Why are people still doubting climate change in the UK?
Professor David Ockwell, Reader at The Sussex Energy Group, has contributed to an article in the New Statesman, regarding the UK’s summer heat wave and its perceived link to climate change.
As we read in the article, a poll conducted by Deltapoll and reported in the Sun on 2nd September, showed the majority of UK residents surveyed believed the heatwave had “little or nothing to do with climate change”.
However, these findings have been questioned by a second poll held by Opinium for the Independent, which found that 60 per cent of British adults thought the heatwave was made “stronger or more likely” by climate change.
Although contradictory of each other, both polls demonstrate the substantial proportion of the population who fail to recognise the heatwave’s link to climate change.
Commenting within the article and on the assumption many UK residents make that ‘we’ve had heatwaves unrelated to climate change’, Professor Ockwell explains that this way of thinking can undermine the message that “average temperatures are now higher than anywhere in the fossil record – and that ecosystems have not evolved to cope with such high temperatures.”
The article explores why people are still uncertain of climate change, and what it will take to end the doubt.