New Study: Indians are Worried About Global Warming and Support National Action

Yale27 August 2012 – A national survey has found that millions of Indians are observing changes in their local rainfall, temperatures, and weather, report more frequent droughts and floods, and a more unpredictable monsoon. A majority of respondents said their own household’s drinking water and food supply, health, and income are vulnerable to a severe drought or flood and that it would take them months to years to recover.
Only 7 percent of respondents said they know “a lot” about global warming, while 41 percent had never heard of it or said “I don’t know.” However, after hearing a short definition of global warming, 72 percent said they believe global warming is happening, 56 percent said it is caused mostly by human activities, 50 percent said they have already personally experienced the effects, and 61 percent said they are worried about it.
The report, entitled Climate Change in the Indian Mind, is part of an ongoing effort to understand how Indians are thinking about and responding to climate change by the Project on Climate Change Communication at Yale University, in collaboration with international research consultancy GlobeScan, survey research firm C-Voter, and with support from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and the Rice Family Foundation.
“Many Indians have never heard of global warming or climate change,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project on Climate Communication. “But they are observing changes in their local climates and readily endorse the reality of climate change when it is described. Moreover, we find there is a great desire among the public to learn more about this threat and what it means for India’s future.”
Other key findings:

  • Scientists were the most trusted sources of information about global warming (73%), followed by the news media (69%), and environmental organizations (68%). Government and religious leaders were trusted by about half of respondents.
  • 54 percent said that India should be making a large or moderate-scale effort to reduce global warming, even if it has large or moderate economic costs.
  • Majorities favored a variety of policies to waste less fuel, water, and energy, even if this increased costs.
  • 70 percent favored a national program to teach Indians about global warming.

The report includes an Executive Summary and is based on a national survey conducted in November and December 2011 of 4,031 Indian adults, using an approximately 75 percent urban and 25 percent rural sample. The study was designed to investigate the current state of public climate change awareness, beliefs, attitudes, policy support, and behavior, as well as public observations of changes in local weather and climate patterns and self-reported vulnerability to extreme weather events. The survey margin of error was +/-1.54%.
The report is available for download here.


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About The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC)

The YPCCC, in the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at Yale University, conducts scientific research on public environmental knowledge, risk perceptions, decision-making and behavior and empowers educators and communicators with knowledge, training, and tools to advance public understanding and engagement with climate change science and solutions. We conduct research and outreach at the global, national, state and local levels in partnership with various stakeholders, including government, business, academia, the media, and civil society.
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About GlobeScan

For 25 years, GlobeScan has helped clients measure and build value-generating relationships with their stakeholders. Uniquely placed at the nexus of reputation, brand and sustainability, we partner with clients to build trust, drive engagement and inspire innovation within, around and beyond their organizations.
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About The Centre for Voting Opinion & Trends in Election Research (CVOTER)

CVOTER started as an initiative to act as an interface between the people and the polity. Almost two decades after our journey began, we have not only established ourselves as South Asia’s largest Indian Owned media and stakeholder research agency but have also managed to make a foray into both print and electronic media, social research, market research and consultancy services. Backed by state-of-the-art data management and analysis software and a group of highly motivated who look at the future as an era of limitless possibilities, Team Cvoter believes in facilitating communication between people.
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