Moral Hazards in Climate Change: The Effects of Learning about Technological Solutions on Support for Mitigation
Kaitlin Raimi, Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Thursday, November 17, 2016
5:45-6:45pm in 1220 Weill
Speaker: Professor Kaitlin Raimi
Background reading available upon request
Description: In the face of mounting evidence of the dire consequences of climate change, researchers and policymakers are giving serious thought to responses that once seemed the stuff of science fiction: geoengineering, carbon dioxide removal, and adaptation. One reason these approaches are appealing is their potential to garner support from political conservatives, who often oppose traditional mitigation policies such as cap-and-trade or carbon taxes. However, many have expressed concern that further development of these strategies may create a moral hazard: If people perceive the problem of climate change to be solved, they may no longer feel the need to reduce emissions. In this talk, I will present research from three experiments demonstrating that learning about technological solutions can undermine support for mitigation, especially among conservatives. However, the way these technologies are framed matters; moral hazards only emerge when people think that these technologies will be comprehensive solutions to climate change.