Document Type


Publication Date



What drives popular opinion on climate change? Recent failures to mobilize popular opinion in favour of the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been blamed on the unseasonably cool local weather and the unhealthy state of the economy. Using data from the European Union (EU), this article examines the effects of both annual temperature variations and economic growth rates on people’s attitudes regarding the mitigation of GHG emissions. It is found that although the state of the economy has a significant effect on people’s attitudes towards the mitigation of GHG emissions, variations in the annual temperature do not. Thus, while pessimism regarding policy changes during bad economic times appears justified, pessimism based on isolated spells of unseasonably cool weather does not.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

This is the author's final version. The published version appears here:

doi:10.1080/14693062.2011.579316 # 2011 Earthscan ISSN: 1469-3062 (print), 1752-7457 (online)