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Does risk communication really decrease cooperation in climate change mitigation?

Collection:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Contributor:
Farjam, Mike (main author), Nikolaychuk, Olexandr (author), Bravo, Giangiacomo (author)
Format:
Online journal article
Publication Date:
2018-07
URL:
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2228-9
Published:
Springer
Location:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
behavior, environmental communication, government policies, information needs, information sources, perceptions, risk communication, climate change, effective communication
Notes:
12 pages., via online journal., Effective communication of risks involved in the climate change discussion is crucial and despite ambitious protection policies, the possibility of irreversible consequences actually occurring can only be diminished but never ruled out completely. We present a laboratory experiment that studies how residual risk of failure of climate change policies affects willingness to contribute to such policies. Despite prevailing views on people’s risk aversion, we found that contributions were higher at least in the final part of treatments including a residual risk. We interpret this as the product of a psychological process where residual risk puts participants into an ”alarm mode,” keeping their contributions high. We discuss the broad practical implications this might have on the real-world communication of climate change.