Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Residents weigh global benefits, local risks in views of climate change measures

Date:
October 31, 2013
Source:
Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)
Summary:
A survey of Indiana residents tracks public acceptance of potential measures to address climate change in their communities.

An emerging method to store global warming carbon dioxide (CO2) underground faces challenges in gaining public acceptance, especially when the global benefits carry localized costs. A new study on the public acceptance of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Indiana, a heavily coal-reliant state, shows that capturing carbon emissions and injecting them underground for long-term storage is supported by 80 percent of the population, but about 20 percent of the initial supporters disapprove of the use of the technology if the carbon storage facility would be built close to their homes and communities. Thus, one fifth of the initial supporters exhibit a "NIMBY" or "Not In My Back Yard" response to CCS.

Related Articles


CCS is a technique designed to mitigate climate change by capturing the heat trapping gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal plants and storing it deep underground. The technology allows for a more environmentally benign use of fossil fuels, but critics say it may prolong the dependence on coal, divert investment away from renewable energy sources, and burden local communities with costs and health risks. The risks often associated with CCS include CO2 leakage, induced earthquake activity, explosions, and groundwater contamination. Concerns over these risks have led to some NIMBY-like responses and contributed to the cancellation of several planned CCS facilities in Europe.

The study of communities in Indiana, entitled "Not In (or Under) My Backyard: Geographic Proximity and Public Acceptance of Carbon Capture and Storage Facilities," found that world views, perceived economic benefits from CCS, and concerns about safety are the major factors that determine public acceptance of siting facilities nearby. The research, led by Rachel Krause from the School of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas, in collaboration with Sanya Carley, David Warren and John Graham, all from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, and John Rupp from the Indiana Geological Survey, was recently published online in the Society of Risk Analysis' journal Risk Analysis.

The team surveyed over a thousand Indiana residents using the Indiana University Energy, Climate and Environment Survey. The survey was used to determine whether factors such as demographics, home ownership, perception of risks, perception of economic benefits, and worldviews (or cultural biases) might affect individuals' acceptance or NIMBY reactions toward a proposed local CCS facility.

Previous research suggests that acceptance of climate change and new technologies can be predicted by the "individualist," "hierarchical," or "egalitarian" worldviews conceptualized by the scholars Douglas and Wildavsky. Individualists support new technologies that may drive economic growth. People with a hierarchical worldview tend to follow the opinions of experts and will support technology if it is recommended by credible officials. The egalitarians see inequality as the largest risk to society; because climate change is expected to disproportionately affect the poor, egalitarians are likely to support CCS and the location of CCS facilities will not affect this support.

The study authors found that respondents' worldviews are good predictors of CCS support and NIMBY reactions. As predicted, an egalitarian viewpoint was associated with increased likelihood of support for nearby facilities. Respondents with an individualistic worldview were significantly less likely to display a NIMBY sentiment, perhaps because individualists may view CCS positively as a market-based response to climate change. Demographic variables such as age, race, income and political views did not strongly predict respondents' attitudes toward CCS. The strongest predictor of support of CCS was individuals' expectation that it would generate economic development which overcame potential NIMBY responses for most participants.

Although Indiana is average with respect to income, poverty, and population growth compared to the other 49 states, it is politically conservative and currently has no climate-related initiatives or credit-trading programs. Given the sampling of individuals in Indiana, the authors caution that the results cannot be extrapolated to other states or communities, nationally or globally. The authors suggest that future studies should ask about individuals' acceptance of CCS facilities at a number of specific distances.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rachel M. Krause, Sanya R. Carley, David C. Warren, John A. Rupp, John D. Graham. “Not in (or Under) My Backyard”: Geographic Proximity and Public Acceptance of Carbon Capture and Storage Facilities. Risk Analysis, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/risa.12119

Cite This Page:

Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). "Residents weigh global benefits, local risks in views of climate change measures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031124616.htm>.
Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). (2013, October 31). Residents weigh global benefits, local risks in views of climate change measures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031124616.htm
Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). "Residents weigh global benefits, local risks in views of climate change measures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031124616.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama's Wildlife Plan Renews Alaska Drilling Debate

Obama's Wildlife Plan Renews Alaska Drilling Debate

Newsy (Jan. 26, 2015) President Obama&apos;s proposal aims to protect more land in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but so far, all that&apos;s materialized is a war of words. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dramatic Footage Shows Coast Guard Rescue Off Scottish Coast

Dramatic Footage Shows Coast Guard Rescue Off Scottish Coast

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Footage just released by the UK Coast Guard shows a dramatic helicopter rescue off the Scottish coast, where five men were plucked to safety after their fishing boat sank on Saturday. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stunning Wingsuit Proximity Flying in Norway

Stunning Wingsuit Proximity Flying in Norway

Rumble (Jan. 23, 2015) A collection of amazing shots from flights made in the Aurland Valley in Norway. How incredible is that? Credit to &apos;BASEjumper&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins