Public Deliberation on Climate Change

Lessons from Alberta Climate Dialogue


Public Deliberation on Climate Change

There exists in both academic and political circles a growing interest in public deliberation as an alternative to the sometimes adversarial and polarizing public engagement activities that result in the pitting of experts against lay people. Proponents of public deliberation claim that a more deliberative process can engage a diversity of participants in a more guided process that better balances expert knowledge and citizen inclusion. Such an approach holds particular promise where citizens and governments engage in discussions of the most complex and intractable issues like climate change.

Given the host of challenges climate governance presents and the global consequences of our response to them, the experience and knowledge shared by Hanson and the contributors to Public Deliberation on Climate Change provide an important framework for advancing public conversations and processes on this and other wicked problems. The lessons contained in the volume were gained as a result of a five year multidisciplinary, community, university research project called Alberta Climate Dialogue (ABCD), which drew together scholars, practitioners, citizens, civil society members, and government officials from across Alberta at four public deliberations. By highlighting the value tensions and trade-offs and examining the impact that the design of the deliberations has on policy and the creation of conditions that encourage exchange, the contributors aim to build capacity within our institutions and society to find new ways to discuss and solve complex problems.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Half Title 2
Title 4
Copyright 5
Dedication 6
Contents 8
Acknowledgements 10
Foreword 12
Introduction: Advancing Public Deliberation on Climate Change and Other Wicked Problems 18
1. Profiles of Four Citizen Deliberations 48
2. The Theory and Practice of Deliberative Democracy 82
3. The Economic and Political Context of Climate Policy in Alberta 98
4. Beyond the Usual Suspects: Representation in Deliberative Exercises 124
5. From Facts to Frames: Dominant and Alternative Meanings of Climate Change 148
6. Collaborating on Deliberative Democracy 162
7. On the Ground: Practitioners Reflect on ABCD’s Citizen Deliberations 184
8. Climate Change, Social Change, and Systems Change 212
Conclusion: The Potential of Deliberation to Tap the Power of Citizens to Address Climate Change and Other Issues of Sustainability 240
List of Contributors 254
A 258
Index 258
B 259
C 259
D 260
I 261
K 261
H 261
G 261
E 261
F 261
M 262
R 262
P 262
O 262
N 262
S 262
L 262
T 263
U 263
V 263
W 263