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Increasing Number of Icelanders Believe Global Warming is a Natural Phenomenon

An increasing number of Icelanders believe that increases in the earth’s temperature over the last century are due to natural environmental changes, Kjarninn reports. A Gallup poll published on Thursday found that 23% of Icelanders now believe that global warming is a naturally occurring phenomenon, up from 14% who believed this last year. Meanwhile, 66% of Icelanders believe that global warming is man-man and due to human pollution.

This shift in attitudes can be observed across the board, but the greatest number of individuals who believe that global warming is a natural occurrence were found to be between the ages of 45 and 55.

Head of Gallup’s market research division in Iceland Ólafur Elínarson says that it is extremely important to monitor developments in people’s attitudes towards climate change and to maintain data on these shifts. “These findings show that attitudes can change in a short period of time,” he remarked.

More than half of Icelanders experience “little eco-anxiety”

Another Gallup survey was conducted this month to measure Icelanders’ level of eco-anxiety, or “anxiety associated with negative effects that people have on the environment, such as pollution or climate change.” The study found that 56% of Icelanders experience little eco-anxiety. Twenty-three per cent of Icelanders are more neutral, experiencing neither a high nor low amount of eco-anxiety.

Icelandic women were found to experience higher levels of eco-anxiety than men, with 25% of women reporting “significant eco-anxiety” as compared to 17% of men. Thirty-five per cent of people under the age of 30 reported significant eco-anxiety, as compared to 10% of people between the ages of 50 and 59 and 16% of people 60 or over. People with higher levels of education were also shown to experience more eco-anxiety: 28% of Icelanders with a university degree reported significant eco-anxiety, versus 14% who did not attend upper secondary school and 24% who finished upper secondary school but did not receive a higher education degree.

Even so, over half of the Icelandic population is concerned about the effects that climate change may have on themselves and their family and three out of four Icelanders express some level of concern about global warming.

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