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Climate Change and Renewable Energy: Opinions and Emotions of Elementary School Pupils in the Prefecture of Evros

  • Sideri Lefkeli
  • Georgios Tsantopoulos
  • Evangelos ManolasEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)

Abstract

Climate change is one of the most serious contemporary problems of our planet. Efforts to reduce the impact of climate change are crucial. The consequences of rising global temperatures will be very serious for humans and the environment unless urgent action is taken everywhere to reduce emissions. Renewable energy is very important in mitigating global greenhouse gas emissions by radically lowering the emissions profile of the planet’s energy system. In addition, beyond the use of renewable energy sources, the materialization of a sustainable energy future also requires citizen participation in decision making processes. For this purpose all bodies responsible for the realization of a sustainable future, such as schools and means of mass communication, need to equip people with the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need to successfully deal with the challenges in front of them. The aim of this chapter is to investigate the opinions and emotions of elementary school pupils with regard to climate change and renewable sources of energy. For the collection of data a semi-structured questionnaire and cluster sampling were used and 632 questionnaires were completed by pupils of 5th grade (aged 11) and 6th grade (aged 12) in 17 elementary schools in the Prefecture of Evros. The research was carried out in May and June 2016. The results of the research showed that 56.5% of the pupils think that in order to deal successfully with many environmental problems, the use of renewable sources of energy is very important. In particular, boys as opposed to girls, think that renewable energy sources play a key role in dealing with environmental problems, and 5th grade pupils think that renewable energy sources are very important for the protection of the natural environment, as opposed to 6th grade pupils who think otherwise. The investigation with regard to the emotions of pupils as far as the issue of climate change is concerned, revealed that what most pupils feel, is interesting with regard to how this matter will evolve. Also, from the two factors extracted the first contains “positive emotions” and the second “negative emotions”. In the first factor belong the variables concern, fear and interest and in the second factor belong the variables pessimism, anger and anxiety. Finally, almost one in three pupils usually or always expresses his concern regarding the consequences of climate change, is not at all optimistic about climate change and usually or always expresses the anxiety he feels regarding the various dimensions of the issue. In addition, regarding the impacts of climate changes one in two pupils feels fear or anger.

Keywords

Elementary education Opinions and emotions of pupils Climate change Renewable sources of energy 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sideri Lefkeli
    • 1
  • Georgios Tsantopoulos
    • 1
  • Evangelos Manolas
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, School of Agricultural and Forestry SciencesDemocritus University of ThraceOrestiadaGreece

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