Landscapes - People - Global change

Tag: conventional energy

Coal Cultures book review

A page from the brilliant ‘Town is by the Sea’, by Joanne Schwartz and Sydney Smith, which I reference in the review.

I have just had my first book review published in Visual Studies. The book is Derrick Price’s (2018) Coal Cultures: Picturing Mining Landscapes and Communities, which I jumped at reviewing when the call came around. I had been puzzling over some strange results around support for coal in Canada that emerged during our national survey. Connection to the coal industry through seeing it or working for it respectively doubled and quadrupled support for that energy source, much more than similar variables influenced support for other energy sources. More surprising was that support was higher among the young and females. We’re working out the cause of that now – in fact male and female support is the same, but women are more ambivalent and men are more opposed – but Coal Cultures helped me understand the embeddedness of this energy type here in Nova Scotia and elsewhere in Canada. For many, coal itself is home, as richly conveyed by the evocative children’s book Town is by the Sea (see above), which I reference in the review.

Noticing matters – new energy paper in ER&SS

Very glad, after a long gestation, to be able to share a new paper out in Energy Research & Social Science today, Does noticing energy infrastructure influence public support for energy development? Evidence from a national survey in Canada. This paper uses a large national sample of Canadians (n=3000) surveyed back in 2014 to explore the impacts of exposure to energy infrastructure on support for that and other technologies. It suggests that reporting noticing ANY energy infrastructure, even just transmission lines, is reliably associated with support for renewables. Does this mean we should stop trying to hide energy infrastructure? Maybe that is too rash: we don’t know the direction of causality in that relationship. But it seems not a giant conceptual leap to suggest that if we are regularly confronted with the means of our energy production we might be moved to conserve energy or limit the impacts of its supply via technology shifts.

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