Why do Latinos perceive global warming as a greater risk?

Why do Latinos perceive global warming as a greater risk?

We are pleased to announce the publication of our new research article, “Predictors of global warming risk perceptions among Latino and non-Latino White Americans” in the journal Climatic Change.

Last year, we published an article showing that Latino Americans are more likely than non-Latino White Americans to engage in climate activism. The study found that this difference in climate activism is best explained by Latinos’ higher global warming risk perceptions. 

In this follow-up study, we conducted additional analyses to better understand why Latinos have higher global warming risk perceptions. We found that Latinos have greater risk perceptions primarily because they have a stronger egalitarian worldview and a stronger sense that their family and friends want them to take action to reduce global warming (i.e., injunctive social norms). Other explanatory factors, although to a lesser degree, are stronger identification with the Democratic party, more frequent communication with family outside the United States, greater harm from environmental hazards, stronger descriptive norms, and a weaker individualistic worldview than non-Latino White Americans.

These findings help explain why Latinos are more likely to perceive global warming as a threat to themselves, their family, their community, and future generations of people. These findings can also help inform strategies to engage Latino and non-Latino White Americans in the issue of climate change.

For those with a subscription to Climatic Change, you can find the full article here. If you would like to request a copy, please send an email to climatechange@yale.edu with the subject line: Request Latino Risk Perceptions paper.