This book focuses on the uses of scientific evidence within three types of environmental discourses: popular nonfiction books about the environment; traditional and social media texts created by a grassroots environmental group; and a set of data displays that make arguments about global warming in a variety of media and contexts. It traces the operations of eight commonplaces about science and shows how they recur throughout these contexts, starting with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and ending with contemporary blogs and social media. The commonplaces are shown to embed ideological assumptions and simultaneously challenge those assumptions. In addition, the book addresses the potential dangers involved in relying too heavily on aspects of these commonplaces, and how they can undermine the goals of some of the writers who use them.
1. Introduction: Patterns of Scientific Argument in Environmental Discourses 2. Scientific Commonplaces in Popular Environmental Writing 3. A Grassroots Organization Shapes its Environment Through Digital and Social Means 4. Scientific Commonplaces in Data Displays 5. Conclusion