HOFFMAN`S ASSESSMENT ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

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HOFFMAN’SASSESSMENT ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

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April20, 2015

Hoffmanstates that climatic changeshavereached‘scientificconsensus`levels. Eventhoughpartof thescientificsocietyagreeson thecomingof climatechange,thisissueremainsa fiercelypolarized debate.Suchconversationsare nowrhetoricalcontestswhereallopposingsidesaimat achievingvictorythrough intolerance,distrust, andfear.At its core,climatechangeis nolongerabout climatemodeling, greenhousegases,andcarbondioxide. Itis instead,a productof deeplyentrenchedandcontrastingworldviews[ CITATION Sta151 l 1033 ].

Accordingto Andrew J. Hoffman, allG8 countries`sciencecouncilsplus five morecountriesholdthebeliefthatgreenhousegasesatmosphereconcentrationhas beenincreasedby humanactivities.Accordingto thesocialconsensus,thepublic`santhropogenic climatechangeviewhas reducedfrom 2008`s 71% to 2009`s 57%. Ithas beenalsostatedthattherejectionof climatescienceby individualscan be attributedto somesocialidentities(age,religious,regional,political,etc.) that encouragepersonalnorms(Hoffman2011).

Whenitcomesto climatechangepoliticization, conservationenvironmentbeliefreducedfrom 50% to 30% between theyear2001 to 2010, whereasliberalsjumpedto seventy percent by theyear2010. In otherwords,individual`sinterpretationof climatechangerecordsto lineup with groupstandardsis determinedby politicalideologies.Thedebateon climateis at a pointwhereallsidesdebateon verydifferentissuesrelatingto thechangein climate,andthisresultsin a stall in thedebate.

Underlyingbehaviorhas shapedindividualperceptiveof climatechange,knowledgeandperceptionof structures.Climatechangeresponseby thepubliccannot be consideredto be a linearscientificinformationresponse.Instead,peopleare alreadyinclinedto eitherrejectoracceptthethingsscientistshavesaidabout it,andlikewise,opposeorsupporttheproposedpolicies.

Therehavealsobeenseveralrecentsurveysthat suggestthatan individual`spoliticalorientationis among thestrongeststatisticaldisplayof theperson`sviewson thecredibilityandlegitimacy of thesciencesurroundingclimatechange.Ideological conservativesandRepublicans havea higherlikelihoodof doubtingtheclimatechangesciencethan liberalsandDemocrats. Thecontrary,liberalswill morelikelytrustthissciencesurroundingclimatechangeas comparedto conservatives.In whatis mostlikelythemostconvincingof analysisto thisday,Riley Dunlap, andAaron McCright evaluatedtheGallup polldata between theyears2001 to 2010 (O`Lear 2015). Theevaluation showedthatunderstandingof thesciencebehind climatechangebetween Republicans/conservativesandDemocrats/liberalsincreased.Apparently,scienceseemedto deepentheir socialandpoliticaldifferences.

Climatechangecan accommodatemanyperspectives.Itcan bedescribedas beingmanyproblemsdepending on thewaya personorganizesthedifferentelementsthat encompassdifferentfieldsof knowledgelike demographic patterns,energy,andbiodiversity. Forexample,communitymembersof an islandmay assessevidencethat suggestsclimatechangeis goingtoincreasedifferentlythelevels of thesea than thepeoplelivingin placesthat are not near theocean.Suchperspectivesare theonesthat resultin differentpreferencesin themanagementof policyoptionsputinplaceto curbriskscreatedby climatechange.

Hoffman`ssynthesizing substantiationfrom politicalscience,psychologyandsociologylaysbareallopposingculturalviewsthat interpretscience.Hoffman goeson to extractkeypastculturalshiftlessonsto engendermoreunderstandingof thisproblemandalsoto motivatethegeneralpublicto takingaction.

References

Hoffman, Andrew J. 2011. &quotWalking Past Each Other? Cultural Framing of Skeptical and Convinced Logics in the Climate Change Debate.&quot Organization Environment March 2011 vol. 24 no. 1 3-33.

O`Lear, Shannon. 2015. &quotClimate science and slow violence: A view from political geography and STS on mobilizing technoscientific ontologies of climate change.&quot Political Geography.

Stanford Press. 2015. How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate | Andrew J. Hoffman. Accessed April 20th, 2015. http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=25621.