February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 8, NUMBER 7, JULY 1995
OF GENERAL INTEREST: PUBLIC ATTITUDES
Two-part paper in Risk Analysis, 14(6), 1994: "What
Do People Know About Climate Change?"
". . .1. Mental Models," A. Bostrom (Sch. Public Policy, Georgia
Inst. Technol., Atlanta GA 30332), M.G. Morgan et al., 959-969. Exploratory
studies and mental model interviews show that the public regards global warming
as both bad and highly likely, and that many believe it has already occurred.
There is considerable misunderstanding concerning causes and effects, a
situation which must be considered by those designing risk communications or
presenting policy options to the public.
". . .2. Survey Studies of Educated Laypeople," D. Read (Dept.
Eng. & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh PA 15213), A.
Bostrom et al., 971-982. A questionnaire developed to examine laypeople's
knowledge of climate change was administered to two well-educated sample groups.
Subjects had a poor appreciation of the facts that any significant global
warming will be a result of the rise of atmospheric CO2, and that the single
most important source of elevated CO2 is fossil fuels. In addition, their
understanding was encumbered with secondary, irrelevant, and incorrect beliefs.
"American Daily Newspapers and the Environment: Attitudes of
Editors," J.S. Bowman (Askew Sch. Publ. Admin., Florida State Univ.,
Tallahassee FL 32306), C. Clarke, Intl. J. Environ. Studies, 48(1),
Over a time span (1977-1992) that saw the transition from the Age of
Abundance to the Age of Scarcity, examines attitudinal change, the role of the
media, the nature of its coverage, and perceived causes of and solutions to the
environmental predicament. Editors continue to see the ecological crisis as
real, but that perception does not substantially change the low priority given
to environmental stories, affect editorial positions and advertising policies,
or deal with various problems in reporting environmental news.
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