Climate Change and Social Perception_ A Case Study in Southern Italy

Antronico, Loredana; Coscarelli, Roberto; De Pascale, Francesco; Di Matteo, Dante, 2020, Climate Change and Social Perception_ A Case Study in Southern Italy, Sustainability (Basel) 12 (2020). doi_10.3390/su12176985,

The consequences of climate change can involve various ambits and be very severe. For this reason, the social perception of climate change is a fundamental issue since it can influence the decisions of the policymakers, by encouraging or discouraging political, economic and social actions. In this paper, a sample of 300 interviews, collected through a standardized questionnaire and carried out among two municipalities located in southern Italy, was exploited to investigate the perception of climate change. Specific issues, regarding perceptions about climate change, concerns about its impacts, level of information, behavior and actions, exposure to extreme natural events and trust, were addressed to give answers to the research questions_ (i) Is climate change perceived by the population? (ii) What is the degree of the community resilience to extreme natural events and climate change? As the main findings, this survey highlighted that the spatio-temporal dimension affects population perception, suggesting that some issues, such as correct behavior towards the geosphere, the sustainability of anthropization processes, community resilience and disaster risk reduction policies, can be very central and useful to mitigate the effects of climate change in population and society. Moreover, climate change perception varies in relation to contextual factors, including media communication, socio-demographic characteristics of respondents, knowledge and education, economic and institutional factors, personal values and, finally, psychological factors and experience.

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