Do I have time to build the ark calmly? Characterizing attitudes towards climate change via sentiment analysis of social media

JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES(2023)

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Abstract
Public discourse about climate change is characterized by a wide variety of frames. Understanding how people integrate climate change narratives into their lives is essential for designing socially accepted climate policies. Our study focuses on people's positions and reactions concerning the effects of sea level rise on the Catalan coast (Spain) and references tweets related to a 2021 publication by Climate Central, Picturing Our Future, on sea level rise. The novelty of the approach is the focus on a gradual form of climate change, such as sea level rise, in contrast with extreme events, such as storms or heat waves. We collected and analysed the content of 287 tweets that reacted to the Climate Central's publication mentioned above, classifying them in terms of the sentiment they expressed. The results show three main types of reactions: realist, joking, and denier. Our conclusions underscores the significance of attending to how climate change narratives are portrayed and communicated through social media, and how societal beliefs and perspectives shape these narratives and dispositions. These aspects, crucial for fostering awareness and concern about pressing environmental issues, accentuate the necessity of integrating them into climate policy design.
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Key words
climate change,attitudes,sentiment analysis,social media
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