Chapter 1: Communicating the Environment
Over the past fifty years, society’s awareness about environmental issues has steadily increased. Mostly, the public believes environmental threats such as acid rain, pollution, deforestation, and toxic chemicals pose a risk to the environment, but by far, the greatest threat to Earth’s survival is global warming (Pew, 2012; 2013b, 2014). These threats are largely perceived as impacts to people in remote and distant places, NOT localized, and therefore, threats to the environment considered a low priority (Gallup, 2014; Leiserowitz et al., 2014; Nixon, 2011). Rhetoric communicating environmental issues has mostly been inundated with numbers, that is, until the overwhelming visual proof of human activities as the primary cause of global warming was depicted in Vice President Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Momentum continued as a direct result of President Barack Obama’s forceful position concerning our need to do more to protect our natural resources. (This approach is in direct contrast to President George W. Bush’s position when he was in office.) After the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy in the northeast and public endorsement of President Obama by Mayor Bloomberg for his fervent position that more needs to be done to mitigate impacts and fight climate change, the pivotal moment to address environmental threats resurfaced (Lederman, 2012; Sheppard, 2014). Soon after the announcement to take action, mainstream news shifted to the economic crisis, healthcare reform, turbulence in the Middle East, tensions between Russia and the Ukraine, the Israel-Gaza conflict, Ebola outbreak, and most recently ISIS...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.