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No change in political climate by Ellen Goodman

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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 05:52 AM
Original message
No change in political climate by Ellen Goodman
(snip)
I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.
(snip)

(snip)
The folks at the Pew Research Center clocking public attitudes show that global warming remains 20th on the annual list of 23 policy priorities. Below terrorism, of course, but also below tax cuts, crime, morality, and illegal immigration.
(snip)

(snip)
This great divide comes from the science-be-damned-and-debunked attitude of the Bush administration and its favorite media outlets. The day of the report, Big Oil Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma actually described it as "a shining example of the corruption of science for political gain." Speaking of corruption of science, the American Enterprise Institute, which has gotten $1.6 million over the years from Exxon Mobil, offered $10,000 last summer to scientists who would counter the IPCC report.
(snip

(snip)
We are still waiting for the time when an election hinges on a candidate's plans for a changing climate. That's when the light bulb goes on.
(snip)

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped...
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 07:00 AM
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1. Only 23 percent of college-educated Republicans believe the warming is due to humans
Only 23 percent of college-educated Republicans believe the warming is due to humans, while 75 percent of college-educated Democrats believe it.
...snip...
Here is where Goodman addresses the "framing of the issue", key to those of us who are activists:

But there are psychological as well as political reasons why global warming remains in the cool basement of priorities. It may be, paradoxically, that framing this issue in catastrophic terms ends up paralyzing instead of motivating us. Remember the Time magazine cover story: "Be Worried. Be Very Worried." The essential environmental narrative is a hair-raising consciousness-raising: This is your Earth. This is your Earth on carbon emissions.

This works for some. But a lot of social science research tells us something else. As Ross Gelbspan, author of "The Heat is On," says, "when people are confronted with an overwhelming threat and don't see a solution, it makes them feel impotent. So they shrug it off or go into deliberate denial."

Michael Shellenberger, co author of "The Death of Environmentalism," adds, "The dominant narrative of global warming has been that we're responsible and have to make changes or we're all going to die. It's tailor-made to ensure inaction."

So how many scientists does it take to change a light bulb?

American University's Matthew Nisbet is among those who see the importance of expanding the story beyond scientists. He is charting the reframing of climate change into a moral and religious issue -- see the greening of the evangelicals -- and into a corruption-of-science issue -- see big oil -- and an economic issue -- see the newer, greener technologies .

In addition, maybe we can turn denial into planning. "If the weatherman says there's a 75 percent chance of rain, you take your umbrella," Shellenberger tells groups. Even people who clutched denial as their last, best hope can prepare, he says, for the next Katrina. Global warming preparation is both his antidote for helplessness and goad to collective action.

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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. "Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain."
Edited on Fri Feb-09-07 08:18 AM by YankeyMCC
How we present the issue is important indeed. Many feel there is indeed no hope and just want to hunker down but that way leads to only certain disaster. If we want to do what ever is possible to help the most people we can we must try and encourage action and that means framing it properly. THere's no point in activism unless you can inspire action.

edit: fixted quote ;)
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-10-07 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. We ought to frame it as "nobody wants high energy bills" &"don't price the poor out of home heat"
...as a poverty message. Or how about "everybody hates Exxon and the power company".
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-10-07 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I like that
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