Understanding Farmer Perspectives on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation: The Roles of Trust in Sources of Climate Information, Climate Change Beliefs, and Perceived Risk

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2015-01-01
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Arbuckle, J. Gordon
Morton, Lois
Arbuckle, J. Gordon
Hobbs, Jon
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Sociology
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Sociology
Abstract

Agriculture is vulnerable to climate change and a source of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Farmers face pressures to adjust agricultural systems to make them more resilient in the face of increasingly variable weather (adaptation) and reduce GHG production (mitigation). This research examines relationships between Iowa farmers’ trust in environmental or agricultural interest groups as sources of climate information, climate change beliefs, perceived climate risks to agriculture, and support for adaptation and mitigation responses. Results indicate that beliefs varied with trust, and beliefs in turn had a significant direct effect on perceived risks from climate change. Support for adaptation varied with perceived risks, while attitudes toward GHG reduction (mitigation) were associated predominantly with variation in beliefs. Most farmers were supportive of adaptation responses, but few endorsed GHG reduction, suggesting that outreach should focus on interventions that have adaptive and mitigative properties (e.g., reduced tillage, improved fertilizer management).

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This article is from Environment and Behavior 47 (2015): 205, doi:10.1177/0013916513503832. Posted with permission.

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