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Progressive Websites "Actively Censor" AGW Issue?

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  • Alan
    Here s an odd phenomenon: progressive-type (but not explicitly environmental) websites make almost no mention of AGW, and may even be censoring it. BEGIN
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 31, 2008
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      Here's an odd phenomenon: progressive-type (but not explicitly
      environmental) websites make almost no mention of AGW, and
      may even be censoring it.

      BEGIN QUOTE:

      http://climatedenial.org <http://climatedenial.org>

      http://climatedenial.org/2008/03/12/donkeys-ice-cream-and-climate-change\
      /
      <http://climatedenial.org/2008/03/12/donkeys-ice-cream-and-climate-chang\
      e/>

      March 12, 2008

      Donkeys, Ice Cream and Climate Change

      George Marshall @ 12:51 pm

      Why do the websites of progressive civil society organisations pay
      virtually no attention to climate change?

      Here's an interesting experiment. You can measure how seriously an
      organisation takes an issue by finding how many times it mentions it on
      their websites. After all, a website will contain its entire public
      output: every report, press release and leaflet. You can do it easily on
      Google. All you have to do is type the word (or phrase in inverted
      commas) you want to search followed by the word "site" and a
      colon followed by the domain name.

      Two years ago, out of curiosity I typed "climate change"
      site:www.amnesty.org into Google. Absolutely nothing turned up. Amnesty
      International, the world's most prestigious human rights
      organisation had not one single mention anywhere on its website of an
      issue that, a according to IPPC estimates will generate 150 million
      refugees by 2050 and, by the reckoning of the Pentagon and MoD, will
      become one of the key causes of future conflict.

      The Human Rights Watch website mentioned climate change 16 times. This
      is slightly better until you consider the chances that any random phrase
      will appear on a large website.

      END QUOTE

      He goes on to mention other examples that he uncovered,
      using google.

      And WHY might this be so? Marshall speculates:

      BEGIN QUOTE:

      The people who lead liberal organisations seem to find it just as
      difficult to accept climate change into their world view as people from
      the free market right. Their politics were molded by the issues of the
      1970s and 1980s- social inequality, nuclear proliferation,
      neo-colonialism, gender issues, racism, homophobia. When they say that
      it is hard to see what their organisation can do, they are projecting
      their own confusion over how to absorb and respond to this vast new
      issue.

      The end result is that progressive organisations do not merely sideline
      or underplay climate change: they actively censor all mention of it from
      their materials. Internally they argue that it is outside the area of
      issues relevant to their work. Publicly they do not deny the importance
      of climate change: they don't say anything about it at all.

      In doing this they are reflecting a wider social denial strategy, noted
      in several academic studies. The large majority of people, whilst noting
      that climate change is a serious issue, will admit to never talking
      about it in their daily life. They are managing the problem by actively
      excluding it from what sociologists call their `norms of
      attention'. Ironically this strategy mimics a common social response
      to human rights abuses: when asked, people admit that they heard the
      screams in the night or they noticed that people had disappeared, but,
      through a socially negotiated compact, they never discussed what they
      know to be happening with each other.

      END QUOTE

      "Actively censor all mention of it"?! Sounds like they
      are shunning it -- really SHUNNING it. :-)

      "Managing the problem by actively excluding it from what
      sociologists call their `norms of attention'" reflects I think
      less of an insidious "denial" problem and more of a general
      sluggishness problem, like I spoke of in an earlier post
      (desire to stay in the comfort zone; resistance to radical
      change). It can be "denial" also if it gets out of hand,
      becomes delusional, etc.

      The sociology and social psychology of this subject
      (and related stuff like peak oil) has so many interesting
      facets and levels.

      Alan




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Bernd Riechelmann
      They censor it because people do not want to hear about bad news. It is no fun. It is more fun to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic than to give up
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 1, 2008
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        They censor it because people do not want to hear about bad news. It
        is no fun. It is more fun to re-arrange the deck chairs on the
        Titanic than to give up such a nice place and get into the life boats.
        Berni

        --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "Alan" <aelewis@...> wrote:
        > Here's an odd phenomenon: progressive-type (but not explicitly
        > environmental) websites make almost no mention of AGW, and
        > may even be censoring it.
        >
        > BEGIN QUOTE:
        >
        > http://climatedenial.org <http://climatedenial.org>
        >http://climatedenial.org/2008/03/12/donkeys-ice-cream-and-climate-change\
        >
        <http://climatedenial.org/2008/03/12/donkeys-ice-cream-and-climate-chang\
        > e/>
        >
        ---(Original text abbreviated)---
        >
        > The sociology and social psychology of this subject
        > (and related stuff like peak oil) has so many interesting
        > facets and levels.
        >
        > Alan
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