Climate change – a matter of perspective

A Matter of Perspective

What people think about climate change and how they relate to it depends largely on where they live. Social scientists from REKLIM have asked people in a variety of places how urgent they personally consider the climate problem to be. Responses varied considerably.

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Climate type 1: The Communitarians
People who belong to this climate type focus on their responsibility to the world around them. In their eyes, climate change is a systemic flaw in society that will place unfair burdens on future generations. Accordingly, they believe taking immediate action is essential.  

Climate type 2: The Systems Thinkers
They view climate change as one of several systemic flaws in society and are in favour of addressing other global problems, e.g. hunger, first. Climate change – in their view – is caused by western standards of living. When it comes to climate change, they feel action should only be taken in the medium term.

Climate type 3: The Economists
Their standpoint is that we shouldn’t wait for unequivocal scientific proof of climate change: we need to act now. Economic incentives such as taxes on oil or carbon dioxide will help reduce emissions.  

Climate type 4: The Sceptics
They argue that anthropogenic climate change still hasn’t been scientifically proven, and that climate research isn’t sufficiently precise. In their opinion, investing in climate protection or adaptation measures is a waste of money.

Participating Helmholtz Centres: HZG, KIT, UFZ;  Participating University: Universität Hamburg