Posts Tagged ‘climate change’
“Preaching to the Choir: Internet-Mediated Advocacy, Issue Public Mobilization and Climate Change” published by New Media & Society
Here’s a quick, long-overdue update: My first peer-reviewed article has just been published! It’s called Preaching to the Choir: Internet-Mediated Advocacy, Issue Public Mobilization and Climate Change, and it’s available now through New Media & Society’s ‘OnlineFirst’ service (subscription required). It will also be published as part of a regular issue at some point in the near future. There is also a pre-publication version available from SSRN–although if you’re going to cite, please cite the NM&S version. Here’s the abstract:
Despite the impact that Internet-mediated advocacy organizations have had on American politics over the last decade, we are still learning about how they work. This is even truer for Internet-mediated issue specialists that focus on a single issue, such as climate change. Based on interviews with key staff members of two climate change advocacy campaigns, this article examines how these organizations communicate and mobilize citizens around their issue and the underlying assumptions behind their strategies. Interviews revealed a focus on like-minded issue public mobilization and online-to-offline social movement building strategies. The paper also examines how these organizations can influence policy debates by mobilizing issue publics, shifting debates to more favorable public arenas, and reframing them in ways more favorable to their causes. Implications for the future of climate policy and Internet-mediated advocacy research are discussed.
If you have a chance to read the article, I’d love to get some feedback — not to mention citations, of course. Enjoy!
There is a story in the New Yorker this week about geoengineering research that could help avert the worst effects of climate change. Scientists around the world are looking into ways to alter the composition of the atmosphere in order to reflect sunlight back into space, extract existing CO2 from the atmosphere, or other schemes to offset the expected rise in temperature through the rest of the century and beyond. Some of the schemes — such as pumping sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to deflect the sun’s rays — are based on relatively well established science. Other ideas seem, well, more fanciful:
There have been proposals to send mirrors, sunshades, and parasols into space. Recently, the scientific entrepreneur Nathan Myhrvold, whose company Intellectual Ventures has invested in several geoengineering ideas, said that we could cool the earth by stirring the seas. He has proposed deploying a million plastic tubes, each about a hundred metres long, to roil the water, which would help it trap more CO2.
. . .
The Harvard physicist Russell Seitz wants to create what amounts to a giant oceanic bubble bath: bubbles trap air, which brightens them enough to reflect sunlight away from the surface of the earth. Another tactic would require maintaining a fine spray of seawater—the world’s biggest fountain—which would mix with salt to help clouds block sunlight.
The part of me that always seeks to maximize my sources of amusement would LOVE to live in a planet surrounded by mirrors, shades and parasols, with giant bubble baths, fountains and drink-stirrers sprouting from the oceans. But my enthusiasm for these geoengineering schemes is tempered by the fact that, as Trinity College engineering professor Hugh Hunt says, “If we have to use these tools, it means something on this planet has gone seriously wrong.’’