Public Attitudes Toward Energy & Climate Change


Public attitudes will guide how, when and whether governments respond to challenges such as climate change and energy security. Public opinion influences national priorities and the acceptability — as well as the acceptance — of new policies and technologies. In the coming decade, public awareness and concerns about energy and climate change could shift dramatically if energy prices continue to rise, if concerns about political stability in the Middle East and in other major energy-producing regions of the world continue and if national policy initiatives and international agreements push countries to take aggressive actions to stem carbon emissions and reduce water and air pollution.

In the United States, many people now recognize climate change as a serious problem that warrants action. This is a major shift in attitude from just a few years ago. In addition, people have become more willing to discuss options such as nuclear power and carbon capture and sequestration. Continued public education is critical and the tracking of public attitudes in the United States and elsewhere is needed to determine what people know and believe about energy and the environment, their preferences about future energy sources and their attitudes about economic and environmental tradeoffs.

News

Study provides scenarios for assessing long-term benefits of climate action

Study provides scenarios for assessing long-term benefits of climate action

Environmental Protection Agency uses scenarios to evaluate gains for agriculture, health, and other global concerns

September 2, 2015Read more
This is what Obama just unveiled to boost solar

This is what Obama just unveiled to boost solar

The president is pushing a clean energy loan guarantee program, which helped electric car success story Tesla, but also failed solar company, Solyndra

August 25, 2015Read more
Better estimates of worldwide mercury pollution

Better estimates of worldwide mercury pollution

New findings show Asia produces twice as much mercury emissions as previously thought

August 12, 2015Read more
A small, modular, efficient fusion plant

A small, modular, efficient fusion plant

New design could finally help to bring the long-sought power source closer to reality

August 10, 2015Read more

Videos

How to Think about Energy and Climate

How to Think about Energy and Climate

A MITEI Energy Colloquium with George Shultz

October 3, 2014

1:01:37 Read more
Passionate about Energy?

Passionate about Energy?

Douglas Spreng: How One Volunteer Makes a Difference

March 1, 2012

01:31 Read more
Building the #Knowosphere

Building the #Knowosphere

Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth Blogger, The New York Times

April 23, 2012

01:14:00 Read more