Relationship between climate change belief and water conservation behaviors: Is there a role for political identity?

Abstract

In the United States, public opinions about climate change have become polarized, with a stark difference in the belief in climate change. Climate change denialism is pervasive among Republicans, especially conservatives, contrasting the high recognition of human-induced climate change issues among Democrats. As the water crisis is closely linked to climate change, the current study aims to examine how the belief in climate change’s impacts on future water supply uncertainty affects water conservation behaviors and whether the effect is conditional on being a Republican. The Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) analytics was performed on a dataset of 1831 water users in an arid region (Albuquerque, New Mexico). The analysis shows that water users’ belief in climate change’s impacts on future water supply uncertainty positively affects the number of water conservation behaviors they adopt, regardless of whether they are Republicans. Although being a Republican does not significantly negatively moderate the association between climate change belief and water conservation behaviors, the result still underscores the importance of fighting climate change denialism. Otherwise, it will not only hinder the climate change alleviation efforts but also exacerbate the water crisis. Several strategies to reduce climate change denialism are also recommended.

Author Profiles

Minh-Hoang Nguyen
Phenikaa University
Daniel Li
University of New South Wales
1 more

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2023-11-09

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