Communication, Media & Politics in a Risk Society

Shifting Ideas, Shifting Opinion, Shifting Policy
Disruptive Ideas & Climate Change

Disruptive Ideas & Climate Change

In a new peer-reviewed paper I examine the impact of prominent public intellectuals and best-selling authors in the climate change debate.
Health Politics & Communication

Health Politics & Communication

Northeastern University students analyze contentious health debates and the implications for effective public communication, policymaker engagement, and personal decision-making.
Studying Communication, Culture, and Environmental Politics

Studying Communication, Culture, and Environmental Politics

Course prepares students to engage society on climate change and other environmental problems.
Latest entries
"Theory of Everything" Debunks Myths About Hawking

“Theory of Everything” Debunks Myths About Hawking

By Declan Fahy, American University Early in The Theory of Everything, the student Stephen Hawking strides across the grounds at Cambridge University in the 1960s, his face dreamy. He is lost in thought about the nature of time. Then he trips and smacks his head on the concrete, cracking his glasses and bruising his face....
Talking Climate in Lima: Who Is Pushing for What

Talking Climate in Lima: Who Is Pushing for What

Senior officials representing nearly 200 countries gather in Lima, Peru this week for the final stages of United Nations-led climate change talks. The meetings, which began December 1, are intended to lay the final groundwork for a major international agreement to be reached a year from now in Paris, France. Key issues, however, continue to...
The Cable News Battle Over the Keystone XL Pipeline

The Cable News Battle Over the Keystone XL Pipeline

In the U.S. Senate Tuesday evening, supporters of the Keystone XL oil pipeline failed by a single vote to pass a bill approving the project. The controversial pipeline is intended to link the Alberta oil sands in Canada with Gulf of Mexico refineries and distribution centers in the U.S. Until this week, the pipeline had...
Climate Change @ G20 Talks: Beijing Pact Not Enough

Climate Change @ G20 Talks: Beijing Pact Not Enough

Having reached a landmark agreement with China this week to limit greenhouse gas emissions, US president Barack Obama heads to Australia for the G20 summit of economic superpowers. The China deal will aid Obama’s efforts to prioritize discussion of climate change, laying the groundwork for a United Nations-led international agreement next year. Yet despite building...
Republican Charlie Baker’s win in liberal Massachusetts offers path forward on climate change

Republican Charlie Baker’s win in liberal Massachusetts offers path forward on climate change

Reposted from The Conversation. On an urgent mission to shift the political debate over climate change, environmental groups spent an unprecedented $85 million in the 2014 U.S. midterm elections, focusing their efforts on a handful of contested Senate seats. Following the failure in 2010 to pass a national climate bill, environmentalists believed that they were...
Fox News Seeds Climate Doubt But MSNBC and Other Liberal Media Also Distort

Fox News Seeds Climate Doubt But MSNBC and Other Liberal Media Also Distort

Reposted from The Conversation. Recent Pew Research Center studies offer valuable insight on the ideological makeup of those Americans most likely to voice their opinion in politics generally and the climate debate specifically, including the news sources they rely on to articulate their arguments. What’s clear from the Pew findings and related research is that...
Naomi Klein or Al Gore? Making Sense of Contrasting Views on Climate Change

Naomi Klein or Al Gore? Making Sense of Contrasting Views on Climate Change

Credit: United Nations. Reposted from The Conversation. Earth is “fucked” and our insatiable growth economy is to blame. So argues Naomi Klein in her intentionally provocative best-seller This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. Klein is the latest among an influential network of like-minded authors who have declared that modern society is at war with nature...
Disruptive Ideas: Public Intellectuals and their Arguments for Action on Climate Change

Disruptive Ideas: Public Intellectuals and their Arguments for Action on Climate Change

In a new open-access paper, I examine the impact of public intellectuals arguing for action in the climate debate, noting key differences across different major discourses and schools of thought (summarized in table above.) Here is the citation and abstract: Nisbet, M.C. (2014). Disruptive Ideas: Public Intellectuals and their Arguments for Action on Climate Change. Wiley...
Climate of Extremes, Part Two: Dialogue -- Not Diatribes -- Needed for Bi-Partisan Action

Climate of Extremes, Part Two: Dialogue — Not Diatribes — Needed for Bi-Partisan Action

Reposted from the Breakthrough.org. This is the second of two articles on climate activism and political polarization. The first can be viewed here. 1. As Bill McKibben has focused on building a new progressive grassroots movement, Tom Steyer and his political advisors have sought to spend his vast wealth to influence key U.S. Senate and Governoratorial races....