Article

Attitudes toward hydraulic fracturing: The opposing forces of political conservatism and basic knowledge about fracking

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Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing has become a contentious issue around the globe. In the present study, using a sample of American adults (n = 412), the role of political orientation (conservative vs. liberal) and basic knowledge about fracking on fracking risk perception attitudes, fracking economic attitudes, energy reliance attitudes, trust of energy information sources, and preferred dwelling distance from energy operations was investigated. Basic knowledge about hydraulic fracturing as a possible moderating mechanism was also explored. Correlational and regression results revealed that political ideology and basic fracking knowledge are key predictors of fracking and energy source attitudes, and that the nature of the relation between ideology and fracking risk perceptions, fracking economic attitudes, reliance on natural gas, wind and solar, and distrust of government agencies, are influenced by an individual’s basic knowledge about fracking.

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... These perceptions are often associated with conservative and liberal political ideologies, which have been shown to supersede other factors [29][30][31]. Research has demonstrated that conservatives are more likely to support the development of non-renewable resources and free market enterprise, whereas liberals are more likely to oppose the development of non-renewable resources and support practices associated with regulation [32][33][34][35]. ...
... Perceptions of SGD can vary markedly based on factors such as political ideology, social class, age, gender, population density, exposure, proximity, direct benefit, and knowledge [2,6,37,38]. However, political ideology has been demonstrated to be a significant and robust predictor of support and opposition for SGD [27,32]. Thus, the rapid expansion of SGD has in many instances led to mixed perceptions and understandings toward the benefits and risks of SGD [39]. ...
... Prior research asserts that individuals who perceive the more immediate benefits of SGD, such as economic and energy independence, are more likely to support SGD [6,33,44] The benefits of SGD align well with long-held conservative political foundations related to free enterprise, economic independence, and minimal government interference and regulation [6,24,33,45,46]. These conservative principles lend support to overall practices associated with the expansion of domestic SGD on public and private lands [22,32,46,47]. Individuals with moderate political ideologies may align more with conservatism in their general support for SGD and may be more inclined to see the potential benefits of SGD [25]. ...
Article
This study examined the influence of political ideology and perceptions of benefits and risks upon State Forest recreationists' support and opposition towards shale natural gas energy development (SGD) on public and private lands in Pennsylvania. Much of the ongoing and proposed Pennsylvania SGD infrastructure is either within or adjacent to public lands, waters, and protected areas, raising concerns about the potential environmental and social impacts upon recreation stakeholders. On-site face-to-face survey interviews were used to gather data from Pennsylvania State Forest recreationists from June to September of 2018 (n = 392). The predominantly local, educated, experienced, and politically moderate sample in this study demonstrated relatively low levels of support towards SGD on Pennsylvania public lands and relatively neutral stances towards support for SGD on private lands in Pennsylvania. Structural equation modeling results suggested that political ideology and perceptions of risks were significant predictors of support for SGD on both public and private lands in Pennsylvania. The relationship between political ideology and support for SGD on public and private lands was also partially mediated through the perceived risk of SGD in the model. Study findings contributed to previous research suggesting political attitudes may influence and supersede other factors when predicting support for SGD. A series of one-way analyses of variance further explored differences by political ideology in this study. In each of these analyses, a similar statistical trend prevailed. Those identifying themselves as conservative were significantly more likely than their moderate and liberal counterparts to support SGD on both public and private lands in Pennsylvania and perceive fewer risks from SGD on Pennsylvania State Forests. This research lent itself to the theory of landscape fit and construal level theory as State Forest recreationists may have perceived the 'fit' of SGD negatively and could have construed SGD abstractly, lending themselves to political ideology. From a policy and management standpoint, study findings highlight the importance of assessing and communicating State Forest recreationists' perceptions and subsequent opinions when planning, developing, and managing SGD and related decisions in the United States.
... Generally speaking, literature on attitudes toward the benefits of and skepticism about the benefits of fracking shows mixed results. Empirical research illuminates resource gains associated with fracking-related activities, such as increases in economic activity, employment, local business opportunities, and tax revenues [1,3,4,14,15,20,59,[71][72][73][74][75][76][77][78][79]. The literature also reveals perceptions that fracking helps to reduce dependency on foreign energy sources, lowers energy bills and U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and provides a reliable source of energy for the future [1][2][3]5,8,9,11,12,[14][15][16]20,59,[79][80][81][82][83][84][85][86][87][88]. ...
... The literature also reveals perceptions that fracking helps to reduce dependency on foreign energy sources, lowers energy bills and U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and provides a reliable source of energy for the future [1][2][3]5,8,9,11,12,[14][15][16]20,59,[79][80][81][82][83][84][85][86][87][88]. Research findings associated with resource loss and threat of loss include concerns with a range of environmental harms, unsustainable 'boom and bust' cycles, risks to property values, adverse impacts to local infrastructure and social services, social disorganization, and crime [1][2][3][4]14,15,28,52,72,73,[75][76][77][78][79]87]. Based on the aforementioned literature, we hypothesize generally that we can expect individuals who have experienced earthquake-related economic resource loss to have greater perceptions of fracking risks and a stronger perception of earthquake risk. ...
... Those who hold more liberal political views are more likely: H3a: to believe that fracking risks outweigh the benefits; & H3b: to be skeptical about the benefits of fracking [1][2][3][4][5]11,17,72,77,80,83,84,98,[115][116][117][118][119][120][121]. SES influences economic resource loss & opinion of fracking risk. ...
Article
Drawing from hazard and disaster literature, this article advances Freudenburg’s concept of recreancy and Hobfoll’s Conservation of Resources theory in response to calls for more theory development in research on hydraulic fracturing. Respectively, these theoretical frames refer to stress associated with trust in institutional failure to safeguard the wellbeing of society, as well as resource loss, threat of loss, or investment of resources without return or gain. We contribute to the expanding body of knowledge in energy and social science research by investigating risk perceptions of induced seismicity (earthquakes) associated with hydraulic fracturing processes. Using structural equation modeling, we analyze data from a 2018 household telephone survey in two regions of Oklahoma (N = 600). Findings indicate that perceptions of recreancy (β = 0.38), opinion of fracking risks (β = 0.31), and number of earthquakes (β = 0.11) directly affect perceptions of earthquake risk, while political views, economic resource loss and views of fracking benefits are indirectly related to perceptions of earthquake risk.
... Social science research indicates that public perception of unconventional OGD, such as fracking, varies by political (Boudet et al., 2014;Choma et al., 2016;O'Connor and Fredericks, 2018), individual (Boudet et al., 2014;Mayer, 2017;O'Connor and Fredericks, 2018), and community factors. Measures of proximity, both geographic and perceived, have also been found to influence public perception of unconventional OGD activities (Alcorn et al., 2017;Boudet et al., 2018;Evensen and Stedman, 2018;O'Connor and Fredericks, 2018). ...
... For example, female respondents and those with stronger environmental values demonstrate increased risk perception and opposition toward OGD on a national scale (Boudet et al., 2014;O'Connor and Fredericks, 2018). Political identity has also been found to influence how individuals perceive OGD activities and the associated risks, with politically conservative individuals consistently found to have stronger support of OGD activities relative to those who subscribe to liberal ideologies (Boudet et al., 2014;Choma et al., 2016;Davis, 2017;O'Connor and Fredericks, 2018). The findings concerning political identity and perception of OGD activities hold across a variety of social and economic contexts (Boudet et al., 2014;Choma et al., 2016;Davis, 2017;O'Connor and Fredericks, 2018). ...
... Political identity has also been found to influence how individuals perceive OGD activities and the associated risks, with politically conservative individuals consistently found to have stronger support of OGD activities relative to those who subscribe to liberal ideologies (Boudet et al., 2014;Choma et al., 2016;Davis, 2017;O'Connor and Fredericks, 2018). The findings concerning political identity and perception of OGD activities hold across a variety of social and economic contexts (Boudet et al., 2014;Choma et al., 2016;Davis, 2017;O'Connor and Fredericks, 2018). ...
Article
Technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and wastewater injection can elicit strong and sometimes diverging reactions among the public, particularly when there is uncertainty about the associated risks. Understanding how people are weighing potential benefits in the context of these risks can help to address some of the challenges associated with people’s responses, such as community conflict and social disruption—especially when multiple risks intersect, as in the case of induced seismicity. As a relatively new phenomenon, perceived risk of induced seismicity remains an underexplored area in hazards and risk analysis research. Prior work on hydraulic fracturing has revealed that a complex variety of factors influences how the public in a given area perceives the overall impacts, risks, and value of oil and gas operations. This article focuses on findings derived from in-depth interviews and informal conversations with 36 Oklahomans as part of a larger study of social responses to induced seismicity in that state and Colorado. These findings center around participants’ reported concerns, problems, benefits, and new opportunities associated with oil and gas development, including the ways in which participants weigh the costs and benefits of oil and gas development activities—particularly hydraulic fracturing—within the context of induced seismicity.
... Recent technological advances have made the development of those unconventional resources economically viable, especially the process known as hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking' (Blake 2016). This term 'fracking' has been taken up by many to broadly define the complex range of processes of unconventional gas extraction (Choma et al. 2016;Espig and de Rijke 2016;TRS and TRAE 2012). The simplification in the terminology underscores the multifaceted way in which unconventional gas and its development affect society more broadly. ...
... However, despite regulatory measures, unconventional gas developments across the world have resulted in a range of social problems. These social problems include the physical imposition of industry practices onto the landscape (Meng and Ashby 2014), public health problems (Finkel and Hays 2013;McKenzie et al. 2012), the high water needs of the process (Espig and de Rijke 2018), earthquakes, and land, air, and water contamination (Annevelink et al. 2016;Choma et al. 2016). It is also argued that this type of extraction detracts from, rather than builds a bridge towards, the development of renewable energy resources (Choma et al. 2016;Sovacool 2014). ...
... These social problems include the physical imposition of industry practices onto the landscape (Meng and Ashby 2014), public health problems (Finkel and Hays 2013;McKenzie et al. 2012), the high water needs of the process (Espig and de Rijke 2018), earthquakes, and land, air, and water contamination (Annevelink et al. 2016;Choma et al. 2016). It is also argued that this type of extraction detracts from, rather than builds a bridge towards, the development of renewable energy resources (Choma et al. 2016;Sovacool 2014). ...
Thesis
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The development of unconventional gas is widely disputed and has generated a global anti-fracking movement protest. Using a qualitative approach, this study seeks to explore if and how the anti-fracking movements in Australia and the UK influence the mining policies and politics around fracking. Using thematic and narrative analysis, I argue that the anti-fracking movement is a social movement that has three characteristics: (i) key pro- and anti- narratives, (ii) use of the discretionary principle and (iii) deployment of a range of protest mechanisms to drive and shape conflict about unconventional gas, which in turn affects policy. Pro- and anti-fracking narratives across Australia and the UK have impelled a range of circumstances. The anti-fracking narratives have spurred social conflict and organised protest. Pro-fracking narratives have motivated governments to exercise their discretionary power to favour industry by establishing governance regimes that facilitate industry projects, inhibit community engagement, and criminalise protest. A social movement has grown in response to these inherent tensions. The anti-fracking movement is galvanised by community identity, values, and perception, thus building opposition to fracking through numerous forms of protest. The resolutions for this conflict lie in their reconciliation between community and government. The analysis concludes that governance regimes that afford greater public participation, consideration of community concerns in decision-making and knowledge production will work towards resolving the social problems of the industry and thus the tensions at the heart of the anti-fracking movement.
... Few studies about knowledge about fracking focus on young people: Andersson-Hudson et al. (2016), Bullock and Vedlitz (2017), Choma et al. (2016) and Costa et al. (2017b) focus on the general population aged 16+; and Evensen (2017) focuses on a university undergraduate population but does not provide the age range of participants. ...
... Two studies have attempted to measure knowledge directly in survey design research. In one study, Choma et al. (2016) used a four point knowledge test which required the selection of correct definitions of shale gas, hydraulic fracturing unconventional gas and fracking liquid, and Andersson-Hudson et al. (2016) asked a multiple choice question to determine whether respondents knew the name of the fossil fuel extracted using fracking. There is limited scope for testing participants' knowledge within surveys, and perhaps as a result of this, these studies use narrow definitions of knowledge about fracking, focusing on definitions and naming products, and excluding knowledge associated with environmental, political, social or health impacts of fracking, which also rely on the collection, analysis and evaluation of scientific knowledge. ...
... In correlational studies, political ideology has been found to predict attitudes of the adult population (Choma et al., 2016). Andersson-Hudson et al. (2016) found that fewer than half (43.11%) of their adult respondents in a national UK survey supported fracking, with women, non-Conservative party supporters and people in lower income brackets less likely to be supportive. ...
Article
Fracking is a controversial process that requires both chemical and political knowledge in order for young people to make informed decisions and hold industry and government to account. It does not appear in the English chemistry curriculum and little is known about young people’s beliefs about fracking, nor of their attitudes towards it. In this study we focus on young people in schools or colleges within a 20 mile radius of the nearest urban area to a fracking site in England. An in-depth qualitative focus group study was used to investigate the knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of 84 young people aged 16-19 in 4 schools and colleges. Young people reported knowledge about the process of fracking and to a lesser extent its social, economic and environmental impacts and associated regulation. Formal education was an important, if limited, source of information that tended to be trusted by young people. Negative and ambivalent attitudes towards fracking dominated, with the use of economic, environmental and social frames used by young people to inform their responses to fracking. Support for fracking hinged mainly upon energy supply and energy sovereignty. Fracking was opposed because of detrimental environmental and economic impacts, the impacts of associated protests and because of the political handling of decisions about fracking. The exclusion of young people, and the population of the area more broadly, from participation in decision-making has led to young people’s disaffection with political processes and cynicism about the relationship between government and industry. The case of fracking demonstrates the importance of creating space for attention to political processes in chemistry education, and for engaging with young people about energy interventions in their community.
... Given the focus of this article is on public perceptions, risk is conceived as the subjective potential for harm rather than a measure of objective danger [56,29]. This article adds to the literature that has found that people's understandings of risks and opportunities tend to vary by location and context [14,51,40,57,46], lending reason to our choice of comparing perceptions in BC and NB. In this paper, we extend risk theorizing on contemporary times by arguing that greater attention must be paid to people's perceptions of opportunities in relation to risks, as well as the social context shaping perceptions. ...
... In terms of support for HF, males and those who hold conservative ideologies are consistently more likely to consider the use of this technique advantageous [12,1,59]. For example, Choma et al. [57] found that individuals with conservative ideologies were less likely to deem HF as risky and more willing to live near HF sites. Similarly, Davis and Fisk [1] found that in the United States, those who held pro-environmental attitudes and identified closely with Democratic Party (liberal) ideologies were more likely to oppose this technology. ...
... The individuals who had heard of HF were largely undecided on whether or not they supported or opposed its use [12]. Also, some of the information about HF is widely misunderstood by, or miscommunicated to, the community and public stakeholders, potentially altering people's opinions [57,40,2,48]. Along with this, public trust in the source providing information on HF (e.g., newspapers) and those overseeing shale developments are both important in shaping public attitudes [57,40]. ...
Article
The extraction of oil and gas has increasingly shaped Canada’s economy and culture in recent years. As Canada attempts to move toward a low carbon economy, it is important to know how Canadians perceive the risks and opportunities associated with various energy sources. In particular, fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is one such energy extraction technique that has received much media attention but little systematic research from social scientists in Canada. Drawing on survey data from a representative sample of citizens in a province that has utilized fracking extensively (British Columbia) and one that has placed a moratorium on its use (New Brunswick), this article examines public perceptions of the use of hydraulic fracturing. In particular, this paper explores the risks and opportunities people perceive from this technology in these different provincial energy contexts. The findings suggest that while New Brunswick residents saw more benefits and fewer risks from fracking than British Columbia residents, the variables shaping perceptions within each province were mostly similar. We argue that contemporary risk theorizing should more closely consider how people perceive opportunities associated with the use of this disruptive technology as well as how context shapes people’s perceptions.
... However as in many countries, onshore gas development in Australia is a contentious topic, especially in relation to hydraulic fracturing or fracking (Choma et al., 2016). Policies on gas development vary markedly between and within states in Australia (Luke et al., 2018). ...
... Local views have been found to vary considerably within and between localities and may reflect different segments of local communities, each with their own set of concerns and expectations of benefits, or individual resident characteristics such as political ideologies (AGL, 2019;Bec et al., 2016;Choma et al., 2016;Evensen and Stedman, 2016;Luke et al., 2018). Indeed, voices rejecting and embracing locally contested developments may both appear stronger in the pre-approval phase Walton & McCrea, (in press), leaving local communities feeling divided (Grubert and Skinner, 2017). ...
Article
Unconventional gas (UG) continues to play an important role in Australia's energy supply, though it depends on having a social licence in local regions where it is planned or operating. Little research has examined how a social licence for UG development varies between pre-approval and operating phases of the industry. Using survey data for 800 residents, this research examines overall attitudes and underlying perceptions of coal seam gas (CSG) in two agricultural regions in Australia in different phases of UG development – Narrabri, New South Wales (NSW) in the pre-approval phase and the Western Downs, Queensland (Qld) in the operational phase. While the proposed development was considerably smaller in Narrabri than in the Western Downs, Narrabri residents were more likely to reject the proposed CSG development. However, this was not due to these residents having less favourable underlying perceptions of CSG development. In fact, they viewed some aspects of CSG development more favourably than their Qld counterparts. The difference was attributed to a unique phase effect which we argue reflects an enhanced “opportunity to say no” in the pre-approval phase of development. Nonetheless, underlying perceptions still predicted individual variation in attitudes and feelings toward CSG very well, suggesting that while enhanced opposition can be expected in the pre-approval phase, overall attitudes and feelings can also become more positive by improving the underlying drivers important for determining local residents' perceptions of the industry such as industry impacts and benefits, governance, distributional fairness, and trust in the industry.
... As is often the case of other energy developments, the prospect of fracking usually elicits mixed reactions. The optimism associated with the positive outcomes of further exploration and extraction of OG has been, at least partially, offset by widespread concerns about its potential social, economic, and environmental impacts (Brasier et al., 2011;Fisk, 2013;Willits et al., 2013;Wolske et al., 2013;Choma et al., 2016;Cooper et al., 2016;Costa et al., 2017;O'Connor and Fredericks, 2018). Overall, predictions of positive effects in terms of improved economic conditions (Boudet J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f et al., 2016), labour market outcomes (Boudet et al., 2014;Cooper et al., 2016;Evensen and Stedman, 2018), energy self-reliance (Olive, 2016), and general prosperity compete with fears of environmental degradation, health risks, and seismic effects (Willits et al., 2013). ...
... In particular, the effect of fracking development on economic growth has been found short of predictions (Paredes et al., 2015;. Similarly, by making natural gas cheaper, hydraulic fracturing is feared to delay the adoption of renewable energy sources (Choma et al., 2016), and, in general, it is difficult to predict the net effect of life-cycle emissions from fracking on climate change . 9 ...
Article
Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is an emerging unconventional technology in the oil and gas (OG)exploitation sector linked to high levels of uncertainty. In this paper, we examine the level of support for fracking in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). This province is also one of the regions of the country in which fracking could be performed and whose economy could substantially benefit from the availability of this new source of energy resources. However, there remain serious obstacles to the social acceptability of fracking among the people of NL and, in particular, the prospect of fracking in Western Newfoundland (WNL) is a highly controversial issue. This area hosts one of the most highly valuable natural areas in the province (Gros Morne National Park). We identify key factors to oppose or support fracking. Using a multinomial logit model, we characterize different groups of citizens who oppose or support fracking and also other ‘conventional’ extractive technologies. Institutional issues, environmental risks, and socio-economic factors will be considered when explaining attitudes towards fracking. Further understanding the acceptability of this ‘unconventional’ technology should help public regulators make decisions and design optimal policies in the OG extraction sector. Keywords: Fracking, social license to operate, public perceptions, environmental policies
... As illustrated in public and political discourse, coverage by the media, and academic literature, the shale revolution furthers some interests while hurting others, creating vehement advocates and opponents along interest and partisan lines (Apple, 2014;Choma, Hanoch, & Currie, 2016;Christenson, Goldfarb, & Kriner, 2017;Sovacool, 2014). The literature speaks of a trade-off between (both private industry and public) economic interests, and, mentioned to a lesser extent, energy security, on the one hand, and environmental interests, and, again mentioned to a lesser extent, public health and community values (Rabe, 2014). ...
... In the first category, environmental harms, fall the environmental consequences generally associated with large-scale industrial operations. They are much more severe for fracking operations than for conventional gas extraction: not only does fracking take up more land, it also uses 70 -300 times more water (Choma et al., 2016;Kotsakis, 2012). Meng (2017) listed deforestation and conversion of wetlands into fracking pads, wastewater pits, and access roads, and pipelines, which have negative impacts on local ecosystems, soil erosion, and the atmosphere; substantial water withdrawals, which can cause local shortages, and once used and (strongly) polluted also need to be disposed of, disrupting the local hydrological cycle; and air pollution through uninterrupted truck traffic, constantly running drilling machinery, volatile organic compounds evaporating from wastewater pits and storage tanks, and the flaring (burning) of escaping gas (Leiter, 2015). ...
Preprint
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This paper analyses to what extent private regulation is able to enhance the democratic legitimacy (following Scharpf, 1999) of environmental fracking regulation in the US through an interdisciplinary literature review. It finds gaps in public regulation at the federal level and at the state level for case studies Texas and Pennsylvania. Private regulators can fill some of these gaps and so contribute to the democratic legitimacy of hydraulic fracturing regulation.
... Other UK based research recognizes a greater number of survey responses as connecting fracking to a perception of risk rather than to a perception of benefit, despite noting a general ambivalence to the fracking issue among respondents. In exploring the understandings that shape the recorded perceptions of respondents, including the levels of their basic knowledge of the fracking process (Choma et al., 2016), these studies introduce demographics, political views, and environmental values as playing an important role in informing respondents' perceptions . ...
Article
Full-text available
Hydraulic fracturing is an energy extraction process that is increasingly attracting controversy. This article seeks to outline how the media report hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"), and to explore its place within the reporting of energy concerns generally. To this end, it draws on an environmental communication perspective to understand the media reporting of the issue and the processes that shape it. This review reveals that media reporting of fracking is partitioned broadly according to discussions of the economic benefits or the environmental risks associated with the process. Further, these observed patterns in the reporting appear to mirror the recognized claims made about the issue, and the influence from protests and online media alongside national polity on energy production and security. While there is evidence that the practices of journalists and the geographic, economic and political contexts of their news production environments shape the amounts and the types of news reporting, the publics' perceptions appear, somewhat knowledgeable, but largely ambivalent or undecided on the issue at present. Therefore, it is argued that future research must continue to examine the reporting of hydraulic fracturing, its context, production, and its wider reception to develop our understanding of the role of the media in national conversations on fracking, energy, and the environment.
... Thus, conservativism is regarded to have a crucial, and generally negative, impact on the environment.(Antonio and Brulle 2011;Dunlap et al. 2001;McCright and Dunlap 2000;Hamilton and Saito 2015, Newman et al. 2016;Choma et al. 2016). Environmental conservation, in most cases, need the governments to constrain the market through regulating businesses(Krieg 1998;Jenkins and Eckert 2000). ...
Preprint
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The Anthropocene age is marked by increased human impacts on the natural environment. As social beings, humans interact with each other, and with their surrounding environments, often through organizations and institutions. Religion and the polity are among the most influential human institutions, and they tend to impact the natural environment in several ways. For instance, several thinkers have claimed that some of the central ideas of the Abrahamic traditions, such as the concept of “Domination of men over the earth,” are among the causes of several anthropogenic environmental problems. By contrast, some of the ideas of non-Abrahamic, particularly animistic, religions are found to be associated with environmental conservation and stewardship. The polity can also contribute to environmental problems. The relationship between political organizations and environmental degradation, at any level of analysis from local to global, is well studied and established in the literature. Politicizing the natural environment, however, is not without tradeoffs. Environmentalism, by certain groups of people, is considered as a “stigma,” while it is a central concept in the political ideology of another part of the population. This antagonism is harmful to the environmental protection cause. I make the case that religion, or at least a number of religious ideas, can be conducive to the process of depoliticizing the natural environment. In this paper, I strive to draw a theoretical framework to explain how religion and the polity can mutually impact the natural environment.
... Research analysing the influence of knowledge about fracking on support for shale gas extraction reveals varied results. In the USA, some studies suggest that greater knowledge/familiarity is associated with lower levels of support and higher risk perceptions (Boudet et al., 2014;Choma et al., 2016), but Stedman et al. (2016) found support and knowledge about fracking to be unrelated in the USA. In contrast, knowledge appears to be positively associated with support in the UK (Andersson-Hudson et al., 2016;Stedman et al., 2016;Whitmarsh et al., 2015). ...
Article
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This paper discusses a survey of public opinions on hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) for shale gas, conducted with a representative sample of 1745 British adults. Unusually, it examines beliefs about positive and negative statements about fracking as well as support/opposition. A majority of respondents correctly answered an initial question testing basic knowledge of shale gas extraction. More respondents supported fracking in Britain (36%) than opposed it (32%) but only 22% supported fracking locally, while 45% were opposed. Respondents were more united in negative beliefs than positive beliefs about fracking. More knowledgeable participants held more polarised views and were significantly more likely than others to agree with negative statements and to oppose fracking in their local area. More respondents disagreed than agreed that it is possible to compensate for fracking risks by payments to local communities. Policy implications include: increasing public knowledge about fracking will not necessarily lead to more positive beliefs and support regarding shale gas developments; promoting alleged economic benefits of shale gas is not enough to ensure support; engaging in genuinely inclusive participatory decision-making may be more likely to increase support than offering payments to communities; alternatively, developing more renewable energy capacity promises to be more popular than fracking.
... Findings regarding the influence of familiarity, however, are inconsistent. Some studies have found knowledge or familiarity to be positively associated with opposition (Boudet et al., 2014;Choma et al., 2016;Stedman et al., 2016;Howell, 2018), while other studies particularly those conducted in the U.K., find the opposite (Anderson, 2010;Stedman et al., 2016). Lachapelle, et al. (2018) found that in Canada the effect of knowledge and familiarity on public perceptions of fracking varied by region. ...
Article
The use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract oil and gas has generated intense debates in many countries. While the volume of empirical research on fracking attitudes internationally has grown considerably, there remains a need to focus attention on local contexts in which fracking takes place given the high degrees of variability in factors affecting attitude formation at the local scale. The Province of Alberta is a focal point for oil and gas development in Canada, and fracking has been expanding rapidly here, but little research has been conducted on attitudes toward fracking in this province, particularly in communities located in fracking zones. Understanding local perspectives toward fracking is critically important for tailoring energy policies that reflect local interest and concern. We examine perspectives about fracking among residents in three Alberta municipalities, each of which has experienced unique political-economic relationships with the energy industry. Our results suggest that trust, knowledge, and gender (male) are positively associated with fracking support. Notably, in a high energy-dependence community, residents express strong support despite experience with the impacts of fracking, and trust is expressed differently toward government organizations across the three study sites, signalling the importance of local context to fracking attitudes.
... On the other hand, left-wing ideology is associated with greater tolerance to ambiguity and uncertainty, abstract thinking, and a tendency to focus on collective risks over individual risks (Carney et al., 2008;Choma et al., 2016;Jessani and Harris, 2018). These traits may explain left-wing persons' lesser willingness to take individual preparedness measures against earthquakes and tsunamis. ...
Article
Previous studies have revealed that political ideology can influence motivations for individual preparedness to mitigate the effects of climate change. Few studies have examined its role in individual preparedness behaviors to reduce the impacts of other natural hazards, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of political ideology on current individual earthquake and tsunami preparedness behaviors among inhabitants of Chile's coastal areas. A statistically representative sample of the Valparaíso Region (N = 500) participated in this study. They were part of a more extensive study conducted between 2018 and 2019 in cities along the Chilean coastline, intending to study preparedness for multiple natural hazards. The survey evaluated trust in government authorities regarding emergency management, current earthquake/tsunami preparedness behaviors, and political ideology. The results reveal that political ideology is a relevant factor in predicting emergency preparedness behaviors and is significantly related to trust in government authorities. The individuals located on the right extreme of both dimensions of political ideology (those self-identified as right-wing and/or pro-market) report a higher level of current earthquake/tsunami preparedness, compared to their respective groups. Thus, for future design and implementation of natural disaster preparedness strategies and programs, the agencies in charge should recognize the role of political ideology.
... There is a wealth of empirical social science work on perceptions in the USA that analyses the relationship between demographic characteristics and the factors that influence their relative support or opposition. For example, there is evidence of strong support amongst younger men [42], social conservatives [43,44], and ranchers and land-owners (which tend to be concerned more about revenue and social impacts than environmental restoration) [45], when compared to other demographic groups. In European public perceptions work there has been a strong emphasis upon the role of public knowledge of UOG and its influence upon public support or opposition, as is appropriate to studying this an emergent technology (certainly less established than the USA). ...
... Any analysis of these findings should be complemented by studies that have examined public trust in stakeholders and institutions involved in shale governance. Communities have expressed concerns about government agencies' abilities to protect communities and to regulate the environmental impacts of shale (Brasier et al., 2013;Choma, Hanoch, & Currie, 2016), in part owing to concerns over potential industry influence over regulatory processes (Brasier et al., 2013). These data portray diverse feelings toward HF across the United States. ...
Article
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Despite calls to increase federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing (HF), the U.S. Congress has maintained a regulatory system in which environmental regulatory authority is devolved to the states. We argue that this system is characterized by a long-standing "policy monopoly": a form of stability in policy agenda-setting in which a specific manner of framing and regulating a policy issue becomes hegemonic. Integrating theories on agenda-setting and environmental discourse analysis, we develop a nuanced conceptualization of policy monopoly that emphasizes the significance of regulatory history, public perceptions, industry-government relations, and environmental "storylines." We evaluate how a policy monopoly in U.S. HF regulation has been constructed and maintained through a historical analysis of oil and gas regulation and a discourse analysis of eleven select congressional energy committee hearings. This research extends scholarship on agenda-setting by better illuminating the importance of political economic and geographic factors shaping regulatory agendas and outcomes.
... The insufficiency or lack of basic knowledge prevents individuals from evaluating the accuracy or reliability of information about environmental risks [49] and drives the public to make judgements on the basis of their attitudes (social trust) [50]. Stoutenborough et al. found that considerable knowledge is related to high risk perception [51], which is consistent with the findings of Choma et al. who discovered an association among thorough knowledge, high risk perception, and decision making [52]. By contrast, a public perception study on climate change indicated that self-reported information (attitudes) does not predict policy support by the public [53]. ...
Article
In 2017, China enacted its “most stringent command-and-control” directive for regulating air pollution in major Chinese cities as part of the initiative to achieve the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan established by the government. This study explored the directive's effects on the public's risk perceptions of haze in the country. Specifically, we identified public views regarding haze-related risks, the factors that influence their perceptions, and the changes in such perceptions by administering questionnaires to residents of implementation and non-implementation areas in Tianjin City before and after six months–regulation application in the metropolis. The panel data obtained from the survey were then subjected to difference-in-differences analysis. Surprisingly, the analysis showed that the directive significantly reduced the public's perceptions of risk, even when we controlled for factors related to knowledge, attitudes, health conditions, and expectations from government governance of air pollution. This finding suggested that the evaluation of other control measures that prohibit all construction-related activities during winter and the subsequent formulation of optimal solution and clarification as to what constitutes sustainable energy usage. The external costs of such use should be considered in policy making.
... Despite this debate, the available evidence provides enough justification to consider that the level of knowledge held by an individual regarding energy issues potentially effects perceptions of benefits and risks of fracking operations among both the general public and local policy elites in Arkansas and Oregon. Indeed, within the fracking debate, those holding higher levels of knowledge regarding fracking have been shown to have more negative attitudes toward fracking, including higher perceptions of risks, in both the United States (Choma, Hanoch, & Currie, 2016) and the United Kingdom (Howell, 2018). ...
Article
Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has recently become a very intensely debated process for extracting oil and gas. Supporters argue that fracking provides positive economic benefits and energy security and offers a decreased reliance on coal‐based electricity generation. Detractors claim that the fracking process may harm the environment as well as place a strain on local communities that experience new fracking operations. This study utilizes a recently conducted survey distributed to a sample of policy elites and the general public in Arkansas and Oregon to examine the role of cultural value predispositions and trust in shaping the perceptions of risks and benefits associated with fracking. Findings indicate that cultural values influence both trust and benefit‐risk perceptions of fracking for both policy elites and the general public. More specifically, we found that trust in information from various sources is derived from the intrinsic values held by an individual, which in turn impacts perceptions of related benefits and risks. We also found that while the overall pattern of relationships is similar, trust plays a larger role in the formulation of attitudes for policy elites than for the general public. We discuss the implications of the mediating role of trust in understanding value‐driven benefit‐risk perceptions, as well as the disparate role of trust between policy elites and the general public in the context of the policy‐making process for both theory and practice.
... The unwavering energy development in the communities surveyed brought economic benefits, but nonetheless influenced residents' perceptions of UD as mostly negative due to potential environmental and health impacts. Additionally, Choma et al. found a correlation between political ideology and knowledge regarding UD as key predictors of attitudes towards UD [20]. ...
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The expansion of unconventional oil and gas development (UD) across the US continues to be at the center of debates regarding safety to health and the environment. This descriptive study evaluated the water quality of private water wells in the Eagle Ford Shale as well as community members’ perceptions of their water. Community members (n = 75) were surveyed about their health status and perceptions of drinking water quality. Water samples from respondent volunteers (n = 19) were collected from private wells and tested for a variety of water quality parameters. Of the private wells sampled, eight had exceedances of maximum contaminant limits (MCLs) for drinking water standards. Geospatial descriptive analysis illustrates the distributions of the well exceedance as well as the well owners’ overall health status. Point-biserial correlational analysis of the haversine distance between respondents and well exceedances revealed four statistically significant relationships {Well 11, Well 12, Well 13, Well 14} with correlations of {0.47, 53, 0.50, 0.48} and p-values of {0.04, 0.02, 0.03, 0.04}, respectively. These correlations suggest that as distance from these northwestern wells increase, there is a higher likelihood of exceedances. Those relying on municipal water or purchased water assessed that it was less safe to drink than those relying on private wells for drinking (p < 0.001, Odds Ratio, OR = 44.32, 95% CI = {5.8, 2003.5}) and cooking (p < 0.003, OR = 13.20, 95% CI = {1.8, 589.9}. Tests of proportional differences between self-reported conditions and provider-reported conditions revealed statistical significance in most cases, perhaps indicating that residents believed they have illnesses for which they are not yet diagnosed (including cancer). In many cases, there are statistically significant differences between self-reported, provider undiagnosed conditions and self-reported, provider diagnosed conditions.
... The American public has limited knowledge about the risks and benefits of fracking impacting their engagement with the issue (Boudet et al., 2014). Public attitudes about fracking are tied to political ideology as conservatives generally favor fracking and liberals are generally opposed (Choma, Hanoch, & Currie, 2016). Stoutenborough, Robinson and Vedlitz (2016) discovered that word fracking did not exert any influence upon participant's attitudes about the oil and gas industry. ...
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Crises caused by industrial accidents in the energy industry can result in severe consequences ranging from loss of market share to the imposition of costly regulations. Energy companies can mitigate these negative consequences through the aggressive use of public relations as a matter of policy. This study attempts to demonstrate the intrinsic value of public relations and prevent public relations research to an energy company's internal policies and examines how a specific energy crisis can be mitigated. The study also examines the effectiveness of an accommodation public relations strategy in the context of hydraulic fracturing accidents in the contentious energy industry. Finally, it serves as a test to assess the fit of the contingency theory of conflict management as an intellectual tool that assists the oil and gas industry in managing its conflicts. The findings show that an accommodative stance mitigated the effects of the crisis, but only under certain conditions. More interestingly, exposure to news articles and press releases appears to have caused an increase in the participants perceived level of knowledge about hydraulic fracturing and perceptions of crisis severity. These findings have important theoretical implications for contingency theory and post-crisis messaging strategy.
... Political conservativism, defined as an ideology that values notions such as "free market" and "small government," have a decisive, and for the most part, negative effect on the natural environment. (Antonio and Brulle 2011;Dunlap et al. 2001;McCright and Dunlap 2000;Hamilton andSaito 2015, Newman et al. 2016;Choma et al. 2016). Policies designed to protect the natural environment, in many cases, require local, federal, and global governments to interfere with the "free market" by regulating businesses and corporations (Krieg 1998;Jenkins and Eckert 2000). ...
Article
This article studies the relationship between individuals’ religiosity, political ideology, and environmental concern, in a cross-national setting. Drawing data from multiple waves of the World Values Survey (1999–2009), the final sample of this study includes 44,391 respondents nested in 43 countries. By using a multi-level modeling technique, the study finds that religiosity is positively associated with respondents’ environmental concerns in terms of willingness to pay for the environment, agreement with increased taxes to prevent environmental pollution, and choosing environmental protection over economic interests. Political ideology, measured via individuals’ self-placement on a left-right continuum, does not have a meaningful relationship with environmental concern in a global setting. Nevertheless, there is an interaction effect between religiosity and political ideology. Increased religiosity, particularly among more conservative individuals, is associated with a higher probability of environmental concern. Comparatively, religiosity virtually does not affect liberals’ concern for the natural environment. The gap between liberals and conservatives regarding the natural environment is more pronounced at lower levels of religiosity; as religiosity increases, the gap starts to narrow. Results suggest that religion has the potential to elevate some of the political barriers on the way towards reaching a collective environmental consciousness.
... Yet, Americans also seem generally willing to voice an opinion, especially if they associate with a mainstream political party. In the political arena, fracking remains a divisive issue (Choma, Hanoch, and Currie 2016;Mazur 2016;Vasi et al. 2015), and as was hypothesized, our study replicated the results found in the larger literature: Republicans are significantly more likely to be more supportive of fracking than Democrats (Boudet et al. 2014;Clarke et al. 2016;Davis and Fisk 2014;Veenstra, Lyons, and Fowler-Dawson 2016). However, we add to this literature by finding that Americans who identify with an "other" political party are more likely to voice a fracking opinion of "don't know," and we provide further support for the idea that fracking attitudes are driven by political framing and party politics. ...
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The American public is split on support for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). This study seeks to better understand fracking attitudes by predicting support via economic, environmental, and public health concern. We find support for fracking is intertwined with political partisanship. We show those identifying as “other” political party are significantly more likely to claim “don’t know” in response to questions of fracking support. However, fracking attitudes are not solely the product of political ideology, but also of perceived effects on the environment, the economy, and especially public health.
... The unwavering energy development in the communities surveyed brought economic benefits, but nonetheless influenced residents' perceptions of UD as mostly negative due to potential environmental and health impacts. Additionally, Choma et al. found a correlation between political ideology and knowledge regarding UD as key predictors of attitudes towards UD [20]. ...
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The expansion of unconventional oil and gas development (UD) across the US continues to be at the center of debates regarding safety to health and the environment. This study evaluated the water quality of private water wells in the Eagle Ford Shale within the context of community members’ perceptions. Community members (n=75) were surveyed regarding health status and perceptions of drinking water quality. Water samples from respondent volunteers (n=19) were collected from private wells and tested for a variety of water quality parameters. Of the private wells sampled, 8 had exceedances of MCLs for drinking water standards. Geospatial descriptive analysis illustrates the distributions of the well exceedance as well as the well owners’ overall health status. Surveys showed that the majority of respondents received their water from a municipal source and were significantly more distrustful of their water source than of those on private wells. In many cases, there are statistically significant differences between self-reported, provider undiagnosed conditions and self-reported, provider diagnosed conditions. Attitudes and perceptions of water quality may play an important role in the overall perceived health status of community members in high fracking regions.
... The analysis of public perceptions in terms of the hydrocarbons issue, particularly that of unconventional exploitation through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has gained momentum in recent years. For example, Choma, Hanoch, and Currie (2016) study the attitudes of and impact of information on the two main political orientations in the United States of America regarding the exploitation of shale gas by fracking. The orientations were defined as conservative and liberal (Republicans and Democrats, respectively). ...
Article
This work studies the perceptions of the inhabitants of the Burgos Basin about the exploitation of hydrocarbons in that region in Mexico’s northeast. It uses a sample of 1 549 people and a logistic regression model for the analysis. The results show that 90.7 percent of the people who perceive an effect associate it with something negative. The findings also show that access to means of communication, and information about the issue, have an effect on the formation of perceptions. Because of insecurity in the localities, the survey was not carried out in a random and systematic way. Still, this study, utilizing a little-used approach in Mexico, shows the perceptions, and the driving factors behind them, that inhabitants have about the extractive operations that take place in the region.
... This subtheme is the only one to include social science articles. In these articles, HVHHF is evaluated in terms of public perceptions (Choma et al. 2016;Dokshin 2016;Israel et al. 2015;Morrone et al. 2015;Powers et al. 2015), community disorder and boomtown issues (Jerolmack and Berman 2016;Ruddell and Ortiz 2014), changes in traffic (Graham et al. 2015), economic impacts (Barth 2013;Muresan and Ivan 2015), broad or case-specific social impacts (Garvie et al. 2014;Perry 2012), and environmental justice and human rights (see, e.g., Clough and Bell 2016;Fry et al. 2015;Johnston et al. 2016;Short et al. 2015). Once again, these articles give little attention to the impacts of HVHHF on animals. ...
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Throughout human history, energy security has been a prominent concern. Historically, animals were used as energy providers and as companions and sentinels in mining operations. While animals are seldom used for these purposes in developed communities today, this legacy of use is likely to have far-reaching consequences for how animals and human–animal relationships are acknowledged in energy development. The US is currently experiencing an energy boom in the form of high volume horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (HVHHF); because animals are the most at risk from this boom, this study uses a thorough content analysis of peer-reviewed HVHHF articles mentioning animals from 2012–2018 to assess how animals and human–animal relationships are discussed. Three dominant article theme classifications emerge: animal-focused articles, animal-observant articles, and animal sentinel articles. Across themes, articles seldom acknowledge the inherent value or the social and psychological importance of animals in human lives; instead, the focus is almost exclusively on the use of animals as sentinels for potential human health risks. Further, what is nearly absent from this body of literature is any social science research. Given that relationships with animals are an integral part of human existence, this study applies environmental justice principles, serving as a call to action for social science scholars to address the impacts of HVHHF on animals and human–animal relationships.
Article
Unconventional natural gas (UNG) refers to a suite of technologies that aid in the exploration, extraction, and transportation of natural gas resources. This paper reports on the results of a scoping review examining peer-reviewed articles published between 2009–2018 on the impacts of UNG activities on communities located across the supply chain (i.e. “upstream” communities adjacent to the point of gas extraction, “midstream” communities located near pipelines, and “downstream” communities that are cooling natural gas into liquid form for international export). Our review identified 523 articles, 68% of which focused on the United States. The majority of articles (77%) highlighted community impacts adjacent to the point of extraction, with only 11% and 6% addressing midstream and downstream supply chain impacts. Results classified 28 unique types of community impacts conceptualized within the literature, organized into four categories: environmental impacts; impacts to infrastructure and service delivery; impacts on policy, regulation and participation in decision-making; and socioeconomic impacts. We provide a narrative review to clarify the socioeconomic impacts and possible policy mitigation efforts across the UNG supply chain.
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The expansion of unconventional oil and gas development (UD) across the US continues to be at the center of debates regarding safety to health and the environment. This study evaluated the water quality of private water wells in the Eagle Ford Shale within the context of community members perception. Community members (n=75) were surveyed regarding health status and perceptions of drinking water quality. Water samples (n=19) were collected from private wells and tested for a variety of water quality parameters. Of the private wells sampled, 8 had exceedences of MCLs for drinking water standards. Geospatial analysis showed the majority of well owners who did have exceedances self-reported their health status as poor. Surveys showed that the majority of respondents received their water from a municipal source and were significantly more distrustful of their water source than of those on private wells. The data also showed a high number of people self-reporting health problems without a healthcare provider’s diagnosis. Attitudes and perceptions of water quality play an important role in the overall perceived health status of community members in high fracking regions, stressing the importance of transparency and communication by the UD industry.
Preprint
Full-text available
The expansion of unconventional oil and gas development (UD) across the US continues to be at the center of debates regarding safety to health and the environment. This study evaluated the water quality of private water wells in the Eagle Ford Shale within the context of community members perception. Community members (n=75) were surveyed regarding health status and perceptions of drinking water quality. Water samples (n=19) were collected from private wells and tested for a variety of water quality parameters. Of the private wells sampled, 8 had exceedences of MCLs for drinking water standards. Geospatial analysis showed the majority of well owners who did have exceedances self-reported their health status as poor. Surveys showed that the majority of respondents received their water from a municipal source and were significantly more distrustful of their water source than of those on private wells. The data also showed a high number of people self-reporting health problems without a healthcare provider’s diagnosis. Attitudes and perceptions of water quality play an important role in the overall perceived health status of community members in high fracking regions, stressing the importance of transparency and communication by the UD industry.
Article
Unconventional oil and gas technologies—such as hydraulic fracturing—have drastically increased the volume of oil and gas produced in the U.S., while simultaneously bringing drilling closer to residential areas. We examine quality of life impacts of unconventional oil and gas production, arguing that how people perceive its local effects is rooted in their political identities. Using survey data from three northern Colorado communities, we employ counterfactual mediation methods to understand relationships between political identity, perceived socio-environmental and community changes from oil and gas development, and self-reported quality of life. We find significant differences in how people perceive local development based upon political identity, whereby Tea Party supporters see little negative impact, and in turn are likely to believe that local development improves their quality of life. At the other extreme, Democrats perceive more negative community changes from oil and gas development and are more apt to believe that it reduces their quality of life. Republicans who do not support the Tea Party and political independents hold more mixed views. Overall, our analysis suggests that people's perceptions of local energy development and how it matters for their quality of life is, to some degree, a function of their political identities.
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Though narrative messages have been used to persuade audiences for centuries, scholars have only recently begun to investigate the mechanisms behind the narrative persuasion process from a media effects perspective. Research has indicated that the processing of persuasion through narrative differs from the processing of persuasion through rhetorical messages (Slater & Rouner, 2002). Several models of the narrative persuasion process have emerged in the past 15 years (e.g., Slater & Rouner, 2002; MoyerGuse, 2008; Busselle & Bilandzic, 2009), but no one is yet preferred among scholars. This study tested the extended-Elaboration Likelihood Model (Slater & Rouner, 2002), which posits that narrative persuasion is the result of engagement with a narrative and its characters, as applied to comics that address a local controversy: hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." A group of 236 undergraduate CSU students participated in a 2x2 pre-test/post-test experimental design, in which subjects were presented with one of two persuasive comics (one pro-fracking, one anti-fracking) and levels Narrative Transportation, Character Identification, and Persuasion were assessed. Statistically significant levels of Persuasion were reported by those subject presented with the anti-fracking comic, but a regression model did not find that Narrative Transportation or Character Identification predicted Persuasion to a statistically significant degree. Though their validity is limited in some ways, these findings suggest that the e-ELM may not adequately explain the narrative persuasion process in the context of comics.
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Shale gas has been described as a game changer due to its potential role in addressing global climate change, protecting national security, and revitalizing local economies. However, the extraction of shale gas can result in negative impacts that may influence public discourse and decisions about its development. This study presents a comprehensive review of the risks posed by shale gas development as perceived by the public, the factors affecting these risk perceptions, and the influence of these risk perceptions on public attitudes and behaviors in response to shale gas development, based on a review of 132 peer-reviewed articles published between 2009 and 2021. On balance, perceived risks of shale gas development span several domains, including general, environmental, social, economic, health, and safety risks. The level of public concern about these risks varies greatly. Risk perceptions were found to be associated with contextual factors, such as the stage of shale gas development, and individual-level factors, such as age, gender, and personal experience. Risk perceptions were also a strong predictor of public support for/opposition to shale gas development across studies. Further research is needed to understand the nuances in public risk perceptions in different geographical contexts and to explore the influence of risk perceptions on a variety of downstream outcomes such as protective behaviors or policy support.
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Growing attention has been paid to understanding public risk perceptions of shale gas development. This research has largely been conducted in the United States and Europe. Arguably, the environmental and social risks posed by drilling are potentially more severe in places like China, due to its geography and political system. However, little is known how those constantly exposed to risks (the “affected” public) evaluate these risks. In this study, in-depth interviews were conducted with local residents (n=25) in Weiyuan County, Sichuan Province, the region with the largest shale gas reserves in the country, to identify the perceived risks of the affected Chinese public and to explore underlying factors that impact risk perception. Our results suggest that affected Chinese residents were most concerned about groundwater contamination and air pollution above all other risks, and they tended to link risks to spatial proximity to shale gas wells. The multifaceted nature of perceived benefits played a novel and nuanced role in Chinese residents’ risk perception. Pride and disempowerment were found to attenuate the risk judgments of affected Chinese residents, which has not been observed in previous literature. Our findings provides policymakers with insight into how to improve risk communications to enhance understanding of affected publics, as well as to better design compensation schemes that may address inequities.
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Youth perspectives on energy interventions are rarely sought or acted on in local and national policy, despite the stake young people have in the future created by today’s energy and environmental policies. The debate on unconventional shale gas development (hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’) is one context in which decisions taken today have long-term, intergenerational consequences, with environmental justice intersecting with energy needs. This study investigated young people’s perceptions and experiences of exploratory fracking and associated political processes in order to understand their experiences of environmental justice. In depth, qualitative field research was conducted with 84 young people in locations within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of operational exploratory fracking sites prior to the moratorium in England announced in November 2019. Data were analysed with attention to recognition, participation and distributional justice. Young people experienced environmental, democratic and social injustices through lack of recognition of their aims and values as both youth and members of a rural community, and exclusion from formal participation in decision-making. Young people saw economic and thus environmental power residing with industry closely tied to national government, and experienced a tension between desire to trust institutional authority and betrayal by these same institutions. We argue that this case study of young people in ‘the sacrifice zone’ demonstrates a connection between depoliticisation and anti-politics, and that these processes undermine trust in democracy. There is a need for recognition and meaningful inclusion of young people and local communities in decision-making, particularly where the consequences of the decisions last for generations.
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As an emerging approach that aims to control, mitigate or prevent the risk of contaminated sites by cutting off the transmission routes of pollutants, risk control method has become an economic choice for researchers and governors to manage the contaminated sites. However, the public’s acceptance is at a relatively low level, and investigation into how to increase this is needed. In this study, a focus group interview was conducted to identify the dimensions of the public’s risk and benefit perception regarding the use of risk control method for contaminated sites. Using data from an online survey of 418 residents in Tianjin, a city in desperate need of this method for contaminated sites, structural equation modeling was used to examine the influence mechanism of public’s knowledge of soil pollution on their acceptance of it. The results included the following points: (1) The improvement of the public’s soil pollution knowledge causes the overestimation of risks and the underestimation of benefits regarding risk control method, which then decrease of their acceptance of it. (2) knowledge triggered emotional judgement rather than rational judgement works in their decision-making process. The study concludes that science-based propaganda should be strengthened to eliminate residents’ concerns about the environment, health, and the government’s regulations, and their negative emotion should be specially taken into account when developing projects using this method. This study innovatively explored the public’s cognitive mechanisms in relation to risk control method from both rational and emotional perspectives.
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A few years ago, optimistic estimates claimed that Eastern Europe possessed large shale formations that seemed likely to produce great quantities of natural gas. In addition, the countries in the region had strategic incentives to develop a transparent domestic shale industry in order to reduce its reliance on gas from Russia. Nevertheless, political and social factors as well as differences in physical characteristics, prevented the U.S. experience from being replicable in Eastern Europe. In the end, most multinational energy corporations announced that they had abandoned efforts to find and produce natural gas from shale rock in Eastern Europe. The paper discusses the impact of shale gas exploration on the quality of democratic governance by comparing and contrasting fracking regulations adopted in the United States with those of Eastern Europe. The main research question attempts to ask and identify: “what are the factors that influence a democratic and fair governance of public natural resources”.
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Drawing on 10 sets of data gathered in the General Social Survey between 2000 and 2018, this study examined whether confidence in the press mediated political party affiliation as a determinant of attitudes toward the scientific community. The study observed full mediation effects in three of five instances in which Republicans occupied the White House, with partial or no mediation observed at other points. Overall findings showed that males, White respondents, and those who had completed more years of school, as well as Democrats and those who indicated higher levels of confidence in the press, tended to report greater levels of confidence in the scientific community. The study discusses quantitative results in light of increased partisanship and derisive attacks on news media.
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en Investigating voter preferences has been a challenge for those studying the politics of fracking. Recent scholarship has assessed local fracking bans in Texas, Ohio, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. These findings suggest the importance of political ideology and voters' experience. This project continues to develop an understanding of local defiance and “fracking” attitudes, by extending this inquiry to California. Utilizing a novel dataset of over 400 voting precincts across three California counties, we find that political ideology, the presence of nearby spills, and education shape voters support for local bans on fracking. Related Articles Ash, John S. 2011. “Radiation or Riots: Risk Perception in Nuclear Power Decision Making and Deliberative Approaches to Resolving Stakeholder Conflict.” Politics & Policy 39 (2): 317‐344. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747‐1346.2010.00237.x Fisk, Jonathan M., Charles Davis, and Benjamin Cole. 2017. “‘Who Is at Fault?’ The Media and the Stories of Induced Seismicity.” Politics & Policy 45 (1): 31‐50. https://doi.org/10.1111/polp.12193 Neill, Katharine A., and John C. Morris. 2012. “A Tangled web of Principals and Agents: Examining the Deepwater Horizon oil Spill through a Principal‐Agent Lens.” Politics & Policy 40 (4): 629‐656. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747‐1346.2012.00371.x Abstract es Desprecio del crudo: Examinando el retroceso local al desarrollo de petróleo y gas en California Investigar las preferencias de los votantes ha sido un desafío para quienes estudian la política del fracking. Una beca reciente ha evaluado las prohibiciones locales de fracturación hidráulica en Texas, Ohio, Colorado y Pensilvania. Estos hallazgos sugieren la importancia de la ideología política y la experiencia de los votantes. Este proyecto continúa desarrollando una comprensión del desafío local y las actitudes del “fracking,” al extender esta investigación a California. Utilizando un nuevo conjunto de datos de más de 400 distritos electorales en tres condados de California, encontramos que la ideología política, la presencia de derrames cercanos y la educación dan forma al apoyo de los votantes a las prohibiciones locales del fracking. Abstract zh 反对原油:加州石油天然气开发遭遇的地方抵制分析 研究选民偏好对那些研究水力压裂政治的人士而言一直是一项挑战,近期学术评估了德克萨斯州、俄亥俄州、科罗拉多州和宾夕法尼亚州的地方水力压裂禁令。这些研究发现暗示了政治意识形态和选民经历的重要性。本文通过研究加利福尼亚州,继续对地方抗议及“水力压裂”态度加以理解。通过使用一个包含该州三县400个选区的独特数据集,我们发现,政治意识形态、附近油气泄露的出现、以及教育程度影响了选民对地方水力压裂禁令的支持。
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The acceleration of climate change necessitates an energy transition in Canada and the United States one that runs directly counter to the recent explosion of fossil fuel extraction through fracking technology. Is there public support for transition? What are the key predictors? This paper examines public opinion in two neighboring jurisdictions that experienced a hydraulic fracturing boom: Saskatchewan and North Dakota. Survey data is used to describe and compare opinions on fracking, clean energy, and energy transition. We find that compared to people in Saskatchewan, North Dakotans actually see less of a conflict between clean energy and fracking: they are more supportive of both. We examine predictors suggested by previous research, but aim to more carefully separate economic ideology, partisanship, and economic ties to industry. Economic ideology functions as expected, in essentially the same way across jurisdictions. Partisanship is clearly correlated to attitudes towards energy policy in North Dakota, but the relationship is asymmetric by party and issue. The same asymmetry is not true in Saskatchewan. In North Dakota, there is substantial public support for more investment in clean energy, but much less support for energy transition, while in Saskatchewan, the issue is not politicized.
Article
We investigated the endorsement of an expanded construct of environmental justice (ExEJ) that includes the rights of nature, other species, and future generations. We contextualized this study in terms of the environmental challenges posed by hydraulic fracturing. We used structural equation modeling to test a model that hypothesized that attitudes toward fracking would mediate an endorsement of ExEJ. We tested multiple factors that research suggests contribute to those attitudes using a student and non-student sample from a state experiencing fracking activity. Results suggest that self-transcendent factors directly predicted ExEJ endorsement, while self-focus factors predicted positive attitudes toward fracking, and a varied set of factors predicted a negative fracking attitude. Attitudes had no direct effect on ExEJ. Patterns of result suggest self-transcendent factors and avenues for change facilitate ExEJ, while self-enhancement factors influence positive fracking attitudes. Interpretations of these patterns are offered.
Article
Economic development in rural areas is commonly tied to the use of natural resources. These uses can be categorized as extractive (e.g. mining, natural gas, and logging) or non-extractive (e.g. real estate, tourism, outdoor recreation, and wind energy). Research has shown local support is crucial for sustainable economic development. Therefore, understanding what drives support can help researchers better understand why some projects succeed where others do not. This becomes increasingly important in the face of global climatic change. Extractive uses of natural resources in rural areas are associated with high volumes of CO2 emissions and will have to be greatly reduced if the United States is to successfully respond to climate change. In their place, non-extractive forms of natural resource development have emerged as possible alternatives in transition. Therefore, understanding the impact of climate change beliefs on support for different forms of natural resource development is beneficial for ensuring equitable plans that reflect the needs and desires of rural residents. Using a cognitive hierarchy framework, we test a model hypothesizing support for extractive or non-extractive development is influenced by climate change beliefs which are influenced by both environmental beliefs and political conservatism. We test our model on a sample of rural Pennsylvanians using structural equation modeling and find mixed support for the model. Notably, anthropocentrism and biocentrism both had positive relationships with both forms of development, refuting hypotheses. Further, belief in anthropogenic climate change had a positive relationship with extractive support, but no relationship with non-extractive support.
Article
Hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) is one of the most controversial energy production processes in the United States and globally. In democracies, maintaining energy policy on politically salient and controversial issues, such as the use of fracking, depends on popular support at local if not national levels. We therefore study the effectiveness of widely cited arguments about fracking in a representative sample of the United States. Consistent with framing theory, we find that arguments that emphasize the environmental costs of fracking drive down support, while arguments emphasizing job creation and energy security increase it. However, we also show that presenting competing information from pro-fracking and anti-fracking frames together neutralizes individual framing effects, albeit not for every combination of frames and counter-frames. Framing effects become stronger when arguments, particularly about water contamination, are congruent with respondents’ pre-existing beliefs, which may lead to further polarization in the public debate. The exact kinds of arguments and how they are paired with one another do matter—a finding that is relevant for our understanding of public opinion on climate change and renewable energy policy more broadly.
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During the past decade, the number of earthquakes has increased dramatically in the state of Oklahoma, largely attributed to induced seismicity from wastewater injections (hydraulic fracturing). The increased seismic disaster risk in Oklahoma has captured public attention and necessitated actions by decision makers to mediate the consequences. Geospatial modeling to identify the populations exposed to higher levels of potential risk can help prioritize locations for mitigation actions based on the underlying social vulnerability of residents. In this paper, we explore a method for integrating the spatial distribution of seismic risk (hazard exposure) with social vulnerability (hazard impact). Loss scenarios, social vulnerability metrics, and potential physical damage are combined in a geographic information system to identify the spatial vulnerability of an exposed population to the increased seismic risk, and the locations for targeting mitigation actions — areas with the greatest exposure and vulnerability. The results of induced seismicity earthquake scenarios show disproportionately higher losses for places with more minority populations (primarily African-American) and more renters when compared to the non-induced scenarios, suggesting a potential environmental justice concern.
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Although party affiliation is a strong predictor of differences in citizen opinion about a wide range of public policy issues, the picture is more complex for unconventional gas development (UGD) through hydraulic fracturing. Using data collected in Colorado (n = 390) around the time of the highly polarizing 2016 Presidential Election, we conduct a latent class analysis based on individual perceptions of the possible risks and benefits of UGD. Instead of finding attitudes polarized along party lines, citizens in Colorado parsimoniously cluster into three substantially sized groups that cannot be explained by party identification and sociodemographic variables. We also test the value of group membership by assessing association with individual voting behavior at the hypothetical ballot box using language from actual measures filed for placement onto the 2016 Statewide Ballot in Colorado. Results suggest that attitudes toward UGD may be better explained by perceptions of potential costs/disadvantages and benefits/advantages rather than traditional sociodemographic and political party variables. This suggests that understanding public opinion on fracking means moving beyond our traditional conceptualization of opinion formation, even in today’s politically polarized environment.
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The present research examines the combined role of the message and source of a news article in persuading political partisans about an environmental policy. In a series of three experiments, we presented participants (total N = 3457) with a realistic news article summarizing scientific evidence concerning the environmental and economic costs and benefits of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The article’s message was manipulated to support either a conservative (pro-fracking) or liberal (anti-fracking) policy and was attributed to either a conservative news source (Fox News) or a liberal one (MSNBC). Participants who read pro-fracking articles were generally more supportive of fracking than those who read anti-fracking articles, regardless of whether articles were from an ideologically friendly or unfriendly source. Consistent with previous research, however, participants perceived articles with ideologically unfriendly messages to have worse methods than articles with ideologically friendly messages. Finally, liberal participants showed some reduction in resistance to ideologically unfriendly messages coming from an ideologically friendly source, but conservative participants did not. Implications for politicization of environmental policy and future research are discussed.
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Hydraulic fracturing has transformed how unconventional natural gas and oil resources are extracted across the globe, with much disagreement over its potential environmental impacts, as well as the likelihood of those impacts. Using in-depth interviews, this study examines the views of two stakeholder groups, academic scientists and local governmental representatives, who have been involved in the debate over hydraulic fracturing in Texas’s Dallas-Fort Worth region, fracking’s modern-day birthplace. I explore how individuals within these two groups discuss uncertainty, and how they think their uncertainty framing impacts the public’s perceptions of them. In addition, this study adds to previous research on how expert groups frame uncertainty by integrating Wynne’s (1992) expanded typology of uncertainty, which includes the concepts of risk, uncertainty, ignorance, and indeterminacy.
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en We investigate how Eastern Ohio landowners affected by the recent boom in high‐volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) view the industry and the factors that affect their attitudes. Our unique sample almost exclusively contains individuals whose land is under lease for and/or experiencing HVHF. Nation‐ and state‐wide surveys that investigate HVHF attitudes tend to find nearly even splits between opposed and supportive respondents, whose views are strongly influenced by political partisanship. These trends largely do not manifest among Eastern Ohio landowners, for whom personal experiences with HVHF crucially influence attitudes. Most respondents support HVHF and say it has benefited their community economically. Political partisanship does not significantly impact HVHF views. Contrary to arguments in the literature that economic considerations drive variation in support for HVHF, landowners’ support for the industry also appears influenced by perceptions of its environmental and infrastructure impacts. Environmental concerns appear to more powerfully shape attitudes than economic benefits. 抽象 zh 衡量关于水力压裂技术的环境观点和经济观点:调查土地所有者对处于作业状态和计划进入作业状态的钻井平台的态度 东俄亥俄州的土地所有者近期受到了高容量水力压裂(high‐volume hydraulic fracturing, HVHF)作业量激增的影响。本文对土地所有者如何看待该产业, 以及影响其态度的因素进行了调查。本文的独特样本几乎专门涵盖了某些个体人员, 这些个体人员的土地要么将要租给 HVHF 使用, 要么已经被 HVHF 使用。全国和州范围内的调查发现, 对 HVHF 持反对或支持意见的受访者之间存在分裂, 他们的看法受到了政党偏见(political partisanship)的强烈影响。然而, 这些趋势在很大程度上都不是东俄亥俄州土地所有者的看法, 对他们而言, 在 HVHF 一事上的个人经历才真正地影响了其对 HVHF 的态度。大多数受访者支持 HVHF, 他们说 HVHF 已经为他们的社区带来了经济利益。政党偏见并不会显著影响土地所有者对 HVHF 的看法。文献论点认为, 驱动人们支持 HVHF 的因素是经济考量, 而与此相反的是, 土地所有者对该产业的支持还受到其他看法的影响, 这些看法包括 HVHF 对环境和基础设施造成的影响。环境顾虑似乎比经济利益更能影响土地所有者的态度。 Resumen es Midiendo Las Opiniones Ambientales y Económicas Acerca De La Fracturación Hidráulica: una Encuesta De Terratenientes En Unidades De Perforación Activas o Planeadas Investigamos cómo los terratenientes del este de Ohio que fueron afectados por el reciente incremento en uso de la fracturación hidráulica de alto volumen (HVHF) ven la industria y los factores que afectan sus actitudes. Nuestra muestra única contiene casi exclusivamente individuos cuyas tierras están arrendadas para y/o están en un proceso de HVHF. Las encuestas a nivel nacional y estatal que investigan las actitudes frente al HVHF tienden a hallar separaciones claras entre los que se oponen y los que apoyan, cuyas opiniones tienen una fuerte influencia de la política partidista. Estos hallazgos más que todo no se manifiestan en los terratenientes del este de Ohio, para los que las experiencias con la HVHF tienen un efecto crucial en las actitudes. La mayoría de los participantes apoyan la HVHF y dicen que ha beneficiado a sus comunidades económicamente. El partidismo político no tiene un impacto significativo en las opiniones acerca del HVHF. Contrario a los argumentos en las investigaciones que dicen que las consideraciones económicas llevan a la variación que apoya a la HVHF, el apoyo de los terratenientes a la industria también parece estar influenciado por sus percepciones del impacto ambiental y de infraestructura. Las preocupaciones ambientales parecen formar más poderosamente las actitudes de lo que las forman los beneficios económicos.
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Objective: This review examines the literature related to health effects of wind turbines. Methods: We reviewed literature related to sound measurements near turbines, epidemiological and experimental studies, and factors associated with annoyance. Results: (1) Infrasound sound near wind turbines does not exceed audibility thresholds. (2) Epidemiological studies have shown associations between living near wind turbines and annoyance. (3) Infrasound and low-frequency sound do not present unique health risks. (4) Annoyance seems more strongly related to individual characteristics than noise from turbines. Discussion: Further areas of inquiry include enhanced noise characterization, analysis of predicted noise values contrasted with measured levels postinstallation, longitudinal assessments of health pre- and postinstallation, experimental studies in which subjects are "blinded" to the presence or absence of infrasound, and enhanced measurement techniques to evaluate annoyance.
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PurposeThis study investigates health disparities for adults residing in a mountaintop coal mining area of Appalachian Kentucky. Mountaintop mining areas are characterized by severe economic disadvantage and by mining‐related environmental hazards. MethodsA community‐based participatory research study was implemented to collect information from residents on health conditions and symptoms for themselves and other household members in a rural mountaintop mining area compared to a rural nonmining area of eastern Kentucky. A door‐to‐door health interview collected data from 952 adults. Data were analyzed using prevalence rate ratio models. FindingsAdjusting for covariates, significantly poorer health conditions were observed in the mountaintop mining community on: self‐rated health status, illness symptoms across multiple organ systems, lifetime and current asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hypertension. Respondents in mountaintop mining communities were also significantly more likely to report that household members had experienced serious illness, or had died from cancer in the past 5 years. Significant differences were not observed for self‐reported cancer, angina, or stroke, although differences in cardiovascular symptoms and household cancer were reported. Conclusions Efforts to reduce longstanding health problems in Appalachia must focus on mountaintop mining portions of the region, and should seek to eliminate socioeconomic and environmental disparities.
Article
The rapid increase in unconventional natural gas (UNG) development in the United States during the past decade has brought wells and related infrastructure closer to population centers. This review evaluates risks to public health from chemical and nonchemical stressors associated with UNG, describes likely exposure pathways and potential health effects, and identifies major uncertainties to address with future research. The most important occupational stressors include mortality, exposure to hazardous materials and increased risk of industrial accidents. For communities near development and production sites the major stressors are air pollutants, ground and surface water contamination, truck traffic and noise pollution, accidents and malfunctions, and psychosocial stress associated with community change. Despite broad public concern, no comprehensive population-based studies of the public health effects of UNG operations exist. Major uncertainties are the unknown frequency and duration of human exposure, future extent of development, potential emission control and mitigation strategies, and a paucity of baseline data to enable substantive before and after comparisons for affected populations and environmental media. Overall, the current literature suggests that research needs to address these uncertainties before we can reasonably quantify the likelihood of occurrence or magnitude of adverse health effects associated with UNG production in workers and communities.
Article
This study investigates the environmental exposure of residents of a community in southwest Virginia to respirable concentrations of dust (PM-10 i.e. PM10) generated by trucks hauling coal from surface coal mining operations. The study site is representative of communities in southwest Virginia and other parts of Appalachia that are located in narrow hollows where homes are placed directly along roads that experience heavy coal truck traffic.Preliminary air sampling (Particulate Matter i.e. PM10) was conducted for a period of approximately two weeks during early August 2008 in the unincorporated community of Roda, Virginia, at two locations (about a mile apart along Roda Road (Route 685) in Wise County, Virginia). For the purposes of this study (a combination of logistics, resource, and characterization of PM) we sited the PM samplers near the road to ascertain the micro exposure from the road. The results revealed high levels of PM10 (the mean adjusted 24-h concentration at the Campbell Site = 250.2 μg m−3 (±135.0 μg m−3); and at the Willis Site = 144.8 ± 60.0 μg m−3). The U.S. 24-h national ambient air quality standard for PM10 is 150 μg m−3. Elemental analysis for samples (blank-corrected) collected on Quartz filter paper (on one randomly selected day) at both the sites revealed the presence of antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium. Electron micrographs reveal the morphology and habit (shapes and aggregates) of the particulate matter collected.
Article
Public policy intended to address risks is largely determined by government officials who are typically elected by ‘the people’. Lay people presumably support political figures most likely to tackle the risks perceived as relevant. The present research investigated whether risk perceptions vary by risk domain and socio-political ideology. American community adults (N = 387) recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk completed measures of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), social dominance orientation (SDO), political conservatism, and perceived domain risks. Risk perceptions of conservatives versus liberals systematically differed by domain: Increases in political conservatism (vs. liberalism) and RWA were associated with perceiving “personal danger” hazards as more risky, whereas increases in SDO were associated with perceiving “competitive” hazards as less risky. A liberal-orientation was associated with heightened risk concerning collective (shared) hazards.
Article
This study analyzes the effect of individuals’ risk perception of being involved in road crashes, awareness of the negative environmental effects of transportation, knowledge of environmental problems, fatalistic beliefs, attitudes toward various public transport (PT) features, and beliefs on their level of intention to shift from car to public transportation and walking. It attempts to examine the potential of transport policies to improve PT systems and the pedestrian road safety level by bettering traffic arrangements on the intention to shift from car to PT and walking. The study uses an integrated approach consisting of a descriptive analysis; a factor analysis to create attitudinal factors; and an intention model that is developed, based on a stated-preference survey, with attitudinal factors among the explanatory variables, in regard to the use of public transportation for commuting. The approach, set within a theoretical framework that is also developed, is applied to a case study of Arab cities in the Galilee region of northern Israel. The results support the hypothesis that perception of the risk of being involved in road crashes positively affects sustainable travel behavior, as expressed by the level of intention to use public transport; concern for and knowledge of environmental problems, in contrast, exerts no significant effect on the intention to shift to PT. The results showed that people have a higher intention to shift to public transport for work trips than for other purposes. Improving the PT system and the pedestrian road-safety level promote the intention to shift to PT, in particular for commute trips.
Article
This study explores time trends in public trust in science in the United States from 1974 to 2010. More precisely, I test Mooney’s (2005) claim that conservatives in the United States have become increasingly distrustful of science. Using data from the 1974 to 2010 General Social Survey, I examine group differences in trust in science and group-specific change in these attitudes over time. Results show that group differences in trust in science are largely stable over the period, except for respondents identifying as conservative. Conservatives began the period with the highest trust in science, relative to liberals and moderates, and ended the period with the lowest. The patterns for science are also unique when compared to public trust in other secular institutions. Results show enduring differences in trust in science by social class, ethnicity, gender, church attendance, and region. I explore the implications of these findings, specifically, the potential for political divisions to emerge over the cultural authority of science and the social role of experts in the formation of public policy.
Article
Nimbyism (‘Not in My Backyard’ opinions) and environmentalism are distinct concepts, but are easily confounded in practice. Do people object to proposed developments because they are environmentalists or because the developments are too close to where they live? This question is addressed using data from two public opinion surveys of Californians regarding their attitudes toward oil drilling. Our surveys allow examination of both environmentalism and Nimby effects among people who live within view of offshore oil platforms, among people who live in the same region, and among people who live quite far away. We find strong evidence that environmentalism influences attitudes, but no evidence of nimbyism – despite the fact that many respondents live in an area that is reputed to be a centre of anti-oil, Nimby behaviour. This suggests that nimbyism might be a pattern of political activism, rather than of public opinion.
Article
We trace the rise, fall, and resurgence of political ideology as a topic of research in social, personality, and political psychology. For over 200 years, political belief systems have been classified usefully according to a single left-right (or liberal-conservative) dimension that, we believe, possesses two core aspects: (a) advocating versus resisting social change and (b) rejecting versus accepting inequality. There have been many skeptics of the notion that most people are ideologically inclined, but recent psychological evidence suggests that left-right differences are pronounced in many life domains. Implicit as well as explicit preferences for tradition, conformity, order, stability, traditional values, and hierarchy-versus those for progress, rebelliousness, chaos, flexibility, feminism, and equality-are associated with conservatism and liberalism, respectively. Conservatives score consistently higher than liberals on measures of system justification. Furthermore, there are personality and lifestyle differences between liberals and conservatives as well as situational variables that induce either liberal or conservative shifts in political opinions. Our thesis is that ideological belief systems may be structured according to a left-right dimension for largely psychological reasons linked to variability in the needs to reduce uncertainty and threat. © 2008 Association for Psychological Science.
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This study investigated 3 broad classes of individual-differences variables (job-search motives, competencies, and constraints) as predictors of job-search intensity among 292 unemployed job seekers. Also assessed was the relationship between job-search intensity and reemployment success in a longitudinal context. Results show significant relationships between the predictors employment commitment, financial hardship, job-search self-efficacy, and motivation control and the outcome job-search intensity. Support was not found for a relationship between perceived job-search constraints and job-search intensity. Motivation control was highlighted as the only lagged predictor of job-search intensity over time for those who were continuously unemployed. Job-search intensity predicted Time 2 reemployment status for the sample as a whole, but not reemployment quality for those who found jobs over the study's duration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)