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Climate Research

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CR 09:95-100 (1997)  -  DOI:

The people's attitudes towards global environmental phenomena: a case study

Luis E. González*, Pablo da Silveira

CIFRA (González, Raga & Asociados), Alejandro Chucarro 1152, 11300 Montevideo, Uruguay

This study addresses the awareness and attitudes of Uruguayans towards global environmental phenomena, with particular emphasis on climate change. The environmental and climatic changes most clearly sensed by people, the main sources of information for the public on these subjects and the perception of the effectiveness of individual action in facing the adverse effects of these phenomena are assessed. This analysis is intended to contribute to the design of communication and public awareness strategies, either for the dissemination of specific subjects or for the communication of more general policies. Thus, assessing the possibility of improving communication capabilities and public outreach is deemed more relevant than evaluating whether public knowledge is or is not correct. The communication of appropriate information in order to correct wrong perceptions could be included, eventually, as part of the the effort to improve public outreach. The results of the study demonstrate the great weight of radio and television as sources of information on environmental changes. They also point out the increasing role of educational institutions in the dissemination of knowledge about this issue, confirm that the confidence in the effectiveness of individual action is strongly related to the access to information, and suggest that the local milieu may be especially important for stimulating people's awareness and action on these subjects.

Global environmental changes · Climate change · Public opinion · Environment · Environmental policies

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