I was at the excellent Blog Nation conference in London this weekend, organised by Liberal Conspiracy. While I think it’s hugely important that tackling climate change shouldn’t be seen as a party political, or a left/right issue, the conference was a good opportunity for leftish bloggers and campaigners to talk about plans for the next few months and years.
Sunny at Liberal Conspiracy was kind enough to give me a platform to garble at the conferees for a few minutes, and here’s the short presentation I put together:
The gist of my argument (going with the slides above) was:
There are two major issues in public perceptions of climate change in the UK at the moment. The first is to do with understanding and enthusiasm/engagement. While climategate etc has only had a fairly limited impact on perceptions, and while only very few are convinced that man-made climate change isn’t happening, as many as two-thirds are unconvinced that climate change is a big issue. This is a substantial proportion, suggesting a widespread lack of enthusiasm among the public about the issue.
The second challenge is to do with who the public are hearing about climate change from. At least in the UK, politicians are the group who are most visible talking about climate change, but they’re also the most distrusted. So even where people are generally quite willing to take action, or make lifestyle changes, to deal with climate change, they’re very suspicious when they hear politicians saying that they should do so.