During the past decade, skepticism about climate change has frustrated those seeking to engage broad publics and motivate them to take action on the issue. In this innovative ethnography, Candis Callison examines the initiatives of social and professional groups as they encourage diverse American publics to care about climate change. She explores the efforts of science journalists, scientists who have become expert voices for and about climate change, American evangelicals, Indigenous leaders, and advocates for corporate social responsibility.
A gifted storyteller who brings enormous empathy and nuance to each group she documents, Candis Callison depicts the current discursive struggles over climate change, as such diverse players as corporate responsibility advocates, evangelical Christians, and Inuit tribal leaders, not to mention scientists and journalists, seek to reconcile the need for dramatic change with their existing sets of professional norms and cultural values. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to better understand how science gets refracted across an increasingly diverse media landscape and for anyone who wants to understand how they might be more effective at changing entrenched beliefs and practices.
Candis Callison has done the impossible. In the reams of words written about climate change, one rarely finds a fresh perspective or responses to the most salient questions. Why does climate change matter, why do some care about it while others are indifferent, and is scientific knowledge the only way to address these questions? Ethnography, Callison shows, can offer deeply satisfying answers where other methods fail. Through fascinating stories of communal meaning-making, Callison also demonstrates how work across disciplines can make sense of the spectrum from climate fundamentalism to climate denial.