This exploratory study aims to examine (1) the reasons for farmers' range of climate change beliefs and (2) how those beliefs affect their climate change adaptation responses. Interviews with 11 key-informant irrigators from the South Australian Riverland uncovered skepticism about climate change predictions. Interviewees mostly believed changes to the climate were not human-induced but were a result of natural cycles, which meant that they then felt less obliged to undertake climate-change adaptation responses. With low water allocations and low commodity prices, most did not identify climate change as their most compelling problem. They found it hard to identify climate change adaptation options beyond those they had implemented to manage their immediate problems. The reasons for interviewees' stated skepticism are complex, but not as equated to disbelief as they might seem. Their beliefs about climate change appear to be chosen to allow them to retain hope for the future.
- cultural norms
- social organization of denial