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Climate change: Feeling the heat but keeping it cool

People feel differently about climate change depending on where they live. Taking data from 194 European regions, this column presents a staggering paradox: people living in regions most affected by rising temperatures are less concerned about climate change and show surprising optimism about its reversibility. In contrast, inhabitants of colder regions exhibit more pessimism. Examining migration patterns and regional priorities provides potential explanations for this surprising fact. The most affected regions in the study are also those facing acute economic and financial challenges, which might explain why climate change is not prioritised. The most pessimistic and concerned individuals may have also already migrated, leaving behind an optimistic population in the regions most at risk.

Graduation nation: Who benefited from increased UK university admissions?

Access to university has expanded significantly over the last five decades, and plans for further growth figure prominently on many policy agendas. This column examines the enlargement of post-secondary education in the UK after 1970. The authors argue that expanding university access corresponded with a decline in both the average intelligence of graduates and the wage premium across cohorts. Those who benefited from the expansion were primarily less able students from advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and not the high-ability students from disadvantaged backgrounds the policy was designed to reach.