From Public Understanding to Public Policy: Public Views on Energy, Technology, an Climate Science in the United States

As in many political disputes, opponents in partisan battles over energy and environmental policy often invoke public opinion to justify their preferred position or policy choice. Being able to cite favorable public opinion polls or other indicators of public concern can provide an important source of legitimation for arguments in support of specific policies. The link between public opinion and policies can, however, be problematic. There are a host of reasons, including biases in the questions asked to assess public opinion, why indicators of public approval or disapproval might not offer a basis for action. This chapter explores some of the difficulties of translating public awareness and understanding first into public opinion and then into policy actions. In particular, the chapter presents evidence of public attitudes on the question of climate change because the associated policy debates are often viewed in a strongly partisan light in political debates in the United States.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Academic Press

    30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400
    Burlington, MA  United States  01803
  • Authors:
    • Reiner, David
  • Publication Date: 2007


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 201-216
  • Monograph Title: Driving Climate Change: Cutting Carbon from Transportation

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01100453
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780123694959
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 2008 5:26PM