robert Gifford & Jonathan Rush, 2020. "Climate change beliefs shape the interpretation of forest fire events," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 103-120, March.
    2. Charles A. Ogunbode & Rouven Doran & Gisela Böhm, 0. "Individual and local flooding experiences are differentially associated with subjective attribution and climate change concern," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-13.
    3. Shawn Olson Hazboun & Hilary Schaffer Boudet, 2020. "Public Preferences in a Shifting Energy Future: Comparing Public Views of Eight Energy Sources in North America’s Pacific Northwest," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(8), pages 1-21, April.
    4. Elizabeth A Albright & Deserai Crow, 2019. "Beliefs about climate change in the aftermath of extreme flooding," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 1-17, July.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:149:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-018-2251-x. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.