Concern and Helplessness: Citizens’ Assessments of Individual and Collective Action on the Provision of Environmental Public Goods in a Coastal City at Risk of Inundation.

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Abstract

Survey data from a representative sample of 1005 households in the UK coastal city of Portsmouth are examined to discern commonalities and contrasts in their assessment of actions to address the related environmental threats of climate change and flooding. The city of Portsmouth is at risk of inundation from rising sea levels and the city has recent experience of flooding. A simple local and global public good framework is used to organise the understanding of reported attitudes and their determinants. The findings show that it is not always the same individuals who express concern about both climate change and flooding. Investigation into perceptions of helplessness in tackling climate change indicates that individuals more often perceived themselves to be helpless in tackling climate but perceived local collective action to be more effective. Individuals considered local collective action to be more effective in tackling climate change. Perceptions of individual helplessness are in turn related to reported concern. Several socioeconomic characteristics of individuals are shown to be useful in explaining the determinants of concern and perceptions of helplessness among respondents. As other cities face climate change related challenges, the empirical findings, based upon attitudes from an alert urban population are informative to policy design.
LanguageEnglish
Pages431-445
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume58
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2016

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collective action
Climate change
climate change
flooding
Sea level
urban population
city
citizen
climate

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Global public goods
  • Local public goods
  • Flood prevention
  • Coastal city.

Cite this

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title = "Concern and Helplessness: Citizens’ Assessments of Individual and Collective Action on the Provision of Environmental Public Goods in a Coastal City at Risk of Inundation.",
abstract = "Survey data from a representative sample of 1005 households in the UK coastal city of Portsmouth are examined to discern commonalities and contrasts in their assessment of actions to address the related environmental threats of climate change and flooding. The city of Portsmouth is at risk of inundation from rising sea levels and the city has recent experience of flooding. A simple local and global public good framework is used to organise the understanding of reported attitudes and their determinants. The findings show that it is not always the same individuals who express concern about both climate change and flooding. Investigation into perceptions of helplessness in tackling climate change indicates that individuals more often perceived themselves to be helpless in tackling climate but perceived local collective action to be more effective. Individuals considered local collective action to be more effective in tackling climate change. Perceptions of individual helplessness are in turn related to reported concern. Several socioeconomic characteristics of individuals are shown to be useful in explaining the determinants of concern and perceptions of helplessness among respondents. As other cities face climate change related challenges, the empirical findings, based upon attitudes from an alert urban population are informative to policy design.",
keywords = "Climate change, Global public goods, Local public goods, Flood prevention, Coastal city.",
author = "Sabrina Bunyan and Alan Collins and David Duffy",
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month = "9",
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AU - Collins, Alan

AU - Duffy, David

PY - 2016/9/30

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N2 - Survey data from a representative sample of 1005 households in the UK coastal city of Portsmouth are examined to discern commonalities and contrasts in their assessment of actions to address the related environmental threats of climate change and flooding. The city of Portsmouth is at risk of inundation from rising sea levels and the city has recent experience of flooding. A simple local and global public good framework is used to organise the understanding of reported attitudes and their determinants. The findings show that it is not always the same individuals who express concern about both climate change and flooding. Investigation into perceptions of helplessness in tackling climate change indicates that individuals more often perceived themselves to be helpless in tackling climate but perceived local collective action to be more effective. Individuals considered local collective action to be more effective in tackling climate change. Perceptions of individual helplessness are in turn related to reported concern. Several socioeconomic characteristics of individuals are shown to be useful in explaining the determinants of concern and perceptions of helplessness among respondents. As other cities face climate change related challenges, the empirical findings, based upon attitudes from an alert urban population are informative to policy design.

AB - Survey data from a representative sample of 1005 households in the UK coastal city of Portsmouth are examined to discern commonalities and contrasts in their assessment of actions to address the related environmental threats of climate change and flooding. The city of Portsmouth is at risk of inundation from rising sea levels and the city has recent experience of flooding. A simple local and global public good framework is used to organise the understanding of reported attitudes and their determinants. The findings show that it is not always the same individuals who express concern about both climate change and flooding. Investigation into perceptions of helplessness in tackling climate change indicates that individuals more often perceived themselves to be helpless in tackling climate but perceived local collective action to be more effective. Individuals considered local collective action to be more effective in tackling climate change. Perceptions of individual helplessness are in turn related to reported concern. Several socioeconomic characteristics of individuals are shown to be useful in explaining the determinants of concern and perceptions of helplessness among respondents. As other cities face climate change related challenges, the empirical findings, based upon attitudes from an alert urban population are informative to policy design.

KW - Climate change

KW - Global public goods

KW - Local public goods

KW - Flood prevention

KW - Coastal city.

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