Terminology of climate change difficult for many to grasp, report says

Climate change
Posted at 11:57 AM, Sep 14, 2021

More than 200 million people could be forced out of their homes over the next 30 years due to climate change, according to a new report from World Bank.

The report says that most people would be forced to leave their homes due to rising sea levels and a lack of water and crops.

As the climate crisis becomes more urgent, researchers find the terminology is tough for many to grasp.

"These are people who are saying that they're concerned about climate change and presumably, they're willing to engage with climate change communications and even these audiences are not necessarily being reached," said Wändi Bruine de Bruin a provost professor of public policy psychology and behavioral science at the University of Southern California.

The lead author of the study says her team surveyed people across the U.S. and found the meaning of the terms "mitigation," "carbon neutral" and "unprecedented transition" were misunderstood by most of the general population.

Many people confused "mitigation" with "mediation" and often mistakenly believed that the word "carbon" was being used to describe carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses.

A key part of finding solutions for climate change is first to understand what the problem is.

"Well, climate change is a serious threat, and I think more and more people are getting concerned about it," Bruine de Bruin said. "If they don't understand the information about it, they may not be willing to act or be able to act."