[Coral-List] Getting the message across

Steve Tooze stevetooze1000 at googlemail.com
Mon Feb 15 07:11:57 EST 2010

Dear all

I've followed the intermittent debate about why the general public are
failing to get the message in regard to the threat to coral reefs, and what
scientists should do about that.

I'm involved with various grass roots environmental movements in the UK and
we all spend a lot of time agonising about the same thing. Why are people
not marching in their millions about some of the gravest threats that our
society has ever faced to its existence?

Then, a couple of weeks ago, a friend recommended a book that seemed to me
to go right to the nub of the problem.

At the risk of sounding like your old university lecturer, I'd suggest that
interested List members take a look at Free to be Human: Intellectual
self-defence in an Age of Illusions by a UK-based academic called David
Edwards. Then discuss.

I found his analysis of the corporate and State 'framing conditions' that
control and hamstring our attempts to build, for example, a critical mass of
support for responsible and sustainable environmental polices extremely
interesting and persuasive.

It's also worth logging on to the BBC's website and tracking down a podcast
of a BBC Radio 4 program called Turkeys Voting for Christmas.

A thought-provoking examination of why overwhelming scientific data about
anthropogenic climate change - even when put across in an accessible pop
science form by the likes of Al Gore - fails to engage and convince the man
on the street.

I feel both of the above might be food for thought for the List's ongoing
mass communications debate.


Steve Tooze
Journalist and media consultant
London UK

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