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.
Latest entries
Let’s call it: 30 years of above average temperatures means the climate has changed

Let’s call it: 30 years of above average temperatures means the climate has changed

Photo credit: andrea zeppilli, CC BY-NC-SA By Richard B Rood, University of Michigan If you’re younger than 30, you’ve never experienced a month in which the average surface temperature of the Earth was below average. Each month, the US National Climatic Data Center calculates Earth’s average surface temperature using temperature measurements that cover the Earth’s surface....
How climate adaptation experts help companies prepare for disaster

How climate adaptation experts help companies prepare for disaster

–By Amy Westervelt, reposted from Ensia magazine. As the planet warms, new careers are starting to emerge February 23, 2015 — In 2008, floods in Thailand forced the temporary closure of four Nike factories, costing the company millions of dollars. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy demolished Verizon’s copper-wire infrastructure on the U.S. eastern seaboard, costing thousands...
Stick it to carbon, not the man: How to steer clear of the looming climate shock

Stick it to carbon, not the man: How to steer clear of the looming climate shock

By Gernot Wagner and Martin Weitzman, reposted  from Ensia magazine. Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from Climate Shock (2015) by Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman. Published here with permission from Princeton University Press. For more on the contrasting views of capitalism and the market among climate advocates, see this previous column by Matthew Nisbet...
What historic megadroughts in the western US tell us about our climate future

What historic megadroughts in the western US tell us about our climate future

By Jason E. Smerdon, Columbia University Let’s start with some old news. Earth’s climate is warming, human activities are causing it, and as long as we continue to dump greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, the impacts on climate and society will only intensify. These impacts will be felt regionally and be linked to a...
The Daily Show was never ‘real’ news – but came close

The Daily Show was never ‘real’ news – but came close

By Julia Fox, Indiana University, Bloomington Jon Stewart’s Tuesday night announcement that he’ll be leaving the Daily Show garnered an audible cry of disbelief from his live studio audience. Stewart himself was visibly emotional: “What is this fluid?” he jokingly asked, making Frankenstein-like gestures toward his eyes and heart. “What are these feelings?” Stewart has...
Extreme weather exposes the vulnerability of our cities to climate change

Extreme weather exposes the vulnerability of our cities to climate change

By John Rennie Short, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Despite the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, January and February were not kind months for the people of Boston and New England. By February 10th, more than 60 inches of snow in 30 days fell on the city and parts of the wider region, closing schools,...
Universities in the Anthropocene

Universities in the Anthropocene

There is a growing movement among writers, scientists, and scholars to pin a new label on our modern era. According to these thinkers, pressing environmental problems like climate change are a sign that we have crossed a major threshold in Earth’s long history, entering a unique stage in geological time that requires a shift in...
Environmental Communication: First Analysis Paper

Environmental Communication: First Analysis Paper

Choose 1 of the following 2 questions to answer.  Your essay should be approximately 2,000 words in length, drawing specifically on class readings and discussion as evidence and to inform your analysis.  Use APA citation style for all references. Your essay is due to me by email at m.nisbet@neu.edu by 3pm on Wed Feb 18. 1) Discuss the...
Health Communication: First Analysis Paper

Health Communication: First Analysis Paper

Choose 1 of the following 2 questions to answer.  Your essay should be approximately 2,000 words in length, drawing specifically on class readings and discussion as evidence and to inform your analysis.  Use APA citation style for all references. Your essay is due to me by email at m.nisbet@neu.edu by 3pm on Wed Feb 18....