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This Friday in the lead-up to the United Nations climate summit, children and adults worldwide will go on strike for stronger action on climate change. However, you may ask, is striking effective? What can it really hope to achieve?
Our research, recently published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, suggests striking can promote the psychological factors most important for fighting against climate change.
Individual - Action - Climate - Change - Strike
If you're wondering what you, as an individual, can do to support action against climate change, joining a strike (and asking your friends, family and colleagues to come with you) is a very good start.
In our recent research, we surveyed a large sample of Australians. We asked them how willing they would be to personally act on climate change (for example, pay more for electricity), support social interventions (such as using public funds to give rebates to households that install renewable energy), or take advocacy action (such as send an email to government officials encouraging them to support mitigation policies).
Research - Range - Factors - People - Willingness
We integrated previous research which suggests that a range of factors influence people's willingness to act, so we could target the most important variables. These included socio-demographic factors, amount of climate change-related knowledge, personal experience with extreme weather events, and moral values.
We found that the three most important variables in predicting an individual's willingness to act were affect, mitigation response inefficacy, and social norms.
Refers - Climate - Change - Influence - Affect
Affect refers to how unpleasant climate change is to you. The influence of affect is well demonstrated by Tongan Prime Minister Samuela "Akilisi" Pohiva shedding tears in front of other leaders during the recent Pacific Islands Forum.
Feeling more negatively about climate change was strongly associated with a greater willingness to act—so should we just try to feel worse about climate change? We already know most Australians are worried about climate change, and the helplessness associated with eco-anxiety...
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