Friday, February 09, 2007

Eureka! The Language of Global Warming

Following links from Chris Mooney's post Framing Global Warming, I read the Ellen Goodman column in today's Boston Globe. She points out -

The folks at the Pew Research Center clocking public attitudes show that global warming remains 20th on the annual list of 23 policy priorities. Below terrorism, of course, but also below tax cuts, crime, morality, and illegal immigration.

One reason is that while poles are melting and polar bears are swimming between ice floes, American politics has remained polarized. There are astonishing gaps between Republican science and Democratic science. Try these numbers: Only 23 percent of college-educated Republicans believe the warming is due to humans, while 75 percent of college-educated Democrats believe it.

Mooney points out that Goodmans's source of inspiration comes from the work of Matthew Nesbit, PhD and who writes on Framing Science, as a part of the Science Blog community.

Nesbit refers to the "ineffectiveness of fear" in motivating the majority of consumers to alter their behavior to contribute less to carbon emission. Many of us seem to have our heads stuck in the sand, or have succumbed to the Masque of the Red Death Syndrome. We depair that nothing we do can possibly matter, so have locked ourselves in and plan to party till the bitter end.

I, like Ellen Goodman, am slowly converting to the compact flourescent light bulb. This is one small thing I can do, but I know it's not nearly enough.

Scientists must find a way to make their case in a way that will inspire the majority of the voting public to put pressure on local, state and national politicians to change course and at least make some attempt to lessen our contribution to global warming.

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