Like the temperature, climate concern is increasing in the Paca Region

2023-06-06 04:08:00

We could have had the intuition, but the figures are unambiguous. The perception of climate change in the summer period is stronger in the Paca Region, compared to the rest of France. More worry-laden, too.

These are the lessons of an unprecedented survey conducted by Ifop, for the association Convergences, which is dedicated to “document at the local level the cascading consequences of a global phenomenon”, illustrates Sylvain Trottier, its director. Explain better, understand better, with this question in the background: “What do the French keep in memory of climatic events and how their habits are changed.”

Significance of fires

On most of the questions asked, the inhabitants of the Paca Region show greater concern. As summer approaches, 83% express concern about global warming, compared to 75% nationally.

The extremes that are repeated have the effect of convincing that we are no longer in the norm, maybe that’s what we see

Significantly, one out of two inhabitants of Paca (52%) claims to have experienced a forest fire “near his home”a drought (69%), or a heat wave (69%). “The fires and droughts of the past years have been significant, deciphers Sylvain Trottier. The extremes that are repeated have the effect of convincing that we are no longer in the norm, perhaps that is what we see.

The perception of climate change in Paca and France Infographic Rina Uzan.

The survey tries to describe the perception of the consequences of climate change.

In Paca, 36% believe that this will have consequences on the tourist activity of their region, against 28% at the national level. Could house prices rise? Yes say 51% of participants in Paca, of which only 17% could consider moving or leaving the region during the hottest months.

Not all good

The impact of climate change in the summer period is “a data that we had never measured before”relates Marion Chasle to the opinion department of Ifop. “A third of the inhabitants of Paca are worried about the future, it’s very strong. They are also more ready to act by taking their car less. So this is in line with the concern for purchasing power.”

Things change very slowly. Opinion is changing, but it will have to be followed over time.

But these are not just good practices, since the level of air conditioning equipment is also increasing. “Things are changing very slowly. By dint of awareness and information, opinion is changing, but it will have to be followed over time”delivers the specialist in environmental studies.

Yet skepticism remains. If 68% of respondents say that climate change is “caused primarily by human activities”24% think that “It’s a natural phenomenon that has always existed”3% than that “does not exist” et 5 % “they do not know”. And this time, the national and regional averages are very close.

The perception and concerns of the French on global warming in the summer period is an Ifop poll for Association Consequencescarried out on a representative sample of 1,508 people in France and 901 people in Paca, in May 2023.

Serge Zaka, doctor in agroclimatology

Agroclimatologist, Serge Zaka is “scientific mediator on climate change”, hyperactive on social networks. According to the Consequences poll, one in four French people think that climate change is not linked to human activity.

When we hit the wall, we are more apt to listen

The doctor in agroclimatology, Serge Zaka Photo DR.

How to make scientific data exist in the public debate?

For me, the starting point was 2021, the year of a late frost which is the biggest agricultural loss for half a century. Scientists had been expecting this type of event for fifteen years, but neither the Ministry of Agriculture nor the insurance sector had anticipated it. I said to myself that I was going to communicate on the facts and to the general public. Knowledge transfer is often lacking.

And how to convince?

First of all, there is an educational aspect which is very much appreciated, because I explain concrete phenomena with accessible words. I surf on the news: hail, drought. There is nothing better than seeing and seeing what is happening in front of your home. I also tell people that social media has its bias. Algorithms keep everyone in their bubble.

How important is personal experience?

When we hit the wall, we are more apt to listen. It is unfortunately in human nature, we only believe what we see. It started with the drought and the heat wave of 2022. But through this emotion, we can bring in scientific information. People are all ears.

Is the climate a difficult subject to tackle, because it is too complex

The scientific aspect is not so difficult to grasp. The hardest thing is the distrust and mistrust of the general public. Climate skeptics practice gratuitous denigration. When you see a person being insulted a hundred times a day, it is a great difficulty. I take it with a grain of salt, but I’m an exception.

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