Environmental issues are treated as conflicts between industry and nature. Feelings of responsibility thus translate into open hostility towards industrial pollution and preference for organic products and local solutions.
Blogs about this communication challenge
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This page aims to visualize the conflict between development and conservation. Sets of images are presented to show that an incomplete definition of nature and an incomplete sense of accountability will ultimately hinder our progress.
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Polarized engagements are normal and almost feel natural. Why is it beneficial to continue like this; who wins? In this post, I would like to demonstrate that a polarized approach is ineffective and how environmental communication can be improved. Simple logical tests can be applied to invalidate polarized arguments and to identify common ground. An analysis of payoffs and costs can reveal further options for bridging differences.
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Roture is an existing word in French, but in this post, I introduce a new and different meaning of the word. Contemporary Western environmental thinking uses the word nature in a manner that is ill-suited for environmental challenges such as the debate about global warming.
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Despite believing that the polarization around environmental issues is grounded in our common culture and that the resulting conflict is artificial, I still find the feud between parties frustrating. If only I could tempt parties to stop their rant long enough for them to discover that their differences are not real.
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In my mind, human development and environmental protection are equally important. As a species, we will continue to shape our surroundings to fashion our own needs. I am also a firm believer in people as a force for good, and see technology as the hand that makes us more sustainable. I see modern environmentalism as a product of human development and not as a reason for alarm.
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There is something theatrical about the polarization in our society between those advocating development and those advocating environmental conservation. The discussions appear to be between opposites, but are actually between partial definitions of these opposites. Like a play within a play. Such polarization is a distortion of responsibility.