Conceptualising climate change in rural Australia : community perceptions, attitudes and (in) actions
Buys, Laurie, Miller, Evonne, & van Megen, Kimberley (2012) Conceptualising climate change in rural Australia : community perceptions, attitudes and (in) actions. Regional Environmental Change, 12(1), pp. 237-248.
Public engagement and support is essential for ensuring adaptation to climate change. The first step in achieving engagement is documenting how the general public currently perceive and understand climate change issues, specifically the importance they place on this global problem and identifying any unique challenges for individual communities. For rural communities, which rely heavily on local agriculture industries, climate change brings both potential impacts and opportunities. Yet, to date, our knowledge about how rural residents conceptualise climate change is limited. Thus, this research explores how the broader rural community – not only farmers – conceptualise climate change and responsive activities, focussing on documenting the understandings and risk perceptions of local residents from two small Australian rural communities. Twenty-three semi-structured interviews were conducted in communities in the Eden/Gippsland region on the border of New South Wales and Victoria, and the North-East of Tasmania. There are conflicting views on how climate change is conceptualised, the degree of concern and need for action, the role of local industry, who will 'win' and 'lose', and the willingness of rural communities to adapt. In particular, residents who believed in anthropogenic or human-induced factors described the changing climate as evidence of 'climate change', whereas those who were more sceptical termed it 'weather variability', suggesting that there is a divide in rural Australia that, unless urgently addressed, will hinder local and national policy responses to this global issue. Engaging these communities in the 21st century climate change debate will require a significant change in terminology and communication strategies.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Climate Change, Weather Variability, Community Perceptions, Rural Australia, Agriculture|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Management (050205)|
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > Land Use and Environmental Planning (120504)
|Divisions:||Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2011 Springer.|
|Deposited On:||10 Nov 2011 13:22|
|Last Modified:||18 Aug 2012 09:14|
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