The Thin Line between Climate Change Believers, Climate Change Sceptics and Climate Change Dismissives

Abstract

This paper intends to reveal how the residents and professionals in Yobe State, Nigeria truly feel about climate change as a result of skeletal commitment by policy makers and suppression of ideas by administrators officially dedicated to its cause. A sample of the population that consists of academics, clerics, environmental enthusiasts, farmers, forest rangers, policy makers, traditional title-holders, women and youth groups were purposively selected and administered 450 structured questionnaires. Subsequently, correlation of the ‘Respondent Category’ and their ‘Educational Level’, frequencies, charts, correlation coefficient and QQ Plots were generated using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to emphasise on their perceptions. Key Informant Interview (KII) was also conducted with notable scholars and clerics on prohibitions of cutting down of trees, and encouragement for their planting. It was found out that; majority of the respondents have heard about climate change, understood its concept, believe their environment is changing and knew what is causing it. Although, more than half of them have not heard about the Conference of Parties (COP) annual meetings, the other half are nonetheless sceptical about the outcome of the meetings. They do not believe climate change is a propaganda tool, or whether the treaties and agreements are meant to slow the development of third world countries. Nevertheless, half of the respondents do not consider themselves as sceptics, the majority view themselves as believers. The findings of this research could serve as a subtle reminder to policy makers and administrators that; unless they come to terms with their beliefs about climate change, most policies formulated and programmes initiated could end up becoming a “white elephant” project, a subject that could only please the naysayers. It is the first research that categorised the residents of the study area based on their beliefs and scepticism of climate change.

 

Keywords: Climate Change, Yobe state, climate-change believers, climate-change dismissive, climate-change sceptics

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 1-12 (Download PDF)

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