Like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, we act as if nothing needs to change as we lose limb after limb.
Kulturträger column originally published in Alternatives Journal Vol.37, No.6, 2011.
IT SEEMS CRAZY to me how often environmentalists try to dissuade people from ravaging the planet by appealing to their self-interest. Do you know what I mean? Don’t pollute because you’ll be poisoned; think of the money you’ll save by not driving your car; protect the rainforest for it might contain a cure for cancer. Environmental discourse is rife with arguments based strictly on narrow individual and collective human welfare.
Bruno Takahashi & Mark Meisner “Comparing Influences on Peruvian Climate Change Policy: Information, Knowledge, and Concern Among Political Elites,” Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Vol.40, No.3, 181-202, 2011.
Climate change is considered as the most important contemporary global environmental problem. Despite research efforts from the social sciences to understand how individuals perceive the problem, few studies have focused on policy makers, specially in developing countries. This study seeks to determine the similarities and differences between elite government groups in Peru. It focuses on the knowledge about climate change, environmental concern, and sources of policy information, and how these factors affect policy preferences. Studies in other countries reveal that these factors can influence both the prioritization of environmental policy issues and the content of policy proposals.
The following article was commissioned by my local PBS station, WCNY, to accompany a program called Arctic Air, broadcast in the fall of 2010. The article was originally published on the WCNY Arctic Air web site. Continue reading