McKibbenSteyer On September 25 at Boston University, as part of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-sponsored series organized by BU climate researcher David Marchant, I will be giving the following lecture, drawing on insights from two forthcoming papers. Below are details on the talk followed by references and links to the papers.

Climate Advocacy in the Obama Years:
Assessing Strategies for Societal Change

Matthew C. Nisbet
Northeastern University

Sept 25 5pm-6pm
Life Sciences Building, B-01
24 Cummington Mall

This lecture evaluates the contrasting political strategies, communication approaches, and policy options pursued by U.S. advocacy groups, philanthropists, and their allies as they urge societal action to address climate change. Though these often competing networks of groups accept the undeniable, human causes of climate change, they each tend to emphasize a unique discourse about the problem, reflecting diverging views of society, nature, technology, policy, and politics. By reflecting on these differences and their implications, we can usefully think through the many ways that our own biases shape how we perceive the political conflict over climate change, who we blame, and what we prefer to be done. The goal is not to choose among competing perspectives, but to constructively grapple with their tensions and uncertainties. Through this process, we can hold our own convictions and opinions more lightly, identifying what is of value among the ideas offered by those on the left, right, and in the center.

Nisbet, M.C. (in press). Disruptive Ideas: Public Intellectuals and their Arguments for Action on Climate Change. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change.

Nisbet, M.C. (in press). Environmental Advocacy in the Obama Years: Assessing New Strategies for Political Change. In N. Vig & M. Kraft (Eds), Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century, 9th Edition. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.