Dr Thomas Roberts awarded British Academy grant to explore the impact the ‘invisibility’ of the natural environment on the construction of peoples environmental values
19 March 2015
Dr Thomas Roberts, Research Fellow with wholeSEM's Surrey team, has been awarded a British Academy grant to explore the impact the ‘invisibility’ of the natural environment and anthropogenic impacts upon it, has on the construction of peoples environmental values. The project 'Out of sight out of mind: The problem of invisibility for environmental policy' will seek to holistically examine how people’s perceptions of different environmental issues (climate change and biodiversity loss) co-evolve in the construction of environmental values and impact their willingness to accept mitigation strategies.
The project will explore the extent to which people recognise the link between the performance of mundane energy-consuming practices such as creating a comfortable space to live in, cleaning, organising their daily routine and communicating, with environmental degradation. In addition it will also examine whether the highly visible nature of some low carbon energy technologies (particularly wind farms), in contrast to the largely invisible nature of traditional energy generation technologies, is a factor in determining people’s willingness to accept them, particularly when they impact upon treasured (and highly visible) landscapes.
As part of the wholeSEM project, our Surrey team are collecting data on social energy practices and the uptake of new technologies to develop an agent based model of household energy demand.