EPRG 0801

David Reiner

A Looming Rhetorical Gap: A Survey of Public Communications Activities For Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Technologies

EPRG 0801 Non Technical Summary | PDF

Abstract: The major communications efforts to the general public on carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) technologies are reviewed and found to be lacking across all countries and initiatives surveyed, driven primarily by a lack of resources and coordination. Given claims by government and industry that CCS can be a major low-carbon energy source and that public acceptance is critical, the minimal allocation of resources to communications is striking. Little effort seems to have gone into developing a baseline understanding of public attitudes or into understanding how different actors will respond to information on CCS. Outlets reviewed include websites, multimedia presentations, museum displays, educational materials and technical diagrams. The internet is the major focus of the analysis as it has become the major source of information for specific science and technology issues and internet users are more likely to pay attention to science and technology issues. Materials are developed but accessibility is often poor and many websites are rarely updated. Some useful resources are available but no examples that meet current best practice standards found and successfully implemented in other areas of public communications on science and technology, which are the product of deliberate design, requiring time, resources, and imagination.

Keywords: Public communications, carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), outreach, science and technology education, climate change

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