WIND ENERGY IN U.S MEDIA & GALLUP POLL SUMMARY
by jcloke on November 12, 2014 - 7:21pm
WIND ENERGY IN U.S MEDIA
Growing social concern about the threats of climate change has contributed to an increase in the need for more renewable energy sources. Media plays an important role in prioritizing issues and shaping the public’s opinion on climate change and new technologies for renewable energy. Texas, Minnesota and Massachusetts were selected for the study because of their large wind resource potential, and because they are have different deployment patterns, and are geographically, economically, and institutionally diverse. This study was conducted on newspaper articles about wind energy technology in the highest circulating regional newspapers. The Boston globe in Massachusetts, Houston Chronicles in Texas, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune in Minnesota. The study ranged from January 1, 1990 to December 31, 2007. The study looked at the placement of the articles within the newspaper and type of wind technology articles. Of the total sample of 678 articles, only 129 of them relate wind power directly to climate change. The Minneapolis Star had the most front page news articles; the Houston chronicle had the most business section articles, and the Boston Globe had the most articles in the opinion piece. Starting in 2001 a large increase on wind power related articles were published in all three newspapers and this continued all the way until 2007, with the Boston Globe having the greatest increase. The steady increase after the year 2000 in the frequency of newspaper articles about wind power in all three newspapers reflects the increasing relevance and interest in renewable energy technologies during this time. Since 1990 the acknowledgement of wind energy potential in Massachusetts is much greater than in Texas and Minnesota. The primary reason for this relates to the controversial proposed Cape Wind project. Massachusetts discourse emphasizes the risks pf wind technology. Texas discourse reflects the state’s strong energy-industry history and tends to focus on the business perspective of wind energy. Minnesota discourse about wind technology appears to be generally positive. Media news is a useful resource to promote wind power and technology.
Two in three Americans or more want the U.S to put more emphasis on producing domestic energy from solar, wind, and natural gas. The U.S has enormous energy riches to produce domestic energy. But there has been no consensus among Americans about how to optimize domestic energy production while preserving the environment. Americans are sharply divided politically over achieving greater domestic energy production. 59% of democrats, 62% of independents, and 79% or republicans say natural gas should have more emphasis in the U.S. Questions remain about the safety of fracking.