University of Western Ontario - Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Geography

Supervisor

Dr. Jamie Baxter

Abstract

This thesis addresses a major gap in the wind turbine and risk assessment literatures. It explains local support for wind energy in some areas in spite of vocal opposition in others. Findings from Port Burwell and Clear Creek, Ontario indicate that social and contextual forces may help explain much of the difference in opinion between the two communities. The case study was focused through 21 in-depth interviews. The interviews were analyzed verbatim using NVIVO 9 software. The findings were found to be consistent with Kasperson’s theory of the Social Amplification of Risk and seem to explain why Port Burwell is an area of high support for wind turbines while other places, like Clear Creek to an extent are not nearly as supportive. Ultimately the thesis calls for a policy change and rededication to promote effective green energy policy in Ontario.