Although substantial attention has focused on efforts by the new Administration to block environmental policies, climate politics have been contentious in the US since well before the election of Donald Trump. In this paper, we extend previous work on empirical examinations of echo chambers in US climate politics using new data collected on the federal climate policy network in summer 2016. We test for the similarity and differences at two points in time in homophily and echo chambers using Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGM) to compare new findings from 2016 to previous work on data from 2010. We show that echo chambers continue to play a significant role in the network of information exchange among policy elites working on the issue of climate change. In contrast to previous findings where echo chambers centered on a binding international commitment to emission reductions, we find that the pre-existing echo chambers have almost completely disappeared and new structures have formed around one of the main components of the Obama Administration’s national climate policy: the Clean Power Plan. These results provide empirical evidence that science communication and policymaking at the elite level shift in relation to the policy instruments under consideration.
Copyright: © 2018 Jasny et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Jasny, Lorien; Dewey, Amanda M.; Robertson, Anya Galli; Yagatich, William; Dubin, Ann H.; Waggle, Joseph McCartney; and Fisher, Dana R., "Shifting Echo Chambers in US Climate Policy Networks" (2018). Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work Faculty Publications. 78.