In both poor and rich countries, well-educated people are receptive to the knowledge of climate experts. Expert knowledge can make people see climate change as a shared, global problem even though it affects different parts of the world so differently. This is shown in a dissertation by the political scientist Monika Bauhr at Göteborg University in Sweden.
You often hear that climate change is a global problem. At the same time, political and economic differences lead to differences in how much people are affected in different parts of the world; they contribute to it in varying degrees and have varying capacities to take measures to reduce emissions or adapt. And cultural factors make us perceive the climate issue in different ways, according to Monika Bauhr.
In her dissertation Our Common Climate.How Consensual Expert Ideas Shape Global Public Opinion, she shows how information campaigns based on expert knowledge can affect people in a surprisingly similar way in different parts of the world. This information influences people’s knowledge and confidence in institutions that are important in climate work. Moreover it prompts people to support political measures even though they have such radically different responsibility for the problem and even though the climate issue is perceived is such differing ways in different cultural contexts. The findings are based on interviews, questionnaires, and experiments carried out in Sweden and Tanzania.
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