Date of Award:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Environment and Society
Peter D. Howe
Peter D. Howe
Increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events due to global climate change have an important effect on human migration and relocation. Short-term extreme weather events like floods and wildfires are likely to continue to displace people. Long-term environmental changes like droughts and increasing temperatures may also contribute to increased human migration. This research aimed to better understand how people in the U.S. perceive domestic climate migrants, and what drives these perceptions. First, I investigated the relationship between public climate change risk perceptions and attitudes and perceptions about domestic climate migrants and migration. I found that people tend to rely on pre-existing climate change risk perceptions as they form attitudes toward domestic climate migrants and migration. Next, I examined the effects of spatial differences on perceptions and attitudes toward domestic climate migrants and migration. Across states, there was strong variation of these attitudes. I also found significant relationships between climate change risk perceptions and attitudes toward climate migrants at the state-level. Additionally, I identified states that converge and diverge from the relationship between climate change risk perceptions and attitudes toward climate migrants. Lastly, I evaluated the effects of climate migrant circumstances on perceived voluntariness (whether people think others are relocating voluntarily or involuntarily) and public support for relocation. The directness of climate change impacts and the extreme weather event incidence would occur were associated with perceived voluntariness of climate migrant relocation. Perceived voluntariness of relocation was a strong driver of public support for the development of climate migrant assistance programs in the U.S.
Harris, Brittany Shae, "Public Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Domestic Climate Migrants and Migration in the U.S." (2023). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023. 8881.
Copyright for this work is retained by the student. If you have any questions regarding the inclusion of this work in the Digital Commons, please email us at .