Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere

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9781483344331: Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere
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The Fourth Edition of Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere remains the only comprehensive introduction to the growing field of environmental communication, ranging from an historical overview of key terms to important legal and technological developments. This innovative book focuses on how human communication influences the way we perceive and act in the environment. It also examines how we interpret environmental "problems" and decide what actions to take with regard to the natural world.  

Three-time president of the Sierra Club, the largest environmental group in the United States, lead author Robert Cox leverages his vast experience to offer insights into the news media, Congress, environmental conflict, advocacy campaigns, and other real-world applications of environmental communication. New coauthor Phaedra Pezzullo brings two decades of applied experience working with grassroots environmental justice and health organizations, citizen advisory boards, and student-led campaigns, as well as her internationally recognized research on toxic pollution, social injustices, public advocacy, and more.

The authors introduce the reader to the major areas, terms, and debates of this evolving field. The Fourth Edition incorporates major revisions that include four new chapters on visual and popular culture, digital media and activism, the sustainability of college and corporation campuses, and the legal "standing" of citizens and nature. Updates throughout the text draw on timely topics including visual communication used in climate science campaigns, fracking and challenges to the right to know, plastic bag bans, consumer apps, digital activism for environmental justice, green marketing, and arguments on giving legal rights to nonhuman entities from dolphins to rivers.

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About the Author:

Robert Cox (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies and the Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His principal research areas are environmental and climate change communication, and strategic studies of social movements. One of the nation’s leading scholars in environmental communication, Cox is editor of Environmental Communication, a 4-volume reference collection (SAGE, 2016), coeditor of The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Communication (2015), and author of numerous studies of environmental, climate and other social change campaigns. He served three times as President of the Sierra Club, the largest grassroots U.S. environmental organization, as well as serving on the board of directors for Earth Echo International. Cox has campaigned on environmental concerns with former Vice President Al Gore, singer Melissa Etheridge, and other public figures; he continues to advise environmental groups on their communication programs, and regularly participates in environmental and climate change initiatives such as the Peoples Climate March. He has enjoyed hiking in the Himalayas and the southern Appalachian Mountains in the U.S.

Review:

"This is the best undergraduate text devoted to environmental communication. It's the standard book for an introduction to the field."

--Jeffrey L. Courtright

"Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere engages a medley of terms, frames, and controversies that are useful for fusing theory and practice. The authors address an impressive breadth of material and numerous case studies that provide depth and context-specific opportunities for critical thinking and engaged learning. Well-researched texts of this quality are essential for providing students and faculty with the communication savvy necessary for imagining and enacting environments that are conducive to human and planetary thriving amidst our colliding ecological crises. I have relied on the 3rd and 4th editions of this textbook in my previous Communicating Sustainability classes and look forward to using the next edition."

--Kathleen M. de Onis

"This is a great text that clearly explains a difficult concept and then provides several examples of how it permeates society via the ways we communicate about the natural world and our role in it."

--Damon M. Hall

"In the field of environmental communication, Pezzullo and Cox's text is fundamental. With tremendous breadth and depth, it offers both contemporary and historical public discourse on the complicated fight for environmental protections. Students find this text book enlightening and highly readable given the many opportunities for engagement in contemporary issues provided in text blocks throughout the book."

--Jennifer L. Adams

"This interdisciplinary overview is an accessible introduction to environmental communication. The careful grounding in rhetorical and media theory is especially helpful, and the many current case studies are interesting and informative. This book is valuable for students of environmental science and policy as well as environmental activists."

--Joan Faber McAlister

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