Energy plays an important role in everyday activities, whether at a personal, institutional, corporate or social level. In this context, an informed or literate public is critical for the long-term conservation, management, pricing and use of increasingly scarce energy resources.
A series of surveys were used to probe the literacy of Canadians with regard to energy issues ranging from relative ranking and importance of energy compared to other national issues, preference for various fuel types and willingness to pay for offsetting environmental impacts from energy generation. In addition, they were asked how Canada’s government should prioritize national energy independence over trade, even if ultimately reducing imports might impact national economic health.
The survey revealed that Canadians have a good general knowledge of energy use and relative cost but lack detailed knowledge about sources of energy fuels, as well as sources and linkages with environmental impacts. However, an overwhelming majority of respondents indicated they were concerned about environmental issues; most seemed to direct that concern towards fuels such as coal and nuclear power where support was low compared to a relatively unconcerned view about the often substantial environmental effects of hydro dams or wind farms.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jenniferwinter/6/