Events & Media: Stephen Ansolabehere

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"Public Opinion and America's Energy Future"

Stephen Ansolabehere
Professor of Government
Harvard University Center for the Environment

Monday, March 19, 2012
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"This promises to be an exciting and rigorous investigation of American attitudes toward energy and climate change. Steve Ansolabehere is an expert on public opinion and how it affects lawmaking. His talk will take us beyond what the media reports and into a better understanding of our path away from coal, oil, and natural gas." Sarah Anderson, host

Global warming has put energy squarely in the middle of the American political agenda. We rely on coal, oil, and natural gas to supply almost all of our energy needs. Those fuels account for most of our greenhouse gas emissions, but they have also afforded an exceptionally high level of economic productivity and prosperity. The path to an alternative energy future must some how move us away from these fuels. But how? This presentation will examine public attitudes toward energy and the environment, and reveal the surprisingly conventional path forward.

Professor of political science, Professor Ansolabehere studies elections, democracy, and the mass media. He is co-author (with Shanto Iyengar) of The Media Game (Macmillan, 1993) and Going Negative: How Political Advertising Alienates and Polarizes the American Electorate (The Free Press, 1996). His articles have appeared in The American Political Science Review, The British Journal of Politics, The Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, The Quill, and Chance. His current research projects are focused on campaign finance, congressional elections, and party politics.

On the environmental side, Professor Ansolabehere conducted the political and public-opinion work for the MIT Energy Studies on Nuclear Power and Coal; he is on the American Association for the Advancement of Science commission on the Alternative Energy Future; and he has published research on public support for alternative energy sources, plant siting and NIMBY attitudes, and public understanding of climate change.

NOTE: Research colloquia are hosted by Bren faculty members and are generally high-level talks about research in a particular area of environmental science and management.


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