Exploring and transforming a cultural imaginary of energy development in Canada

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  • SSHRC awarded 2012: This project aims to gather new scientific insights, foster civic deliberation, facilitate learning, and explore energy choices in Canada. Our approach is innovative, comparative, interdisciplinary, and organized around three broad objectives, to: (1) use elicitation and visualization techniques to understand how individually held landscape values influence citizen responses to energy development; (2) use Q methodology and survey research to understand cultural values and gauge technical literacy related to energy development in Canada; and, (3) draw on insights from objectives 1 and 2 (and use deliberative democratic techniques) to facilitate citizen deliberations and learning to identify acceptable energy alternatives. These objectives are intended to elucidate a
    "cultural imaginary of energy development" and to help find ways to re-imagine it for the future. Adaptation to and mitigation of climate change will involve widespread transitions to technologies such as renewable energy and carbon capture and storage that will affect our landscapes and our cultural imaginaries, but these transitions can only take place where civil society has shifted their understanding of what is needed, what is desirable, and what is possible. Gaining deeper insight into public understandings of energy development alternatives will be an essential component to making the transition successfully and democratically. Working with civil society organizations and regional institutions within our study locations, this project has strong potential to contribute to public understanding of alternative energy development, encourage an appropriate mix of energy supply and conservation measures, improve energy development protocols and contribute to the adaptation and mitigation of climate change.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International