Wood Smoke - A Study Of Experiences And Perceptions Of Wood Smoke Activists

This study will explore how wood smoke activists from around the world have engaged in advocacy work to improve local air quality.

This research will provide such individuals with a comprehensive review of their situation and how it differs from others.

The research also expands on social movements research by examining a new and emerging class of actors who have been relatively ignored in the social science literature.

You must be at least 18 years of age to participate in this study.

The study is being performed by Dr. Michael Mehta at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Mehta is a Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies, and he is cross-listed with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He can be reached by email at mmehta@tru.ca or by telephone at (250) 852-7275 for any questions that you may have about this study.

This project has been approved by the University's Research Ethics Committee. All responses are confidential and anonymous and no personal identifying information will be collected or stored. 

Raw data, and data in the form of overall summaries, will be stored securely on a password protected and encrypted hard drive by Dr. Mehta located in his office at the University.

The survey will take most repondents between 15-20 minutes to complete, and no other obligation to participate in additional work is required. Participants will not be compensated for their time, and you may withdraw from this study at any time without consequence.

Dr. Mehta will make the results of this study available at a future date in a peer-reviewed publication, and you may contact him at the above coordinates to receive a copy of the paper once complete or an executive summary of the results. This work will also be presented at academic conferences.

This project is minimal risk in nature, although some of the questions may invoke strong feelings.

The project is not funded by any public or private sources of funding.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Mehta or the Dean of the Faculty of Arts Dr. Sandra Vermeulen at svermeulen@tru.ca, or the Chair of the Research Ethics Committee Dr. Andrew Fergus at afergus@tru.ca

Thank you for participating in this study. Please note that completion of this survey implies that you consent to have your data used in the study.

* 1. How long have you been actively involved in raising awareness about the risks of wood smoke?

* 2. With respect to your advocacy work on wood smoke, are you engaged in the following activities (choose all that apply)?

* 3. Are you personally affected by exposure to wood smoke?

* 4. Please rank the following wood smoke pollution sources in order of concern to you.

* 5. In your opinion, how has wood smoke pollution changed over the past five years?

* 6. In my experience, people are generally receptive to learn more about the risks associated with exposure to wood smoke.

* 7. Wood smoke is a divisive topic.

* 8. Dealing with wood smoke generated by others in my community has cost me money.

* 9. What are the top three reasons that you have heard from residential wood burners - who use wood for home heating - on why they favour this practice?

* 10. When it comes to your experiences with wood smoke, which of the following actions have you taken (answer all that apply)?

* 11. Which of the following entities have you contacted to express concerns about wood smoke (answer all that apply)?

* 12. How has your health been affected by exposure to wood smoke?

* 13. Have you talked to a physician about your exposure to wood smoke?

* 14. Do you use medication (prescription or over-the-counter) to manage the effects of exposure to wood smoke pollution?

* 15. Have you been diagnosed with any diseases that you believe are related to exposure to wood smoke pollution?

* 16. Is your physician open to discussing wood smoke as a risk issue with you?

* 17. Exposure to wood smoke is having a significant impact on my quality of life.

* 18. I feel helpless when it comes to minimizing my exposure to wood smoke pollution.

* 19. Dealing with wood smoke has had an adverse impact on my mental health.

* 20. I believe that there exist little political will to truly deal with wood smoke pollution.

* 21. I believe that my personal exposure to wood smoke pollution will shorten my lifespan.

* 22. Are others in your household affected by wood smoke?

* 23. The following questions explore how you generally feel with respect to your advocacy work on wood smoke.

  Yes No Don't know
I feel that my work on wood smoke is making a difference.
My work on wood smoke has resulted in damage to personal relationships.
When I talk to people about wood smoke, they often wish to aggressively debate the issue.
I have been the victim of online bullying for my views on wood smoke.
My personal property has been vandalized as a direct result of my advocacy work on this issue.
Dealing with wood smoke has created rifts between me and neighbours.
I have strong allies to consult with on this issue.
My wood smoke advocacy has resulted in me being shunned in my community.
My pets are affected by wood smoke.

* 24. Optional: My gender is

* 25. Optional: My marital status is

* 26. Optional: My age is

* 27. Optional: My combined family income (before income tax in US Dollars) in 2017 was. A currency conversion calculator can be found here.

* 28. Optional: I live in the following region.

* 29. Optional: I have children under the age of 18 living in my home.

* 30. The population of full-time residents in my community is

* 31. How would you categorize where you live?

* 32. In my neighbourhood (within 1km radius, or 1000 yards), I estimate that at least this many households burn wood regularly for home heating purposes.

* 33. Optional: Given your experiences in advocating for improvements in air quality, what is the most effective way to manage wood smoke pollution from residential sources?

* 34. The closest source of regular wood smoke pollution to my home is