Reply To: Global warming a tough issue for the media


Interesting blog post by Andrew Revkin, till recently of New York Times, now at Pace University, quoting Robert Brulle, a sociologist at Drexel University who has long studied human responses to environmental issues. includes:

Here are Dr. Brulle’s thoughts about the media, the human mind and looming issues, like global warming, that hide in plain sight (I added the links for context and background):

The complete lack of any significant coverage in the U.S. media of environmental issues in general, and global warming in particular, is not surprising.

Global warming impacts are extremely slow and gradual compared to ongoing daily news.

many of the most meaningful impacts of global climate change, such as ocean acidification, incremental sea level change and ice mass loss in Greenland and Antarctica, can be understood only via abstract scientific presentations, which do not convey a vivid visual image of environmental change.

if global warming proceeds slowly enough, then the potential exists that we will just progressively become more used to unusual weather – the unusual (by today’s standards) becomes usual, and we will cease being alarmed about what is now the usual course of events. Global warming no longer becomes news, but rather just part of the way the world is. This can lead to a lack of political concern over this issue, and thus a lack of political action until the possibility of human control over the process of climate change becomes impossible.

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