Cover image for Energy, the environment, and public opinion
Energy, the environment, and public opinion
Smith, Eric R. A. N.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 251 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
1. Introduction -- 2. A brief history of America's energy problems -- 3. What are the trends in public opinion? -- 4. How much does the public understand about energy? -- 5. What causes public opinion? -- 6. Implications for the future.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TD195.E49 S66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The citizens of the United States generally oppose new energy developments, yet the public does not want to go without cheap, plentiful energy. This book explores the intricate relationship between public opinion and energy issues. Using the state of California as a model, the author addresses such questions as, What roles do ideology and other values play in influencing opinions on energy issues? How much does the public understand about energy issues? Who favors further oil development or the expansion of nuclear power? How have people's opinions changed over time and how are they likely to change in the future? Are people guided by self-interest or other motives? Energy, the Environment, and Public Opinion sheds light on how much the public understands about energy policy, what the public wants officials to do about our energy problems, and how governments at various levels are likely to come to grips with energy shortages in the future.

Author Notes

Eric R.A.N. Smith is associate professor of political science at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Energy is an important topic, and Smith (political science, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) is well equipped to discuss it. The actual energy situation is complex and difficult to comprehend, but experts in the field can and have come to some agreement about how to proceed. The problem is, of course, that experts are not free agents but are often linked to government or industry and have only the power of persuasion. The government is also only able to act if the public is supportive of the actions. The present ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) impasse in Congress is only the latest example of this. The public, in turn, is besieged by pros and antis who often have only their special interests to peddle. In too many cases this means that nothing is done until some overwhelming event occurs, and then the solution that might have worked, given a reasonable time frame, fails to satisfy anyone. Public opinion is the key to timely intelligent action, and this book is a key to comprehending what constitutes and sways public opinion. Extensive notes; exhaustive bibliography. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through professionals. J. C. Comer emeritus, Northern Illinois University

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tablesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
1 Introductionp. 1
2 A Brief History of America's Energy Problemsp. 13
3 What Are the Trends in Public Opinion?p. 67
4 How Much Does the Public Understand about Energy?p. 97
5 What Causes Public Opinion?p. 135
6 Implications for the Futurep. 205
Statistical Methods Appendixp. 217
Data Appendixp. 223
Referencesp. 227
Indexp. 243
About the Authorp. 251