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A quantitative evaluation of the public response to climate engineering

A quantitative evaluation of the public response to climate engineering
A quantitative evaluation of the public response to climate engineering
Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, with CO2 passing 400 parts per million in May 2013. To avoid severe climate change and the attendant economic and social dislocation, existing energy efficiency and emissions control initiatives may need support from some form of climate engineering. As climate engineering will be controversial, there is a pressing need to inform the public and understand their concerns before policy decisions are taken. So far, engagement has been exploratory, small-scale or technique-specific. We depart from past research to draw on the associative methods used by corporations to evaluate brands. A systematic, quantitative and comparative approach for evaluating public reaction to climate engineering is developed. Its application reveals that the overall public evaluation of climate engineering is negative. Where there are positive associations they favour carbon dioxide removal (CDR) over solar radiation management (SRM) techniques. Therefore, as SRM techniques become more widely known they are more likely to elicit negative reactions. Two climate engineering techniques, enhanced weathering and cloud brightening, have indistinct concept images and so are less likely to draw public attention than other CDR or SRM techniques.
1758-678X
106-110
Wright, Malcolm J.
b91319a5-5906-4824-8a9a-b7dba3654d3e
Teagle, Damon A.H.
396539c5-acbe-4dfa-bb9b-94af878fe286
Feetham, Pamela M.
10e40704-ea2a-4ea7-8890-d9fe7076baad
Wright, Malcolm J.
b91319a5-5906-4824-8a9a-b7dba3654d3e
Teagle, Damon A.H.
396539c5-acbe-4dfa-bb9b-94af878fe286
Feetham, Pamela M.
10e40704-ea2a-4ea7-8890-d9fe7076baad

Wright, Malcolm J., Teagle, Damon A.H. and Feetham, Pamela M. (2014) A quantitative evaluation of the public response to climate engineering. Nature Climate Change, 4, 106-110. (doi:10.1038/nclimate2087).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, with CO2 passing 400 parts per million in May 2013. To avoid severe climate change and the attendant economic and social dislocation, existing energy efficiency and emissions control initiatives may need support from some form of climate engineering. As climate engineering will be controversial, there is a pressing need to inform the public and understand their concerns before policy decisions are taken. So far, engagement has been exploratory, small-scale or technique-specific. We depart from past research to draw on the associative methods used by corporations to evaluate brands. A systematic, quantitative and comparative approach for evaluating public reaction to climate engineering is developed. Its application reveals that the overall public evaluation of climate engineering is negative. Where there are positive associations they favour carbon dioxide removal (CDR) over solar radiation management (SRM) techniques. Therefore, as SRM techniques become more widely known they are more likely to elicit negative reactions. Two climate engineering techniques, enhanced weathering and cloud brightening, have indistinct concept images and so are less likely to draw public attention than other CDR or SRM techniques.

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Wright_Teagle_Feetham_2014_Nature_Climate_Change_pre_print.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 12 January 2014
Published date: January 2014
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 361112
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/361112
ISSN: 1758-678X
PURE UUID: e4bf6bc8-da80-4379-a016-8aaf204f7e11
ORCID for Damon A.H. Teagle: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4416-8409

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Jan 2014 13:37
Last modified: 21 Nov 2021 02:49

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Contributors

Author: Malcolm J. Wright
Author: Pamela M. Feetham

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