A Thin Line Between Love and Hate: Polarization & Energy in Canada and the U.S. [F-20-10]

Presenter: Stephen Bird
Location: Zoom
Classes: 1 Session 1.5 hours
Dates: Tue 7:00 PM 09/22
Status: CLOSED

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There are growing concerns for polarization and a polarized public (divided political extremes) in the U.S., Canada, and democracies globally. Disagreement in democratic systems is expected, but a public that is highly polarized (with sharply contrasting sets of beliefs) reduces stability and creates potentially dysfunctional governance. Energy and environmental issues are lightning rods of polarized opinion in North America. This research demonstrates some of the factors driving polarization and considers how it functions in the realm of energy and the environment. The implications for the global energy transition are extensive. The talk will focus on the hows and whys of polarization, and demonstrate that polarized opinion is a mix: fragmented (split with moderate views), polarized (split and concentrated at extremes), and areas of agreement.

Dr. Stephen Bird is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Adirondack Semester at Clarkson University. He is jointly appointed with Humanities and Social Science and the Institute for a Sustainable Environment. He is Research Faculty Affiliate with the Positive Energy Project at the University of Ottawa where he was also the Fulbright Scholar Visiting Research Chair in Governance and Public Administration in fall 2016. His current and past research focuses on split incentives & smart housing, energy conflict, microgrid governance, factors in energy acceptance (fracking, solar, wind), green data centers, energy poverty, and environmental activism.

Special Instructions: You will be emailed a Zoom invite a few days before the class starts. Click on the link in the invite to open your Zoom app.

Cap: 12



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