Year of Award
Professional Paper - Campus Access Only
Master of Science (MS)
Department or School/College
College of Forestry and Conservation
Cara Nelson, Todd Morgan
biomass energy, social acceptance, woody biomass
University of Montana
The factors that characterize social acceptance of biomass energy are critical to future development, but not well defined. Using content analysis, I examined 187 articles related to biomass energy from the five largest newspapers according to circulation in Montana. To identify concepts that influence social acceptance, themes were classified into three categories: corollary expectations of benefit, perceived risks and uncertainty, and social justice motives. Two themes were coded with a much higher frequency than others: expectations of biomass energy utilization to sustain livelihoods and uncertainty surrounding the economic feasibility of wood-energy (code 60 and 67 times, respectively). Results also indicate that, while some dimensions of biomass energy are technical, and require rational, scientific explanations of social and environmental effects, others transcend science and require value-based judgments, tradeoffs, and political choices. In addition, findings suggest that while questions of function (Can forests help fuel our future?) are imperative, normative questions of validity (Should forests help fuel our future?) are also critical to understanding what constitutes social acceptance of biomass energy.
Todd, John Phillip, "Social Acceptance of Woody Biomass Energy: Expectations, Risks, and Uncertainties in Montana" (2010). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 893.
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© Copyright 2010 John Phillip Todd