Public Deliberation on Climate Change
Lessons from Alberta Climate Dialogue
Edited by Lorelei L. Hanson
Athabasca University Press
When the community-university research project Alberta Climate Dialogue was first convened in 2010, it drew together scholars, practitioners, citizens, civil society members, and government officials. Over the next five years, the project engaged in public deliberation of the issue on climate change in the Alberta context. The result was a wealth of opportunity to investigate deliberative civic engagement and its application to wicked problems. In its description of the project and the insights gained, this volume is essential reading for those wishing to move a difficult conversation forward.
As governments at all levels struggle with how to address the impacts of climate change while at the same time seeking to build popular support for policies addressing its causes, Public Deliberation on Climate Change provides valuable lessons on how governments can and should be engaging the public in new and more meaningful ways. The experiences of the Alberta Climate Dialogue initiative provide an important framework for constructive public deliberations and an honest on-the-ground assessment of the pitfalls and successes of the various methodologies undertaken. It is a must-read for anyone interested in public policy, public engagement, and democratic deliberation.
Among the sea of troubles facing the world, none are surely greater than that of climate change. But coming to grips with climate change—and possible mitigation strategies—is inextricably linked to other huge challenges, notably the concentration of power in fewer and fewer hands and the commensurate decline of the democratic commons. This volume provides a much-needed roadmap for citizens who wish to deliberately and constructively engage with these seemingly obdurate problems.
Lorelei L. Hanson is an associate professor and academic coordinator of environmental studies at Athabasca University.
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