New Forms of Energy and Attendant Costs

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Global warming and climate change has ascended to prominence in normative, political, and scientific domains in recent years. This salient and contested concept implicates citizens and officials across the globe – the ramifications of which pose immediate and future threats to mankind, natural resources, biodiversity, and environmental stability. Proponents of this theory support laws, regulations, emissions policies, and international protocols that seek to control the phenomenon and mitigate its effects. As of late, an emergent priority to reduce carbon emissions from human origins (automobiles are a common symbol) has been advocated; scientists primarily attribute the shift in climate to anthropogenic sources. However, there are distinct variations in support for such measures, particularly when those policies would impact the economy on both microeconomic and macroeconomic levels. Due to an unavoidable increase in short-term costs, accounting for individual enthusiasm is problematic. It would behoove political actors to track opinion patterns, and adjust potential policies accordingly.

At present, there is no verifiable assessment of the costs and benefits in pursuing alternative forms of energy relative to the values of a typical citizen. This research paper will aim to reveal the favorability of individuals toward new forms of energy and attendant costs.


Before approaching the issue at hand, it is important to first outline the basis of opinion formation. Breed and Ktsanes (1961) detail a process known as “personal sampling” – informal, person-to-person interactions that essentially inform an individual of how other members of their peer group will react toward the issue. Large majorities with re...

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