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How threatening is climate change? According to a study from the University of California-Davis, climate change isn’t nearly as threatening to farmers as climate policy.
“We found that the past matters,” said lead author Meredith Niles, a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Group in Ecology and Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis. “Farmers’ past perceptions of different environmental policies had a larger impact on their climate change beliefs and policy behaviors than their actual experience with climate change.”
Published in the journal Global Environmental Change, the study drew on responses from surveys returned by 162 farmers and ranchers in 2011.
The results: in the face of drought, water shortages and heat waves largely blamed on human-caused climate change, farmers felt more threatened by federal climate policies.