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Be Very AfraidThe Cultural Response to Terror, Pandemics, Environmental Devastation, Nuclear Annihilation, and Other Threats$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730872

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730872.001.0001

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Setting a New Agenda

Setting a New Agenda

(p.184) Eight Setting a New Agenda
Be Very Afraid

Robert Wuthnow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the complexity of putting climate change on the national agenda. Like the peril of nuclear weapons and the threat of terrorism, global warming was subject to numerous competing interpretations even among those who agreed it was serious. Facing up to the reality of humanity's impact on the environment brought forth proposals that inevitably reflected the nation's values and revealed the divisions in these values. The struggle showed leaders' continuing faith in science and technology, but also demonstrated wariness of the public about trusting scientists too much. In the short term, the process itself of debating an agenda served as the dominant cultural response.

Keywords:   climate change, global warming, environmental policy, peril, threats

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