Graduate Project


Public Opinion on Food, Water, and Energy: Using Shared Preferences as a Pathway to Policy Public Deposited

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  • Food, water, and energy have strong interdependencies; actions in one sector inadvertently affect actions in another sector. Recent literature supports a “nexus” approach, whereby policies related to food, water, and energy are integrated and used in tandem rather than in isolation. Developing a better understanding of the trade-offs between food, water, and energy is a necessary step in building integrated policies that address these relationships. Part of this integrated process is understanding the political will of the public. Thus, there are two main objectives of this study: to understand how political ideology, knowledge of the nexus, and climate change beliefs influence individual support for food-water-energy policies; and to identify the types of policies most supported by the public that can be used to inform future decision-making. This study used a modified version of Dillman’s Tailored Design Method for survey implementation. Two waves of surveys were sent to randomly selected residents across Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho in the spring of 2018. Responses were compiled and analyzed using SPSS. Results indicate the following: policies regarding food, tax incentives, and conservation measures garnered the greatest support among survey respondents across all independent factors. These findings have important implications on how policy is developed to address the interdependencies of food, water, and energy in the coming years. Primarily, it is possible to use this information to tailor FWE policies to meet the preferences of the public, whereby targeting a broader audience and garnering greater support in an effort to better address current resource use and future availability.
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