Rural perspectives of climate change: A study from Saurastra and Kutch of Western India

Dineshkumar P. Moghariya, Richard C. Smardon

This research reports on rural people’s beliefs and understandings of climate change in the Saurastra/Kutch region of Western India. Results suggest that although most rural respondents have not heard about the scientific concept of climate change, they have detected changes in the climate. They appear to hold divergent understandings about climate change and have different priorities for causes and solutions. Many respondents appear to base their understandings of climate change upon a mix of ideas drawn from various sources and rely on different kinds of reasoning in relation to both causes of and solutions to climate change to those used by scientists. Environmental conditions were found to influence individuals’ understanding of climate change, while demographic factors were not. The results suggest a need to learn more about people’s conceptual models and understandings of climate change and a need to include local climate research in communication efforts.

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