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

White House touts economic benefits of climate action

White House touts economic benefits of climate action

The Obama administration apparently aimed to rebut criticisms of environmental regulation aimed at slowing global warming

June 24, 2015Read more
White House: Action on Climate Change Could Save Tens of Thousands of Lives

White House: Action on Climate Change Could Save Tens of Thousands of Lives

Report shows effects of inaction on climate change, as well as the benefits that could be reaped from acting now

June 23, 2015Read more
EPA Warns of High Cost of Climate Change

EPA Warns of High Cost of Climate Change

Unveils report co-written with MIT, Department of Energy

June 23, 2015Read more
Measuring climate change action

Measuring climate change action

MIT analysis informs a new EPA report on the effects of curbing climate change

June 23, 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