ENVIRONMENTAL COMM SPCM 3320
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Date Created: 09/12/15
Chapter 1 1 What do we mean when we say language is a form of symbolic action Our language and other symbolic acts create meaning and actively structure our conscious orientation to the world Films online sites photographs art popular magazines and other forms of human symbolic behavior act upon us They invite us to view the world in various ways or in different perspectives Language warns us but at the same time invites us to celebrate us that lead to realworld outcomes Symbolic action defines as the property of language and other acts to do something as well as literally to say something to create meaning and orient us consciously to the world Communication provides us with a means of sense making about the world39 it orients us toward events experiences people wildlife and choices that we encounter Our own communication mediates or helps us to make sense of the different narratives ideologies and appeals that people use to define what they believe is right feasible ethical or just common sense Therefore human communication is symbolic action because we draw upon language anf other symbols to construct a framework for understanding and valuing and to bring the wider to others attention 2 De ne and explain both the pragmatic function of language and the constitutive function of language Why is it important to distinguish these two functions Pragmatic Pragmatic is one of the two functions of environmental communication that educates alerts persuades mobilizes and helps us to solve environmental problems It is the instrumental sense of communication that probably occurs to us initially lt solves problems and is often part of public education campaigns Example a pragmatic function of environmental communication occurs when car manufacturers buy online ads opposing higher milespergallon fuel standards or when an environmental group rallies support for protecting a wilderness area Constitutive Environmental communication helps to compose or represent the problems of nature and environment as subjects for our understanding Environmental communication may invite us to perceive forests and rivers as threatening or as bountiful by shaping our perceptions of nature to regard natural resources as for eXploitation or as vital life support systems as something to conquer or as to cherish Example a campaign to protect wildemess may use instrumental means for planning a press conference but at the same time the words in the press statement may tap into cultural constructions of a pristine or unspoiled nature 3 De ne and explain the concept public sphere Public Sphere The public sphere is a metaphorical term used to describe the virtual space where people can interact The World Wide Web for example is not actually a web cyberspace is not a space and so with the public sphere It s the virtual space where the citizens of a country exchange ideas and discuss issues in order to reach agreement about matters of generalinterest The public sphere is a metaphor which keeps us focused on the distinction between individual personal forms of representationover which we have a large degree of controland shared consensual representationswhich are never exactly what we would like to see precisely because they are shared public It s a liberal model which sees the individual human being as having an important input into the formation of the general will Public sphere is the realm of in uence that is created when individuals engage others in communication through conversation argument debate or questioning about subjects of shared topics or concem that affect a wider community The public comes into being both in our everyday conversations and in our formal interactions with others when we sustain maintain talk about the environment or other topics The public sphere is words Visual and nonverbal symbolic actions such as sitins banners photography film and Earth First Tree sits39 also have prompted discussion debate and questioning of environmental policy as readily as editorials speeches and TV newscasts As we engage others in conservation questioning or debate we translate our private concerns into public matters and thus create spheres of in uence which affect how we and others view the environment and out relation to it In public hearings newspaper editorials Web alerts speeches at rallies street festivals and countless other occasions in which we engage other in conservation debate or other forms of symbolic actions the public sphere emerges as a potential sphere of in uence Communication scholar Thomas Goodnight cautioned that information is needed for judgments about the environment and other technical subjects may cause both private and public conversations to defer to scientific or technical authority in contemporary society The public sphere can decline or can lose its relevance as a sphere of in uence that eXists in a democracy to mediate among differing viewpoints and interests Identify describe compare and contrast two of the voicesinterests of the green public sphere How do they participate in the public sphere How does their participation demonstrate the importance of a green public sphere Sierra Club Muir was chief among these early wilderness explorers and visionaries An immigrant who had been raised on a Wisconsin farm and educated at the University of Wisconsin Muir had arrived in California in 1868 planning to stay only a few months before setting off to study Amazon botany Virtually penniless he hired on as a shepherd s assistant a job that took him to Yosemite Valleyand ultimately changed his lifeFor much of the next decade John Muir made the incomparable Yosemite Valley the center of his experience becoming wellknown among Visitors for his tales of travel The Sierra Club Bulletin first published in 1893 and continuing today as Sierra included reports of excursions guides to Sierra geography and scientific papers on the range s natural history To explore enjoy and protect the Wild places of the earth To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth39s ecosystems and resources To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives In the rst decade of the 1900s the Sierra Club became embroiled in the famous HetchHetchy Reservoir controversy that divided preservationists from quotresource management conservationists the Club supported creation of the National Park Service in 1916 to remove the parks from Forest Service oversight Stephen Mather a Club member from Chicago and an opponent of HetchHetchy dam became the rst National Park Service director 9 During the 1920s and 1930s the Sierra Club served its members as a social and recreational society conducting outings improving trails and building huts and lodges in the Sierras Preservation campaigns included a several year effort to enlarge Sequoia National Park achieved in 1926 and over three decades of work to protect and then preserve Kings Canyon National Park established in 1940The Sierra Club secured its national reputation in the battle against the Echo Park dam in Dinosaur National Monument in Utah which had been announced by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1950Recognition of the Sierra Club39s role in the Echo Park dam victory boosted membership from 10000 in 1956 to 15000 in 1960The Sierra Club was now truly a national conservation organization and preservationists took the offensive with wilderness proposals The Club39s Biennial Wilderness Conferences launched in 1949 in concert with The Wilderness Society became an important force in the campaign that secured passage ofthe Wilderness Act in 1964The Sierra Club39s most publicized crusade of the 1960s was the effort to stop the Bureau of Reclamation from building two dams that would ood portions of the Grand CanyonAn administrator attentive to detail McCloskey had set up the Club39s conservation department in 1965 and guided the campaigns to save the Grand Canyon and establish Redwoods National Park and North Cascades National Park During the 1970s McCloskey led the Club39s legislative activity preserving Alaskan lands and eastern wilderness areas and supporting the new environmental agenda the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 the Clean Air Act amendments and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 passed during the administration of President Jimmy Carter The Sierra Club made its rst Presidential endorsement in 1984 in support of Walter Mondale39s unsuccessful campaign to unseat Ronald Reagan McCloskey resigned as executive director in 1985 after 16 and a half years the same length of time Brower had led the organization and assumed the title of chairman becoming the Club39s senior strategist devoting his time to conservation policy rather than budget planning and administration Goals Beyond Oil Americans consume 25 percent of the world39s produced oil yet our nation has less than 3 percent of the world s proven oil reserves0il is a leading source of smog particulate matter and other toxic pollution that contributes to tens of thousands of deaths each year Our addiction is also the cause of oil spills in our rivers and oceans poisoning our drinking water sources polluting our communities and destroying fragile ecosystemsThe Sierra Club39s Beyond Oil campaign aims to cut America39s addiction to oil by stopping destructive and dirty fossil fuels and promoting real solutions such as smart transportation systems clean cars and clean renewable energy that won39t run out Natural gas Government loopholes exempt natural gas drillers from the Clean Air Act the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act and at the same time don39t require them to disclose the frequently toxic chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing or quotfrackingquot the violent process they employ to dislodge gas deposits from shalerock formationsThe Sierra Club keeps natural gas companies under scrutiny and works to put in place strong national and state safeguards that protect the air we breathe the water we drink and the communities we live in Water pollution In support of the mission of the Sierra Club we strive to be inclusive and to engage individuals from all communities in our work and activities Our vision is for the Sierra Club to re ect the communities of our nation As an ongoing effort we will build and integrate diversity into the conservation initiatives program strategies membership workforce structure budget business practices communications and culture of the Sierra Club Public participation campaign blogs email newsletters etc GREEN PEACE Greenpeace is the largest independent directaction environmental organization in the world Whale Defenders A few countries namely Japan Norway and Iceland continue to ignore a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling every year they kill thousands of whales to feed a black market of illegal whale meat For more than 40 years Greenpeace has been at the forefront of this evolving ght to end this needless slaughter of one the most magnificent creatures on the planetln the lead up to this year s Intemational Whaling Commission meeting Greenpeace will be working with other organizations to ensure that the Obama administration uses their diplomatic leverage to close the loopholes and end all commercial whaling including whaling that Japan pretends is for research purposesSeafood The problems taXing the ocean resources translate directly into what s available at the seafood counter As consumers demand for fish grows destructive fishing and aquaculture continues to increase to meet the demand Marine reserves In order to protect the world s oceans portions have to be left alone That s Where marine reserves come into the picture A marine reserve is like putting a giant Do Not Disturb sign around an area of the ocean These protected areas are so important to the future of our oceans giving Wildlife a safe haven free from dangerTuna Tuna is one of the world s favorite fish It provides a critical part of the diet for millions of people as well as being at the core of the world s luxury sashimi markets But did you know that globally tuna stocks are under threat Protect Forest Home to around twothirds of all plant and animal species found on land in addition to the millions of people who depend on them for survival our remaining ancient forests are some of the most diverse ecosystems known to science They are also vitally important to the health of our planet especially when it comes to regulating the climate Stop gw Greenpeace will 1 Join local communities to shut down dangerous dirty coal plants all across the United States 2 Advocate for strong laws to curb global warming and put America on a path to clean energy 3 Expose climate deniers like the Koch Brothers and hold them publicly accountable for providing millions of dollars to lobby against climate and clean energy policies 4 Kickstart an Energy Revolution by advocating for cleanenergy solutions like solar and wind power Research has shown that with current technology renewable energy sources like wind solar and geothermal can provide almost all of our primary energy demand Nuclear plant In order to save the future of our planet we must continue to fight the expansion of nuclear power and instead push for clean renewable sources of energy Over the next three years Greenpeace will continue to l Debunk the myth that nuclear provides a green source of electricity and detail the threats posed by nuclear reactors and the radioactive wastes they produce 2 Expose the abysmal economics of new nuclear power 4 Advocate for the permanent closure of the old leaky Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in 2012 Toxic Chemical Our appetite for tuna is pushing the fish closer and closer to extinction As more and more people consume tuna there has been a surge in the number and capacity of tunafishing vessels across the world Chapter 2 What are the 4 main antagonisms that opened up space for new typesmodes of environmental communication What was the rhetorical significance of each of these moments in the history of environmental communication in the US l A John Muir and the wildemess preservation movement Preserve wildemess to protect coastal forests and spectacular regions of natural scenery such as Yosemite Valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains Preservationism sought to ban commercial use of these areas to preserve wild forests and other natural areas for appreciation study and outdoor recreation Logging of giant redwood trees along California s coast in the 1880s also fuelledinterest in the preservation movement Victories the National Park Act of 1916 which established a national system of parks that continues to expand today b Conservation Gifford Pinchot instituted a sustained policy in managing public forest lands as a source of timber his policy was to log timberlands were to be reforested after cutting to ensure future timber supplies His conservation approach strongly in uenced the management of natural resources by agencies such as the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management Victories 1964 Wilderness Act authorizes Congress to set aside wild areas in national forests national parks and other strictly managed public lands to preserve areas What is metaphor and why is it considered a rhetorical trope What are some examples from environmental rhetoric Exp Earth as a spaceship became widespread after astronauts took the first photos of it from space in the 1960s The photos of the bluegreen earth against dark universe invited a concem for the precarious existence of this small planet Tipping point foot printnote What is genre and why do we study it to understand how language is rhetorical What are some examples from environmental communication Use the film Food Inc for examples of genre Exm We observed John Muir s use of the genre of the sublime in his nature writing in the 19th century to evoke a feeling of spiritual exaltation Define and explain dominant discourse and insurgent discourse Dominant expIn everyday terms the Dominant Social Paradigm which is a discursive tradition that has sustained attitudes of human dominance over nature is recognized in references to free markets as the source of prosperity and the wise use of natural resources to free markets as the source of prosperity and the wise use of natural resources to build a strong economy and so forth Insurgent exhave proliferated in mainstream media and online questioning dominant assumptions about growth and the environment The emergence of a new antagonismopening space for a discourse by climate scientists and environmentalists who are questioning the business as usual model of carbon societies How is common sense an example of symbolic legitimacy Symbolic legitimacy The symbolic associations that politicians business and the public attach to a proposal policy or person39 such boundaries define a particular policy idea or institution as reasonable appropriate or acceptable An appeal to common sense is usually an effective means of gaining legitimacy since it purports merely to describe things as they really areEx environmental groups challenged the common sense of logging old growth tress as well as brushpart if the president s plan Why do rhetors employ Visual rhetoric How is Visual rhetoric an example of both the pragmatic and constitutive functions of language What is a condensation symbol Ex images of vulnerable polar bear sanxities about the global warming Chapter 3 What is the Toxic Releases Inventory What are some of its limitations Why has it been effective in getting industry to reduce the pollution they release into the air water and soil What is the Right of Public Comment How are Environmental Impact Statements produced and circulated in such a way as to exercise and protect this right What more could be done Limitations TRI may significantly underreport releases because companies use unreliable emissions factors to estimate their releases rather than monitor their actual emissions Issues impacting the quality of TRI data are explained in How Reliable Are TRI Data 2 TRI does not cover all toxic chemicals that have the potential to adversely affect human health or the environment 3 TRI does not require reporting from many major sources of pollution releases 4 TRI does not require companies to report the quantities of toxic chemicals used or the amounts that remain in products 5 TRI does not provide information about the exposures people may experience as a consequence of chemical use Chapter 5 Discuss the following aspects of news production providing examples specific to environmental reporting political economy gatekeeping and newsworthiness How and why do these factors constrain news production generally and environmental news in particular Political Economy ex EPA found GE responsible for discharging more than a million pounds of Polychlorinated biphenols into New York City s Hudson River and proposed GE pay for a massive cleanup the company responded with an aggressive campaign aimed at killing the plan spending by its own estimateslO15 million on advertising The president of NBC tv network lobbied government officials in New York City urging them to oppose the EPA s plan NBC new programs offered little national coverage of the Hudson cleanup What are media frames What do they consist of How do they function rhetorically to sustain dominant discourses about economy nature and environmentalists EX In image politics Deluca 2005 argues that the commercial news programs such as ABC world news Tonight tend to negativelt frame and marginalize radical environmental groups such as Earth First That criticize timber and mining interests and challenge the US Forest service Environmental scientists reframed acts of ecotage through the frightening lens of terrorism At the height of the cold war Greenpeace activists in small Zodiac boats confronted Russians whaling ships in attempts to disrupt the Russians harpooning of whales In the tv news report it would have been easy to dismiss Greenpeace as extreme or strange but the new report frame as Greenpeacers are embraced as heroes intrepid individuals who went to war against the Soviet Union and returned victorius Why is the norm of objectivity so difficult to achieve How is it that journalists can sometimes produce stories that privilege some voicesinterests over others even without consciously trying to do so Objectivity EX A story on deforestation may be accurate a kind of bias already has occurred in the selection of the story versus others this occurs also in its framing and in the choice of its sources that have been interviewed According to Lee and Solomon 1990 value judgments infuse everything in the news media ranging from the choice of which stories out of an infinite number to cover and which facts to include in the story to what prominence to give it EX Craig L LaMay noted that the former editor of the Gannett Center Joumal new reports on the nation s consumption how much we spend on certain products are taken to be an objective measure the nation s health in terms of other measures of its social and economic health In contrast why not measure the nation s health nation s health in terms of other variables such as the literacy rate the number of people in the poverty or the amount of energy conserved LaMay explains that measures such as consumption are objective only in the sense that represent society s dominant values largely agreed upon by govt commerce and other institutions including the media Why is potentially problematic to produce balanced reporting when reporting on pressing environmental issues When environmental issues are controversial or when reporters lack the expertise to judge con icting claims the tendency in journalism has been to balance stories by quoting multiple or differing sourcesThis refers to the practice of balancing a controversial report or statement with as opposing viewpoint EX Boykoff and Boykoff have argues that the norm of balancing in the reporting of global warming in major US newspapers has actually led to biased coverage of the science of climate and finding of anthropogenic contributions to global warming From 1988 to 2002 various scientific institutions began to report an increasingly stong probability that human activities were an important variable in global change However the practice of balancing the scienti c findings with skepticism appeared to introduce more uncertainty that the report themselves containedBoykoff andBoykoff found that balanced accounts prevailed in the 19882002 period and that there articles gave roughly equal attention to the view Exam 2 Review SPCM 3320 Environmental Communication Professor Kelly E Happe Some important tips for studying 1 you are encouraged to arrange study sessions 2 the best way to study is to write out answers to all of the questions on the review sheet 3 do not rely on the textbook during the exam 4 it is very important to use examples in your answers I cannot stress this enough 5 review my comments re last exam both on your individual exam and the feedback I shared with the entire class Chapter 6 How and why did the introduction of risk into policy discussions change the way the government protects the public from environmental harm De ne and explain risk assessment Explain the 4 tep process that it entails Chapter 6 instructs us to think of risk as socially constructed which is to say that it has no one meaning for all persons in all situations This why communication about risk is so important think of the constitutive function of language Answer the following questions how does this understanding of risk help make sense of the opening quotation of Chapter 6 Those who control the discourse on risk will most likely control the political battles as well Who exactly are the people most likely to control the discourse on risk In other words who controls what risk means when it is actionable Define and explain the technical sphere In what ways does this differ from the public sphere you can also draw from the material in the lecture notes on nuclear power How do the socalled outrage factors explain why various publics have challenged the technical model of risk What is the definition of cultural rationality How exactly does it challenge the technical model of risk And what does Cox mean when he says this alternative model challenges the symbolic legitimacy boundaries of technical agencies the their methods Define and explain technical risk communication What are its objectives What are some of its benefits Its drawbacks How might we think about the failures of technical risk communication as the failure of bringing knowledge produced in the technical sphere into public sphere deliberations about policy Bonus question is the takeaway lesson from Three Mile Island that experts need to just be better communicators Using nuclear energy and the crises around particular plants as examples how have the crises involving nuclear energy for example the meltdown at Three Mile Island shown the limitations of both the technical model of risk and technical risk communication from the perspective of the culturalexperiential model What is the importance of cultural approaches to risk communication If the culturalexperiential model of risk communication had been the dominant accepted model how might things have gone differently Would we even have nuclear power Why is it that the public seemed to accept nuclear power in the rst place Chapter 7 What are the modes of environmental advocacy What is the difference between a primary and secondary audience Why is it important to mobilize the secondary audience in order to hold the primary audience accountable Why is it that the persuadables are often the most important targets in environmental advocacy campaigns What are the three sets of values that are connected to environmental behavior Which do you believe are the most important to appeal to Taking the Beyond Coal campaign here at UGA as an example what do the organizers of this campaign do well What could they learn from Chapter 7 Chapter 8 What are the three components to environmental justice How is the phrase environmental racism an example of both the pragmatic and constitutive functions of language for the latter review Chapters 1 amp 2 How is it that the Group of Ten national environmental groups came to be the source of a dominant discourse about the environment to which environmental justice groups needed to produce an insurgent discourse as a response Read over the Principles of Environmental Justice that were produced during the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit Pick a rhetorical concept with which to analyze the language used in the document Which would you choose and why