Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A new study suggests that extreme weather does impact climate concern, but the effect on people’s thinking only lasts for 3 months after the extreme weather event.
From the Press Release;
Will extreme weather events get Americans to act on climate change?
Scientists are drawing a link between climate change and extreme weather events with increasing confidence.
Yet actually experiencing extreme weather does not seem to be having a significant impact on American citizens’ concern about climate change.
This may change in the future, especially if extreme weather events become more frequent and widespread. But, as things stand today, our recent analysis reveals that Americans experiencing more unusual weather are not any more concerned about climate change.
Our analysis suggests there is indeed an association between exposure to extreme weather and increased concerns about climate change. Importantly, however, we also find that people’s concern about climate change is associated only with recent extreme weather. In fact, events more than three months in the past typically have no bearing on opinions about climate change.
In addition, it is important to emphasize that these effects are dwarfed by Americans’ partisan identification and political beliefs. …
The abstract of the study;
This paper examines whether experience of extreme weather events—such as excessive heat, droughts, flooding, and hurricanes—increases an individual’s level concern about climate change. We bring together micro-level geospatial data on extreme weather events from NOAA’s Storm Events Database with public opinion data from multiple years of the Cooperative Congressional Election Study to study this question. We find evidence of a modest, but discernible positive relationship between experiencing extreme weather activity and expressions of concern about climate change. However, the effect only materializes for recent extreme weather activity; activity that occurred over longer periods of time does not affect public opinion. These results are generally robust to various measurement strategies and model specifications. Our findings contribute to the public opinion literature on the importance of local environmental conditions on attitude formation.
Even the IPCC doesn’t think there is a verifiable connection between global warming and extreme weather. Unless there is a noticeable surge in weather extremes, alarmists can hype the weather all they want; ordinary people will mostly continue to ignore them.