1st Annual UCSB Environmental Politics Conference

Event Date: 

Friday, May 31, 2013 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Friday, May 31, 2013 - 2:45pm to 5:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Bren Hall 1424

Panel 1: 1-2:30 pm


Stacy Rebich Hespanha, Geography, UCSB, Ronald E. Rice, Communication, UCSB, Daniel R. Montello, Geography, UCSB, Sean Retzloff, Communication, UCSB, Sandrine Tien, Communication, UCSB, and Joao P. Hespanha, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UCSB

We analyze 350 images in 200 news stories about climate change randomly selected from over 14,000 appearing in U.S. print news 1983-2009. We assess how political figures and policy are represented and co-occur with other topics in various image types.


Sarah Anderson, Alex DeGolia, and Matthew Potoski, Bren School, UCSB

Framing Effects on Environmental Politics and Policy

This paper lays out a research agenda for studying the effects of framing on environmental politics. While moral framings can motivate individual behavior, they make it difficult to compromise. This paper begins with the micro-level effects of framing on individual behavior, then turns to the effects of framing on legislative behavior, and ends with macro-level policy effects. For each, it considers the observable implications and research design considerations.


Lauren Copeland, Political Science, UCSB & Ariel Hassell, Communications, UCSB

Risky Business? How Risk vs. Benefit Frames Influence US Consumer Attitudes Toward Nanotechnology Applications

This study uses a survey experiment to examine consumer attitudes towards products with nanotechnology in the U.S. We find that people who are exposed to the risk frame are much less willing to purchase all six categories of products with nanotechnologies than are people who are exposed to the benefit frame. We also find significant effects for age, income, gender, presence/absence of children in the home, ideology, social trust, and environmental concern. Finally, people who use social media for news and information are significantly more willing to purchase products with nanotechnologies. There are no effects for other forms of media use.


Heather Hodges, Political Science, UCSB & Mary Collins, Center for Nanotechnology in Society and Bren School, UCSB

[NEED PDF] Weak Cues and Strong Rhetoric: How Unstructured Opinions Reflect Elite Messages in Energy Policy

A survey experiment shows that not only are certain members of the public more susceptible to elite rhetoric, but also this effect is dependent on the context of the policy issue.



Short Break with snacks and coffee 2:30-2:50


Panel 2: 2:50-4:20


Eric Edwards, Bren School, UCSB & Gary Libecap, Bren School, UCSB

Groundwater Conservation via Desalination: Welfare Implications

Chilean regulators are modeled as balancing rents earned from copper royalties with public damage sustained as a result of mining. Model results and empirical evidence support the conclusion that the regulator limits mining below the socially optimal level.


Cameron Brick, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Social Visibility Drives Climate Change Mitigation Behaviors

These studies propose that social visibility and self-presentation needs predict climate change mitigation behavior, because socially visible acts express one’s values to the self and others. The proposed research uses the mitigation gap to test theory and inform climate change interventions.


Chandra Russo, Sociology, UCSB & Andy Pattison, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado at Denver

Climate Action Planning: The Urban Equity Dilemma

Municipal Climate Action Plans (CAPs) in the United States appear to be the most promising means of addressing global climate change. However, this critical policy tool has neglected issues.


Cassandra Engeman, Sociology, UCSB & Barbara Herr Harthorn, Feminist Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology, UCSB

Mobilizing in the Context of Uncertainty: Public Interest Groups and Contentious Issues of Nanotechnology Safety, Governance, and Responsible Development

This project examines how public interest groups construct their particular understandings of environmental and social problems with respect to emerging technologies in contexts of low public awareness and the implications of these understandings for science and technology regulation and policies.


Reception to Follow in the Bren Courtyard 4:20-5:00