Climate change knowledge doesn't lead to action -- study


Despite understanding and believing in it, a new study shows those who acknowledge climate change aren't that much greener than the sceptics.

While those who self-identified as "green" or as activists had a greater tendency to believe in climate change, there wasn't as big of a difference in whether they took active action against climate change.

They talked the talk, but didn't walk the walk, the authors say.

There was a stronger relationship between pro-environment intentions, than the actions.

It means while people who acknowledge climate change are more likely to agree something needs to be done about it, their behaviour doesn't reflect the same trend as strongly.

"This is not surprising given that intentions are less compromised by practical reality constraints than are behaviours, and so the relationship between beliefs and intentions is more 'pure'," Professor Matthew Hornsey and colleagues write in the paper, published today in journal Nature Climate Change.

The study also found traditional demographics -- gender, age, sex, race and income -- didn't have much sway on people's climate beliefs. Instead, the strongest link was with political affiliation.

Those with more conservative viewpoints tended to be more sceptical about the reality of climate change than those with liberal affiliations.

A marked difference, it had around twice as much of a link to one's beliefs than any of the other demographics.