Belief is a vice or virtue of humanity. What we believe shapes our actions and governs our relationships. Humans tend to prefer belief to perception and prefer belief to knowledge, because knowledge is so hard to acquire.
In the case of climate change people may believe, perceive or know that climate change is or is not happening at a dangerously rapid rate. Unfortunately for humanity what is rapid in climate terms is unperceivably slow in human terms, and because climate change is not so much “in your face” people have tended not to believe in it unless they perceive that an effect of climate change has affected them.
This seems to be what has happened in the United Kingdom. In 2013 there were many floods and severe and unusually severe flooding is one of the effects of climate change that climate scientists have been predicting, along with hurricanes of greater intensity and more violent weather events occurring more frequently.
The University of Cardiff has found that people in Britain now think climate change is a major issue, and more people think so having seen, heard about or experienced the flooding of 2013.The people that think so have reached the right conclusion (or belief) but for not quite the right reasons. Individual extreme weather events (such as 2013 being the wettest winter in the UK’s recoding history of weather) cannot be specifically attributed to climate change, but it is likely that over the coming years such weather events will increase in frequency and that increase will be attributable to climate change.
It is a case of 90% of Britons believing the right thing for the wrong reason. Let us hope that this increase in belief persuades those whom Britons elect to undertake more positive measures to combats climate change, whether the rest of the world do so or not.
Filed under: climate change, global warming | Tagged: belief, climate change, knowledge, people believing in climate change in United Kingdom. flooding, perception, the wettest winter UK, winter 2013 |