Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 2016


Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2016


Copyright © 2016 Mark Fowler


Climate engineering has begun to enter the scientific mainstream as a potential agent of relief in the event that climate change threatens our food or water security. There has been little research conducted on the potential hazards of climate engineering, yet already has sparked controversy amongst the scientific community, as well as some of the public. The purpose of this research was to gauge current awareness and attitudes associated with climate engineering, and to measure if those attitudes were associated with political affiliation, as well as spirituality. This was done through administering a survey. The other portion of this research sought to understand how the public engages with controversial issues, such as this one. This was done through analyzing several cases of environmental and policy issues that garnered relatively small or large amounts of engagement. These cases were analyzed to determine why these cases resulted the way they did, then were compared to the current opinion on climate engineering.

What was found was that there was no statistical significance between spiritual or political affiliation associated with opinion on climate engineering. The study also found that most people are more fearful than they are optimistic about the potential for climate engineering. Analyzing cases resulted in the finding of a determinant map, seen on page eight. Determinants were mapped based on an adaptation of the Bamberg and Moser Pro-Environment Behavior Model as a means of demonstrating how attitudes associated with an issue resulted in public response. These findings were then compared to the current research available on climate engineering opinion.