Community characteristics shape climate change discussions after extreme weather | 11/5/2019 | Staff
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Political affiliations, the presence of local environmental organizations and prior local media coverage of climate change play a role in how a community reacts to an extreme weather event, an article published today in Nature Climate Change concludes.

"Extreme weather events such as a catastrophic wildfire, a 500-year flood or a record-breaking heatwave may result in some local discussion and action around climate change, but not as much as might be expected and not in every community," said Hilary Boudet, the paper's lead author and an associate professor of public policy in Oregon State University's School of Public Policy in the College of Liberal Arts.

Terms - Links - Change - Reactions - Weather

"In terms of making links to climate change, local reactions to an extreme weather event depend both on aspects of the event itself, but also on political leanings and resources within the community before the event took place."

Boudet's work is part of a growing body of research exploring the links between personal experience with an extreme weather event and social mobilization around climate change. The study was part of a project examining community reactions to extreme weather in the U.S.

Researchers - Weather - Events - Attitudes - Actions

The researchers sought to better understand how extreme weather events might influence local attitudes and actions related to climate change.

Researchers conducted 164 interviews with local residents and community leaders in 15 communities across the United States that had experienced extreme weather events that caused at least four fatalities between 2012 and 2015. They also analyzed media coverage to better understand what kinds of public discussions, actions and policies around climate change occurred in those communities.

Communities - Evidence - Discussion - Event - Connection

Of the 15 communities, nine showed evidence of public discussion about the event's connection to climate change in the wake...
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