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here’s a revealing (and hopeful?) look at possible common ground on climate change policy among those with differing views on more its more fundamental beliefs (e.g. is climate change happening, do anthropogenic forcings or causes exist?). which america do you think most people i talked to represent? i discuss the religious dimensions of white conservative protestants opposition to climate policy more in the conclusion chapter…

 

the hopefully, final structure, of the literature review chapter. in other matters, can anyone tell me if “analytical” is not a grammatically correct word? auto-spell checks keep flagging it!

“In this chapter, I first examine the literature on the social constructionist perspective, as the theory and empirical work developed on the social construction of meaning. I then review the literature on the association between religion and environmental concern to identify possible deficiencies leading to unclear results. Finally I present the analytical framework adopted for my study of evangelicals’ perceptions of global climate change.”

where do people turn when they don’t trust experts and can’t see the thing (atmosphere) we’re talking about?

“Large-scale environmental conditions especially are hidden from most people until their ecological consequences disrupt individual’s everyday routines and draw personal attention to them, or someone else informs them about what is occurring (Carolan 2004). This is particularly true of global climate change, where the ‘objective’ conditions of the Earth’s atmosphere remain transparent to most everyone except professional scientists (Garvin 2001). People mistrustful of scientists typically consult other non-scientific, cultural experts and elites, or turn to similar others for clues to interpret ambiguous situations. ”Subjective norms are positively related to both [information-]seeking and avoidance, which suggests that one’s social environment has the potential to strongly influence the way he or she handles climate change information”(Yang and Kahlor 2013). The basis for similarity depends on the salience of the group to which a person belongs. Conservative evangelical Christians likely turn to religion in forming their perceptions of global climate change. Yet substantial research conducted over decades has failed to demonstrate clear or consistent results on the association between religion and environmental concern.”

i’ve been neglectful. my excuse: i’ve been consumed in a major re-write of chapter 2, which is true. but what’s probably a more accurate reason for avoiding this self-imposed practice of virtual accountability (to who? just me?) is the frustration (and all the other psychological stuff) that comes with being asked to draft 5 pp., writing 20, and then being told to re-write new text in 10. despite this, clarity comes closer. so in the end, it’s all good. but i’ve got some catching up to do… here we go:

“Sympathy with environmental movement goals requires that citizens share movement grievances. But defining environmental conditions as a policy issue is problematic. Contemporary environmental risks tend to be technologically complex and ambiguous – even invisible (Beck 1992). Experts are thrust into positions as interpreters for policymakers, yet the intrinsic uncertainty of science allows for multiple expert interpretations. The public comes to mistrust science and view its credentialed experts with more skepticism (Beck 1992). Consequently, people form perceptions of environmental quality with less reliance on scientific knowledge– they socially construct meanings on their own. Global climate change is perhaps the most ambiguous ecological problem facing the planet. How do people socially construct their views of global climate change?”

James Hansen

James Hansen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

summary paragraph on religion and environmental concern research, specifically work focusing on conservative Protestants and evangelical Christians…

“Social scientific understanding of religion’s role in environmental concern is murky though. Decades after Lynn White’s (1967) charge that Christianity causes modern ecological crises, the association of religion with environmentalism still appears contradictory. “Environmental evangelicals” exist, Christians care about creation, and interfaith coalitions join secular advocates in protests lobbying policymakers for action on climate change. Conservative Protestants who oppose government environmental protection policies contrast this pro-environmental activism and are the most likely nonbelievers in US society about if global climate change is happening. The accumulated evidence from quantitative survey-based inquiries remains mixed about if, and how, “dominion” or “literalist” biblical beliefs, a Christian “fundamentalist” orientation toward the world, conservative Protestant eschatology, and dispensationalist theology explain climate change skepticism and lack of public support for environmentalism among this religious sector of US society.”

 

 

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