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Environmental Conflict and the Media

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Edited By Libby Lester and Brett Hutchins

Has the hype associated with the «revolutionary» potential of the World Wide Web and digital media for environmental activism been muted by the past two decades of lived experience? What are the empirical realities of the prevailing media landscape?
Using a range of related disciplinary perspectives, the contributors to this book analyze and explain the complicated relationship between environmental conflict and the media. They shine light on why media are central to historical and contemporary conceptions of power and politics in the context of local, national and global issues and outline the emerging mixture of innovation and reliance on established strategies in environmental campaigns.
With cases drawn from different sections of the globe – Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, Latin America, China, Japan, the Pacific Islands, Africa – the book demonstrates how conflicts emanate from and flow across multiple sites, regions and media platforms and examines the role of the media in helping to structure collective discussion, debate and decision-making.
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3 Affecting Environments: Mobilizing Emotion and Twitter in the UK Save Our Forests Campaign: Alex Lockwood

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A number of globally recognized environmental protests over the past thirty years have focused on the protection of trees in various locations (individual trees, woodland and forest), or have employed trees and forested spaces in their campaigns for the symbolic power they provide in the mobilization of public interest and action (see Anderson, 2004; Flam and King, 2005; Rival, 1998; Rossiter, 2004; Zelter, 1998). In the UK there is a strong symbolic connection with trees and woodland and, in particular, publicly owned woodland (Tsouvalis, 2000). In the twelve months to February 2010, the English adult population made over 317 million visits to forests and woodland (Natural England, 2010). As Jones and Cloke state in their work on the place of trees in the construction of nature-society relations: “Trees in Britain and elsewhere have become carriers of some people’s environmental anxiety and love for nature, cropping up in various discourses on environmental crises, countryside change and habitat loss, and quality of urban life” (2002: 6). Ancient and heritage forests are the homes of veteran or old growth trees not to be “trenched around, tarmacked, parked under or urinated on […] threatened by matches or assaulted by tree climbers” (White, 1997: 222). Indeed, in the UK in 2006, the right-of-centre Conservative Party changed its logo from a torch to a British oak in party colours in recognition that “certain trees such as veteran oaks […] build up layers of posi ← 49 | 50 → tive association which make them key cultural icons” (Jones and Cloke, 2002:...

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