One-Planet Talking blog

Picture a hand holding up a small empty picture frame looking out over a bluff above a beach.

Photo by pine watt on Unsplash

Juliet Pinto's picture

In his remarks today at COP21, the former U.S. vice-president, Al Gore, placed the climate crisis in a historical context. “When a choice becomes clear, the outcome is inevitable,” said Gore. “The climate crisis is the latest in a long string of social struggles, from abolition, to women’s rights, anti-apartheid; I could go on. But the world is increasingly recognizing that it is immoral to put 110 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every day as if it were an open sewer.”

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Phaedra C. Pezzullo's picture

At COP21, there are plenty of presentations from experts in STEM fields focusing on facts: climate scientist reports and mathematical data are shared, while technological and engineering innovations are understood as necessary parts of solutions to transform our energy systems and revitalize global economies. But, the headline news and daily debriefs about people making a difference? They focus on the interdisciplinary arts of how to think critically and to communicate in ways that might move others.

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Juliet Pinto's picture

At a panel on sea level rise in Miami last year, audience members repeatedly asked what city officials were doing to combat street flooding and other impacts of climate change overwhelming infrastructure. Panelists, including me, listed the pumps Miami Beach is installing, as well as building code changes, upgrades to flood control infrastructure on the canal systems, and other adaptation measures being implemented.

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Phaedra C. Pezzullo's picture

It is hard to provide or to navigate a COP map. We are gathering in temporary structures in Le Bourget, a suburb of Paris. There are restaurants, restrooms, water bottle refill stations, and lots of meeting spaces. The IECA has a booth in a long building with many other NGOs; there also are great halls for large diplomatic meetings; smaller meeting spaces for spinoff groups; places to recharge your computer through stationary biking; plastic animals that appear to be an artistic statement about the loss of biodiversity; pocket gardens; and much, much more. Plus, there are events throughout the city of Paris during this time.

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Juliet Pinto's picture

“Cognitive dissonance” is a term I am using more frequently. I first heard it as a graduate student learning about communication theory, as we studied the stress people experience when new information confronts deep-held beliefs and attitudes. We are rational creatures, right? We want harmony between our lived experiences and what we believe to be true.

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Phaedra C. Pezzullo's picture

Today, I attended a security briefing and helped set up the IECA booth with Prof. Juliet Pinto & Suzanna Norbeck, JD, from Mediators Beyond Borders (with whom we’re sharing the booth). Despite the state of emergency, the security was nothing compared to the airport in Indianapolis. Honestly. (For an excellent book on U.S. security performances from an intersectional cultural studies perspective, see Rachel Hall’s *The Transparent Traveler*.)

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Juliet Pinto's picture

The week before I left for the COP21 talks, I spent a considerable amount of time driving around my local neighborhoods in Miami and watching water pool on the streets. It bubbled up rapidly through storm drains, spreading across streets, turning green grass into yellow stalks, sloshing across roadways as cars splashed through and people held their shoes in their hands to gingerly tiptoe across.

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Phaedra C. Pezzullo's picture

Today, I’m getting on a plane to Paris, France, for the first week of COP21; organized by Gregg Walker, I am one of four delegates for the International Environmental Communication Association Climate Working Group. Our goal is to try to blog/tweet daily during COP21 to try to raise awareness about climate communication. In Paris over the next two weeks—during which climate activists already are being put under house arrest and criminalized for reasons completely unrelated to the impetus of the state of emergency—this simple act of encouraging public attention and debate matters.

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Alison Anderson's picture

Tema Milstein (University of New Mexico), author of 'The Performer Metaphor: “Mother Nature Never Gives Us the Same Show Twice”', provides a timely analysis of SeaWorld's announcement that it is to introduce sweeping changes, including phasing out its “Shamu” orca show.

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Stephen Depoe's picture

Here is the eighth--and final--IECA excursion assignment I am giving my Environmental Communication class this semester.  The assignment asks them to read through the articles published in 2015 in our journal Environmental Communication, then identify and list five articles that they think are most relevant to topics covered in our class this semester.

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