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

Ben Glass '08, SM '10

Ben Glass '08, SM '10

MIT Energy Club alum Ben Glass is building a wind-power startup with his aero-astro knowledge.

February 18, 2015Read more
BOOK REVIEW: Game Changers: Energy on the Move

BOOK REVIEW: Game Changers: Energy on the Move

Foreign Affairs reviews former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and MITEI Director Robert C. Armstrong's book on the future of energy innovation.

February 17, 2015Read more
Will India's Growing Economy Benefit Everyone?

Will India's Growing Economy Benefit Everyone?

India has become a business giant, and the upper echelons of its economic pyramid are among the most successful in the world. But how can we ensure that this prosperity also reaches other strata of society?

February 13, 2015Read more
Bridging the Fuel Gap to the Future

Bridging the Fuel Gap to the Future

At one of the ten panels open to the public at the upcoming MIT Energy Club Conference, MIT energy economist Christopher Knittel will explore the future of shale gas with fellow experts in the field.

February 11, 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