Effect of “finite pool of worry” and COVID-19 on UK climate change perceptions

Darrick Evensen, Lorraine Whitmarsh, Phil Bartie, Patrick Devine-Wright, Jennifer Dickie, Adam Varley, Stacia Ryder, Adam Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (SciVal)


Research reveals that a “finite pool of worry” constrains concern about and action on climate change. Nevertheless, a longitudinal panel survey of 1,858 UK residents, surveyed in April 2019 and June 2020, reveals little evidence for diminishing climate change concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, the sample identifies climate change as a bigger threat than COVID-19. The findings suggest climate change has become an intransigent concern within UK public consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2018936
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number3
Early online date4 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. This work was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Unconventional Hydrocarbons in the UK Energy System Programme (Grant No. 209259, to D.E., L.W., P.B., P.D.-W., J.D., A.V., and S.R.).

Data Availability
Some study data are available.


  • Climate change
  • COVID-19
  • Finite pool of worry
  • Longitudinal
  • United Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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