Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, Hadi Dowlatabadi, Tim McDaniels & Isha Ray
Environmental Science and Technology, 45: 6743 – 6751
Publication year: 2011

Abstract

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), while controversial, is seen as promising because it will allow the United States to continue using its vast fossil fuel resources in a carbon-constrained world. The public is an important stakeholder in the national debate about whether or not the U.S. should include CCS as a significant part of its climate change strategy. Understanding how to effectively engage with the public about CCS has become important in recent years, as interest in the technology has intensified. We argue that engagement efforts should be focused on places where CCS will first be deployed, i.e., places with many “energy veteran” (EV) citizens. We also argue that, in addition to information on CCS, messages with emotional appeal may be necessary in order to engage the public. In this paper we take a citizen-guided social marketing approach toward understanding how to (positively or negatively) influence EV citizens’ attitudes toward CCS. We develop open-ended interview protocols, and a “CCS campaign activity”, for Wyoming residents from Gillette and Rock Springs. We conclude that our participants believed expert-informed CCS messages, embedded within an emotionally self-referent (ESR) framework that was relevant to Wyoming, to be more persuasive than the expert messages alone. The appeal to core values of Wyomingites played a significant role in the citizen-guided CCS messages.