Culture, Politics and Climate Change : How Information Shapes our Common Future book cover
1st Edition

Culture, Politics and Climate Change
How Information Shapes our Common Future

ISBN 9780415661492
Published March 13, 2014 by Routledge
252 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Focusing on cultural values and norms as they are translated into politics and policy outcomes, this book presents a unique contribution in combining research from varied disciplines and from both the developed and developing world.

This collection draws from multiple perspectives to present an overview of the knowledge related to our current understanding of climate change politics and culture. It is divided into four sections – Culture and Values, Communication and Media, Politics and Policy, and Future Directions in Climate Politics Scholarship – each followed by a commentary from a key expert in the field. The book includes analysis of the challenges and opportunities for establishing successful communication on climate change among scientists, the media, policy-makers, and activists.

With an emphasis on the interrelation between social, cultural, and political aspects of climate change communication, this volume should be of interest to students and scholars of climate change, environment studies, environmental policy, communication, cultural studies, media studies, politics, sociology.

Table of Contents

Overview  Introduction  Part 1 Culture and Climate Change Communication  1. Beyond "gloom and doom" or "hope and possibility": Making Room for Both Sacrifice and Reward in Visions of a Low-Carbon Future  2. Polar Bears, Inuit Names, and Climate Citizenship: Understanding Climate Change Visual Culture through Green Consumerism, Environmental Philanthropy, and Indigeneity  Commentary by Mike Hulme  Part 2 Media as Actors and Contributors to the Climate Politics and Policy  3. #Climatenews: Summit Journalism and Digital Networks  4. TV Weathercasters and Climate Education in the Shadow of Climate Change Conflict  5. Re-examining the Media-Policy Link: Climate Change and Government Elites in Peru  Commentary by Joe Smith  Part 3 Climate Politics and Policy  6. Climate Science, Populism, and the Democracy of Rejection  7. Explaining Information Sources in Climate Policy Debates  8. Navigating Controversies in Search of Neutrality: Analyzing Efforts by Public Think Tanks to Inform Climate Change Policy  Commentary  by Matthew C. Nisbet  Part 4 Emerging Research in Climate Politics and Policy  9. Governing Subjectivities in a Carbon Constrained World  10. Making Climate Science Communication Evidence-based—All the Way Down  Commentary by Alison Anderson

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Deserai A. Crow is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research and Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, USA.

Maxwell T. Boykoff is Fellow in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, USA.



This important new book explores the cultural politics of climate change. With dispatches from the front lines of diverse fields and geographies, the authors provide some of the first maps of this fast evolving landscape underlying some of the most important decisions humanity will make in the 21st century.

–Anthony Leiserowitz, Yale University, USA

Climate change is the most important environmental challenge we face yet there has been little political action to address the problem.  This volume examines the reasons for inaction, by considering different cultural and ethical perspectives and how the media plays a role in translating and presenting scientific information. It provides the most comprehensive assessment available, by leading experts in the field.

Raymond Bradley, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA

If you can't keep up with the fire hose of daily information and communication about climate change, much less make sense of what it all means and what it tells us about not just our climate, but also about our culture, the media, and the politics that choreograph our dance around the burning question of what to do about the problem, then I recommend you find a comfortable chair, step back from the heat, and read this book. Here are some great people trying to sort out the complex terrain of media and culture that lies between our everyday lives and the "grand stage" of climate change politics and policy-making. It is not all pretty, but it is helpful, and therefore hopeful.

–Susanne Moser, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting, Stanford, USA

The only thing more complex than the climate system is the tangle of meanings we've wrapped around it. The varied perspectives gathered in this important book go a long way toward unsnarling the cultural politics of climate change—the first step in weaving the stories and policies we’ll need to move forward.

–Jean Goodwin, Iowa State University, USA

From citizens' perspectives over the 'old' and 'new' media all the way to politics and decision-making – Crow and Boykoff’s volume is an excellent example of a societal turn in the analysis of climate change, and deals with its most pressing issues.

Mike Schafer, University of Zurich, Switzerland

"This book offers a breakthrough in moving the best academic talents toward speaking more plainly in their contributions to public information and decision-making. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." --F. T. Manheim, George Mason University, CHOICE Reviews, February 2015