Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Social Media Consultant's Morning


  1. Wake up
  2. Check iPhone notifications while still in bed
  3. Get up and walk to computer
  4. Open Facebook. Scroll down entire news feed. Wish people happy bday. Like at least 5 things and comment on at least 2. 
  5. Open Hootsuite and check for mentions
  6. Open Klout. Your Klout score determines your self worth. It can make or break the day.
  7. Open Google+/Blogger/YouTube (since they're all the same now)
  8. Get coffee
  9. Sign in as each of your Facebook pages and start posting
  10. Ritual complete. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Road Trip!

Tomorrow I leave for an epic environmentalist dream road trip with my mom. I'm excited to spend time with my mom and also to visit these awesome places.

We're gong to first travel down to the Shenandoah Valley to visit Joel Salatin's Polyface farm and go hiking. Then we'll come back north and visit an area hit by fracking and some of the farms that produce the food that ends up at the farmers' markets near me.

I'll be reporting all along and am even going to try to make a short documentary about my mom's reaction to discovering fracking - and on the trip all together.

It's been a while since i've written and i'm excited to get going on the blog again!

-Sara

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hoax?

Bill McKibben sent out an email this morning recalling yesterday's plan of melting a huge ice sculpture in the shape of the word "hoax?" in front of the capital. I hugely respect his ability to say that he screwed up, but I'm not totally sure it was the right decision. 

I thought the sculpture was one of the most creative ideas I've heard for the climate movement in a long time. I even told my non-environmentalist friends about it out of enthusiasm, and said I really wanted to travel all the way down to D.C. just to see it happen - and the reactions it would get. 

I understand that his decision came from respecting all sides of the movement, but I also think we need to get a little creative here. 350.org has been a great proponent of eARTh (earth art) - public movements that display climate change in a creative and engaging way - and I think this could have been a great act of that. 

On the other end, I trust and revere Bill McKibben. I always say that if I could sit down for dinner with any interesting person in the world, it would be him. If you see this, Bill, I look forward to your comments.

-Sara

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Baby of the Group - SB ’12 from a Millennial Perspective



As the youngest participant at SB’12, I had a unique millennial perspective. Yes, that includes being vivacious, altruistic, excited, and somewhat star-struck, but also particularly aware of the apathy of my generation and the cataclysm we’ll have to deal with (to put it lightly).  One of the most common icebreakers floating around the conference went something like “So how did YOU get involved in environmental sustainability?”  It’s one I had to answer frequently because of my overflowing enthusiasm and age, and a toughie because it’s somewhat of a mystery where my passion came from.

I grew up in Manhattan with parents who have always lived in NYC. They still believe that garbage can be thrown “away,” and on a recent trip home I discovered they had gotten rid of our recycling bin (I’m a failure…). They refused my bids to install a wormed compost bin under our sink, so I green-stormed my school instead – installing a composter on the terrace and imposing Meatless Monday, PowerDown hours, and Xlerators. The environmental blog I took on for my senior independent project led to Experts’ Opinions on Sustainability and Allan Clout Consulting (a social media consultancy) and catapulted me down a road of endless projects.  The more I learn, the more passionate I become - and that’s the cycle that leaves me bubbling with excitement when I meet others interested in sustainability and fizzing at conferences like SB.

Paradise Point view
As part of the first generation that won’t live longer than our parents, I acknowledge that we’re on a downward slope but am still optimistic that we can reverse the course with dramatic changes to business and policy.  I’m also a member of what I would call the ‘Hippie 2.0’ movement – a distinct subculture of the millennial generation deeply involved in social justice and grassroots organizing and enchanted by “the simple life” of our great-grandparents. We canvas, march, lobby, and organize; plant urban gardens and work on farms; and ­­­­­­­actually care. In general, we believe in the power of the constituent to affect change in policy and business but are all too familiar with the apathy of our “I don’t give a damn because I’m just too cool” contemporaries.

On the flip side, our generation has grown up with the word ‘sustainability’ actually in the dictionary.  Even though most aren’t actively involved in the environmental movement, I believe it registers via the osmosis method (the same concept behind the sleep-with-the-book-under-your-pillow trick).

Similarly, my generation has grown up embedded in social media – coming of age during the Crackberry, smart phone, and Facebook revolutions. I, particularly, believe in the power of social media to communicate, organize, and collaborate and am attune to its integral role in our lives (and I might just base my self-worth off my Klout score…@SaraBAllan). The information age that put a googol of facts and figures into cyberspace has led to web 2.0 that can actually make use of it. This is where our generation can come in handy – we created SM etiquette and understand better than anyone how to pull our friends in by making the tidbits of our life seem note-worthy.  Crossing over, we intuitively understand the best ways to use social media to engage customers, constituents, and especially the rest of our millennial generation. Two of the biggest themes at SB’12 were millennial engagement and social media best practices, and the Gen-Yers in the room had unique insights on both. 


        Although I do my best to remain realistic, I face a passion fueled by my altruistic vision.  I am optimistic about the effect corporate sustainability can have and the amount they’ll be willing to do because, although grassroots organizing is crucial, it can only provide the pressure through which businesses and government realize change.  So, unlike many of my hippie counterparts, I want to work in corporate sustainability. (This would be the star-struck part because almost every attendee of SB has my dream job….) For me, living the crunchy life isn’t enough – I want to go bigger – to the top of the chain that actually creates and shapes U.S. consumerism.

      All of this has led to my specific passion for collaboration in the environmental movement that I believe is necessary to prevent our imminent doom (to draw from my emotions after getting through the first 50 pages of Eaarth). This is also why I was so set on traveling from Philadelphia to Sustainable Brands and was behind the co-create I pitched, called Spark[!]Box – a platform to facilitate project-based collaboration among small environmental organizations.  Moving forward, I will continue to develop SparkBox with the inspiration and empowerment I gained at SB’12.
 
            I do have to say…the party scene does almost rival that of college – good job staying young at heart!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Sustainable Brands '12

I'll be blogging this week from the Sustainable Brands conference 2012 in San Diego! It is a fantastic conference with incredible speakers and attendees.

I'll be blogging from the college student / young entrepreneur / sustainability enthusiast perspective daily. I'm interested in seeing if there are any other young college students here...?

After a small (but adventurous) snafu, I am now staying at Paradise Point, the gorgeous conference location on an island in Mission Bay.

All blog articles will be posted here, and the relevant ones copied to SparkBox and Allan Clout Consulting.

I hope you'll follow along with me on this journey!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Intrapreneurship

I've just come across a new and intriguing word...intrapreneurship!  I'd never heard of this word before a Sustainable Brands Article. The wikipedia definition is "the act of behaving like an entrepreneur, except within a large organization rather than a market as a whole."

Interesting concept. I think it embodies the most admirable trait of the executives I most admire. An innovative spirit for risky projects. These projects usually contribute to a highly genuine CSR campaign - the most successful type.

Here's a great example of one I read today...a Grist post - A Wisconsin hospital is powered by beer and cheese. - what a great story!

I hope I can be like this one day when I'm a Corporate Sustainability Officer :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

de la Vega

While this isn't quite on the topic of my blog, I haven't written a post in a while...I'm really hoping to ramp up my blogging efforts this summer (right after I'm recovered from my wisdom tooth extraction).

Anyway, I've always had a fascination with de la Vega. For non New Yorkers, de la Vega makes chalk drawings all over Manhattan. They're usually pretty simple, but have a neat concept and made my walk to school interesting if there was one on the block that day. Last summer, I saw him in action and had a minor freak out - the type teenage girls have when they see Justin Bieber, or the likes. Instead I've never really had a thing for that hair. Anyway, this is more my type of freak out. I took a few pictures. 

Today, I passed his new shop with my mom. It's actually a framing shop that's housing some of his works. And they're ridiculously over priced. So, i took to researching online. I've come across some neat images I hadn't seen before and am hoping to find some way of decorating my new room with them (that doesn't break the bank). (Many more posts to come on the new room - I'm moving into Penn's first coop and will have a room in a 9 bedroom house off-campus! so excited!). 

Below are some of my favorite pictures that I found online. No credit to me, they're clearly all marked de la vega. And I found most of them on his Facebook page - www.Facebook.com/delavegaprophet.

[Really I just want to get these up here so I can pin them to interest :)]


























Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Superfund

Here is another essay that I wrote for my environmental case studies class on the Superfund and it's implications in the Philadelphia area.




In 2011, Forbes rated the Philadelphia area as the most toxic in the United States because of its concentrations of highly contaminated Superfund sites.[1] However, as Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Anthony Wood said, “Most Philadelphians wouldn’t know the Superfund from the Super Bowl.”[2] Most Superfund sites look as plain as a gated lot with a small sign indicating contamination and risk. Although scarcely known, the Superfund is extremely relevant to the Philadelphia area and residents should become informed in order to ensure the safety of their communities.
In the summer of 1978, toxic chemicals turned up in basements and yards near Love Canal, New York. It was soon discovered that the Hooker Chemical Company had filled an abandoned site with over 21,000 tons of chemical waste. Hooker covered the site with earth and clay and sold it to the Niagara Falls Board of Education for one dollar. Schools and a playground were then built on the site and a residential community developed in the neighborhood.[3]
In 1986, two sites per each congressional district were put on the National Priorities List to start off the program. CERCLIS, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System, a superfund tracking database, was created to follow their progress. However, in some districts there were over 50 sites that did not qualify for the program, despite their toxicity.[4]
On December 2, 1984, there was a leak at the Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal, India that killed over 20,000 workers and residents. Union Carbide was an American company under the Dow Corporation that had slipped in equipment maintenance and drastically reduced training time for workers to cut costs. Senior managers never checked to see if the plant was following safety protocol. In addition, residents were not educated on an emergency situation plan.  They accidentally ran in the direction of the wind, increasing their exposure and were also unaware that simply covering their faces with a wet cloth could have helped immensely. Outrage broke out immediately from both Americans and Indians. Americans were not only upset about the needless loss of life but also feared something similar happening closer to ::::Desktop:Screen Shot 2012-04-19 at 9.23.07 AM.pnghome.[5] This sparked subcommittees and action within the United States’ government. The outcome was a bill known as EPCRA, the Emergency Planning and Right to Know Act. EPCRA is Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA), which was created in 1986.[6] EPCRA showed that citizens had the right to know the chemicals being used by companies near them. This led to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), in which all companies are required to divulge all information about the chemicals they use.[7] The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) was created on a state level to keep citizens safe and respond to the information provided in the TRI.[8]
Republican and Democratic support for the EPA and the Superfund has gone in waves. Initially, it was Republicans that championed the program and more funding for the EPA, but by the late 1980s, the political polarity had reversed. From 1989-1992, during the first Bush administration, environmentalists tried to expand EPCRA through legislation, without much success. During the proceeding Clinton administration, however, the EPA increased the number of chemicals and industries that had to report to the TRI. Industry officials took every possible measure to get out of this, and the subsequent Bush administration took input from stakeholders, who believed that companies were losing profits due to the regulations, and limited the companies’ burden of reporting.[9] Data was first released in 1989, and was reported on by journalists and reporters. On average, the release led to negative returns on the day’s stock price by an average of $4.1 million.[10] Throughout the second Bush administration, the project faced gradual budget cuts, which reduced enforcement and effectiveness.[11] The subsequent Edgar Amendment required facilities to report releases and transfers of chemicals with acute and chromic effects. This caused a decrease in pollution because the costs of reporting and the public scrutiny that followed were high.[12] In the current political atmosphere, Republicans argue that the budget for the EPA is too large and that the EPA stifles companies from free production and, therefore, harms the economy. Democrats see the EPA as necessary to protect our country for pollution.
The Superfund process has many multistage steps. The first part of the process is identifying a contaminated site. From there, the identifiers determine if it would be a good candidate for Superfund funding. The next step is the extensive application process.  If preliminary assessment reveals that the site is significantly contaminated, it will be listed on National Priorities List (NPL) and ranked according to the Hazard Ranking System (HRS), a key part of the EPA’s system.  Next are remedial investigation and a feasibility study, remedial design, construction, NPL deletion, and finally site reuse. Many experts are part of each of these steps. The Remedial Project Manager oversees the entire project and works with specialists and attorneys to find potentially responsible parties. Hydrogeologists, work on the soil and water contamination issues to make sure that they are contained as much as possible. Civil engineers locate potentially responsible parties for liability litigation. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) works to make sure that public health issues are kept under control. Toxicologists and biologists assess and minimize the harm done to nature. The Community Involvement Coordinator has one of the biggest roles – bridging the communication barrier between the public and the experts. Throughout, detailed records of decisions are kept and can be viewed by the public on the EPA’s website.
There are debates on how the Superfund should be funded; however, most agree that it should be funded with taxes on industry and directly by the companies that caused the damage. Originally in 1980, funding for the Superfund program was $1.6 billion, however, the amendments made in 1985 cut its funds.[13] The Downey Amendment created a $10 billion taxes on polluters, $3.1 billion on petroleum, $2.1 billion on chemicals, $2 billion on hazardous waste disposal, and $1.6 billion in general revenues.
The Superfund’s budget currently comes from a variety of sources including the Recovery Act, responsible parties, and state cost-share contributions. In the fiscal year 2010 report, the Superfund “obligated $443 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible parties…” for construction on Superfund sites. Three of the 18 sites that completed the construction phase in 2010 received money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009[14], the act signed by President Obama in an attempt to fix the economic crisis, create jobs, and spur the economy. It is a fund that has a total of $787 billion.[15] Allocation of Superfund resources is determined by a high HRS score and length of time on the NPL. In addition, state prioritization, non-federal sites, and federal fund-lead sites have automatic priority.[16]
Costs / Benefits of Superfund: The overall criticisms of the program are its inefficiency, inaccuracy, and inequity. 
Critics claim that the process is inefficient because delays in cleaning up the sites, administrative deficiencies, and high transaction costs that are ultimately paid for by the EPA and not the responsible parties. In 2010 alone, the program conducted 261 five-year reviews, amended 24 cleanup plans, and issued 59 explanations of significant differences at 53 sites.[17] All of these actions, while important to the documentation of the program, take away from funds allocated to the actual remediation process.  One of the root causes of the inefficiency stems from the intensely bureaucratic government. The term “dump-stumping” has been coined to describe when politicians visit a site solely to criticize the Superfund program and get PR. Initially, when the Superfund program was supported by Republicans, Democrats criticized it. The opposite is now true as democrats are more likely to support the EPA and its funding than republicans.[18]
Refutations of the inefficiency claim state that the program did not really get off the ground until 1987, which can explain deficiencies in the number of total Superfund sites remediated. In general, critics tend to focus on the number of sites cleaned up (or not), however, it is really the decrease in health risk that should be emphasized. This focus on number of sites gives the EPA incentive to fix the easiest sites rather than to take action where the money would have the biggest impact.[19]
The inaccuracy claim comes largely from the fact that the inventories are self-reported by the companies, which have a negative incentive in the direct and indirect financial burdens.. In addition, risk assessments are subjective, and therefore biased. Scientists use bioassays, which often give conservative estimates of environmental risk. They also use epidemiology, an assay that makes it hard to link observed risk with cause.[20]
Nonetheless, there were still clear benefits of the TRI program. It ultimately led to a change in chemical use to those that were less toxic, largely because of stakeholder pressure. It helped reporters, journalists, activists, and environmental lobbyists delve deeper and make more accurate claims. It also lead to the phasing out of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons), an ozone depleting chemical that was the main cause of the “ozone hole.” The remediation of this hole was one of the greatest environmental successes of the 20th century. Thirty-three out of fifty participants in the program voluntarily reduced their levels of pollution.[21]
Many see the Superfund as a way to make companies “internalize externalities”.[22] As pollution data goes public, companies reduce their more dangerous pollutants, especially in areas of greater voter turnout. However, pound of pollution is an inaccurate way to quantify success because chemicals have a wide range and intensity effects. This is something that the general public is usually uninformed about.[23]
Impacts of the Toxic Release Inventory were also felt. It took time and resources for companies to make the reports, and cost them money to change their chemicals. It took government resources to make the data public (which was difficult because of technology available at the time). Furthermore, the accuracy of the data was still in question since companies were self-reporting. In addition, housing prices in neighborhoods near the plants dropped, effecting homeowners and the housing markets of the microcosm economies.[24]  Effects of the project are felt all around, and the question ultimately becomes – is the Superfund worth it?
Still others claim that the Superfund process is inherently unfair.  The superfund cannot equitably fix the fact that some populations are more exposed to the toxic substances than others. Although most would assume that this refers to poorer parts of the nation, Superfund sites are actually found more often in wealthier towns. This may have to do with the fact that industry was settled and made great financial profit for the town and its workers while simultaneously polluting the area. It could potentially also be contributed to the fact that wealthier areas tend to spend more money looking for contaminated sites and are more proactive in pushing for Superfund status.  In areas of higher median income, on average it takes more time between the proposal and final NPL status. Also, sites are less likely to have removal actions and are associated with larger planned cleanup obligations.[25]  This may also be attributed to greater citizen involvement.
One of the biggest controversies of the program is the liability issue. The EPA states that if negligent and fault is found on the part of the defendant, they are strictly held to the funds of cleaning up the site; however, many worry that it actually tax dollars paying for the doings of these highly profitable companies. One of the unique properties of the Superfund is that companies can be found liable even for actions that took place before the Superfund was created. Each of the polluters can be liable for the cost to clean up the entire site.
The Superfund’s performance measures including the following:
·      Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA)
·      Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use (SWRAU)
·      Human Exposure Under Control (HEUC)
·      Groundwater Migration Under Control (GMUC)
·      Final Assessment Decision (FAD)
·      Construction Completed (CC)
·      EPA Strategic Plan[26]
The latest Superfund accomplishments report was issued after the fiscal year 2010 and shows a long list of the programs successes. In 2010, the Superfund reduced human exposure to harmful chemicals at 18 sites, exceeding the annual goal, which was set at ten, and mitigated contaminated ground water by 18 as well, surpassing the annual goal of 15. They claim that this brings the total number of significantly remediated Superfund sites to 1,338! It is estimate that 1.3 million acres of land have been remediated to the point of safety to people and that over 455,800 acres are ready for use. The construction phase was finished at 18 sites, bringing the total for that to 1,098, or 67.5% of all NPL sites. By the end of 2010, there were 1,627 final and deleted sites.[27]
On the other side of the spectrum, the Superfund is a continuing and ever-growing process. In 2010, 20 new sites were added to the NPL.  There are also many contaminated sites that are not listed and more that have yet to be discovered.
There are forty Superfund sites listed in the city of Philadelphia, and many more in the greater Philadelphia area. Philadelphia was rated the most toxic urban area by Forbes magazine in 2011[28] and was on the bottom of Sperling’s water rating list with a score of just 13%.[29]  Many of the superfund sites in the Philadelphia area are former landfills that did not have proper containment and liner systems. Some significant sites include the Bridgeport Rental and Oil Services, which was listed in 1984 and is currently in the final fazes; the Ryeland Road Arsenic, a site listed in 2004 at which ferns were used for bioremediation; and the Vineland Chemical Company, Inc., which was funded by the Recovery Act. The Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site[30] is one of the relative success stories of the Philadelphia area. The area in Carbon County, PA along the Appalachian Trail at the top of Blue Mountain was re-vegetated and is on track to return to its natural habitat.
The East Tenth Street superfund site is a 36-acre plot in an industrialized area of Marcus Hook, PA, which was proposed to the NPL in January of 1994. The site went through multiple stages of ownership starting in 1910 when the American Viscose Company produced Rayon and then switched to cellophane in 1958. From 1963-1977, the FMC Corporation produced cellophane as well and then handed a parcel of the land over to Envirosafe Services.  The parcel was then purchased by the Marcus Hook Processing Inc., a subsidiary of Envirosafe. This 4.25 acres of contaminated land has now gone through multiple environmental assessments. One of them, conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (PADER), found employees excavating an underground solvent storage tank farm that consisted of thirty tanks and disposing o::::Desktop:Screen Shot 2012-04-19 at 10.10.24 AM.pngf the contents on the bare soil of the site. A 1990 investigation showed tanks, leaking transformers, and asbestos within and outside of the site’s buildings. In 1990, an EPA evaluation revealed asbestos, PCBs, and other hazardous materials that had been mishandled during the demolition. They also discovered a sludge filled tunnel on one of the lots. The soil contains PCBs, asbestos, heavy metals, and other organic contaminants, the sludge filled tunnel contains chloroform, cadmium, and mercury, and sediments in the creek contain PCBs. The EPA website concludes that “Touching or ingesting contaminated groundwater, soils, surface water, or sediments poses a health risk.”[31] Despite the fact that the site is located next to the Marcus Hook Creek, a state-designated area for the protection of aquatic life, the site is still not listed on the NPL and hardly any remediation has been done. This site represents a failure of the Superfund program. Attempts to talk to the EPA site’s listed Community Involvement Coordinator failed and other sources told me that it was not possible to receive any further information on the site.
On the other end of the spectrum, the most recent NPL listings is the former Metro Container Corporation in Trainer, Delaware County, which was added on March 13, 2012. The site has a lagoon that was used for industrial purposes for several decades by multiple companies. The property is now owned by an industrial painting company, Trainer Industries, which uses it for storage[32]. It has been an industrial site since the19th century. From 1920 to 1959, the site was used as a chemical manufacturing plant by Stauffer Chemical Company.  In 1991, owners of the Metro Container Corporation, a steel drum reconditioning plant, pled guilty to charges that they had dumped hazardous waste and discharged contaminated water into Stoney Creek.[33] However, Metro had filed for bankruptcy in 1987, so liability funding for the site is complicated.  The unlined lagoon was filled with soil and artificial fill materials, which did nothing to protect the surrounding area from contamination. The soils are now contaminated with PCBs, inorganics, PAHs (Polyaromatic hydrocarbons), and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Assessment reveals that there is potential to contaminate the tidal flats of the Delaware and the river itself.
Alex Mendell, the Community Involvement Coordinator for the Metro Container Corporation Superfund site in Trainer described himself as the liaison between the scientists and community members, a translator of sorts between the technical and laymen terms. He finds his job “rewarding, although often difficult because I does my best to remain transparent to the community members.” When asked whether there was a community push to put the site on the NPL, he responded, “The public is always a part of the process – we visited the site a number of times and communicated with members of the community during the proposal.” He emphasized the value of one-on-one communication and went door to door to talk with as many residents as possible. In Trainer, the mayor lives right in the community, which, Mendell says, made communication easier. He made fact sheets and hosted open houses. They also use a CIP – Community Involvement Plan, a comprehensive plan that highlights questions about better communicating information to the community. His thoughts on efficiency included the importance of social media and learning how to better engage with it in the future.  Overall, Mendell has seen that the public is relatively aware of the project’s details, the site, and the remediation plan – thanks in most part his own outreach efforts.[34]
One of the best measures of success is the public perception of the program, especially since the Superfund was born from public discontent with government response to hazardous materials.  The Joel Best sociological model of framing separates a topic into four main components: experts, activists, media, and politicians, and then analyzes the issue from each of these angles.  All four of these then influence the general public perception of the issue. Experts believe that the Superfund is a thorough process. Activists generally believe that it is too slow, however, this is inherent in the role of activists, because people only stand up when they feel something is wrong. The media hardly gives the Superfund any attention because it is such a slow moving issue. When there is a dramatic change or if the activists make a big enough splash to garner some attention it is generally covered with a negative tilt.  As far as politicians, currently democrats are in favor of the EPA, and extrapolating would be in favor the Superfund, while republicans are against it, saying that it hurts business and that the EPA is overfunded. These four perspectives reveal the two common sentiments of the general public – ignorance and negativity.
In an interview with “Chris,” a responder for the Superfund General Information Hotline, they receive a “decent number of calls from citizens, who are mot often looking for information on sites in their community.” When asked about the average level of knowledge possessed by callers, her responded that “Education varies, some have done a significant amount of research and want to get involved, and others have just found out that there is a site in their community and are curious to learn more.” However, he also mentioned that the hotline does not have any additional information from what is on the extensive public EPA Superfund branch of their website. He did also indicate that, despite this fact, the hotline is efficient because many citizens do not know how to navigate the website and it is a useful venting location for people who are frustrated and want to complain.[35] There is no formal tracking devise for complaints, so the public may see the hotline as a waste of taxpayer dollars.
The next interview was conducted with “Dawn,” a librarian for the Superfund program. She was willing to share her personal opinion on the Superfund. Her main points were that funding is not always available and that many sites involve significant controversy stemming from residents skepticism of remediation’s interference and the slow speed of the program. She stresses that each site is different: often funding is not available and communities vary in their involvement. There is also significant difference between federal sites and those that are privately owned.
Overall, the documentation of the Superfund Program, and the incredible about of detail available to the public, is remarkable. The website and hotlines keep the process as transparent as possible – a major feat for a government-run program. However, there are several components that could be made more efficient. Streamlining of the litigation and liability process, while difficult, would save a significant amount of money and time. In addition, the national general hotline is likely repetitive and a waste of resources. Overall the program is successful at doing what it was set up to do – remediate sites – however, this does not solve the ever-growing problem of industrial contamination. Stricter regulations must be put on companies to prevent further damage to the United States. A major coup of industrial lobbyists in Washington is absolutely crucial to making sure that the Superfund is a success. The Superfund is worth it, but it should not be paid for by American tax dollars. Public sentiment is generally negative because news stories generally only focus on this angle, but most community involvement is more positive.

Bibliography / Works Cited
Associated Press. "EPA Approves Philly-area Plant for Superfund List." York Dispatch. Media News Group, 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2012. <http://www.yorkdispatch.com/penn/ci_20163802/epa-approves-philly-area-plant-superfund-list>.

Barnett, Harold C. Toxic Debts and the Superfund Dilemma. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1994. Print.

"East Tenth Street." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, Jan. 2008. Web. 2 Mar. 2012. <http://www.epa.gov/reg3hscd/npl/PAD987323458.htm>.

"Bhopal: India Wants Compensation Doubled." BBC News. BBC, 3 Dec. 2012. Web. 5 Mar. 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11911828>.

Hamilton, James. Regulation through Revelation: The Origin, Politics, and Impacts of the Toxics Release Inventory Program. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005. Print.

Hird, John A. Superfund: The Political Economy of Environmental Risk. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. Print.

Revesz, Richard L., and Richard B. Stewart. Analyzing Superfund: Economics, Science, and Law. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future, 1995. Print.

Seneca, Roy. "Advanced Search." Aerial Re-vegetation Resumes on Appalachian Trail Portion. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 1 Apr. 2012. <http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/e51aa292bac25b0b85257359003d925f/76b8839afee7b85a852579c2005eaf8e!OpenDocument>.

United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER). Superfund National Accomplishments Summary Fiscal Year 2010. Environmental Protection Agency, 2011. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. <http://www.epa.gov/superfund/accomp/numbers10.htm>.

United States. Washington State Department of Ecology. What Is the Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)? Access Washington. Web. 1 Mar. 2012. <http://www.ecy.wa.gov/epcra/whatis.html>.

Wood, Anthony R. "Trainer Site Makes EPA Superfund List; Who Pays?" Philly.com. Philadelphia Inquirer, 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2012. <http://articles.philly.com/2012-03-13/news/31160150_1_epa-superfund-list-federal-cleanup-industrial-history>.


[1] Brennan, Morgan. "America's 10 Most Toxic Cities." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 2 Feb. 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://www.forbes.com/2011/02/28/most-toxic-cities-personal-finance.html>.
[2] Wood, A. (2012, April 11). Email interview.
[3] Hamilton, James. Regulation through Revelation: The Origin, Politics, and Impacts of the Toxics Release Inventory Program. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005), 16.
[4] Hamilton, 18.
[5]  "Bhopal: India Wants Compensation Doubled." BBC News. BBC (3 Dec. 2012) <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11911828>.
[6] United States. Washington State Department of Ecology. What Is the Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)? Access Washington. <http://www.ecy.wa.gov/epcra/whatis.html>.
[7] Hamilton, 10
[8] United States. Washington State Department of Ecology. What Is the Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)? Access Washington. <http://www.ecy.wa.gov/epcra/whatis.html>.
[9] Hamilton, 176
[10] Hamilton, 73
[11] Hamilton, 176
[12] Hamilton, 17
[13] Hird, 14
[14] http://www.recovery.gov/About/Pages/The_Act.aspx
[15] http://www.epa.gov/superfund/accomp/numbers10.htm
[16] Hird, John A. Superfund: The Political Economy of Environmental Risk. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994), 138.
[17] http://www.epa.gov/superfund/accomp/numbers10.htm
[18] Hird, 31
[19] Hird, 31
[20] Hird, 56
[21] Hamilton, 241
[22] Hamilton, 114
[23] Hamilton, 114
[24] Hamilton, 241
[25] Hird, 138
[26] United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER). Superfund National Accomplishments Summary Fiscal Year 2010. Environmental Protection Agency, 2011. Web. <http://www.epa.gov/superfund/accomp/numbers10.htm>.
[27] United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER). Superfund National Accomplishments Summary Fiscal Year 2010. Environmental Protection Agency, 2011. Web. <http://www.epa.gov/superfund/accomp/numbers10.htm>.
[28] Brennan, Morgan. "America's 10 Most Toxic Cities." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 2 Feb. 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://www.forbes.com/2011/02/28/most-toxic-cities-personal-finance.html>.
[29] "Sperling's Best Places to Live." Best Places to Live. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. <http://www.bestplaces.net/>.
[30]Seneca, Roy. Aerial Re-vegetation Resumes on Appalachian Trail Portion, <http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/e51aa292bac25b0b85257359003d925f/76b8839afee7b85a852579c2005eaf8e!OpenDocument> (12 Mar. 2012).
[31] "East Tenth Street." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, (Jan. 2008) <http://www.epa.gov/reg3hscd/npl/PAD987323458.htm>.
[32] Associated Press. "EPA Approves Philly-area Plant for Superfund List." York Dispatch. Media News Group, (13 Mar. 2012) <http://www.yorkdispatch.com/penn/ci_20163802/epa-approves-philly-area-plant-superfund-list>.
[33] Wood, Anthony R. "Trainer Site Makes EPA Superfund List; Who Pays?" Philly.com. Philadelphia Inquirer, (13 Mar. 2012) <http://articles.philly.com/2012-03-13/news/31160150_1_epa-superfund-list-federal-cleanup-industrial-history>.
[34] "Alex Mendell." Telephone interview. 13 Apr. 2012.
[35] “Chris on the Superfund Hotline”

Friday, April 27, 2012

Social Media and the Environmental Movement

It's been a while, so as a cheat post, I thought I'd upload my final sociology paper...it follows.

Frame and Blame
Social Media and the Environmental Movement


             The climate change movement has been controversial since its beginning in the 1970s and has been framed from almost every angle.  Supporters and opponents have turned it into a story of villains and victims and made it a heated debate. In Rise and Fall of Social Problems, Hillgartner states that social problems go through an oscillating cycle of attention,[1] and, because climate change is a slow moving process, there is less news coverage and these oscillations tend to be slower with less drastic peaks and valleys. There are a variety of players in this process, which Joel Best sums up as scientists, activists, media, and politicians.[2] The four work in tandem to shape public perception of current issues. The experts are scientists and climatologists, of whom 97% worldwide believe in climate change while the remaining three percent either believe that it is not anthropogenic or that it is not occurring at all.[3] Activists for climate change remediation believe that it is a dire situation, while opponents argue with the validity of the science and allege proponent alarmism. The media slant information based on their political affiliation and funding sources. Politicians are also separated by party affiliation and are heavily influenced by lobbyists. So, do the facts behind the framing match up with public perception? According to a recent poll done by Yale and George Mason Universities in May 2011, only 64% of Americans believe that climate change is occurring, and only 47% believe that it is man-made.[4] According to another study done at Yale, when by Anthony Leiserowitz asked citizens how they thought scientists understood global warming, only 13 percent knew that 97% of scientists believe that it is anthropogenic.[5]  Public knowledge and sentiment is the basis for all action taken on social problems, so it is important to look at the framing of the environmental movement in order to understand the origins and motivations behind public sentiment of the environmental movement. The potential of social media is just now being recognized by framers of the environmental movement for its infiltration into the public and should also be examined for full potential.
It is interesting to see how closely the media and public perception conform to framing by scientists, activists, politicians, and lobbyists, and it is impossible to discuss the effects of one framer without considering their relationship with the others. Prominent environmental advocate Christopher Stone claims that the American public is well educated on climate change;[6] however, in their book Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, Hoggan and Littlemore argue that the scientific process is highly misunderstood by the general public and is leveraged by skeptics to create uncertainty.[7] The scientific process is never one hundred percent accurate or certain. In addition, the term theory is used to describe scientific statements that have been sufficiently proven, while the lay definition of this word is a ‘guess’.[8] As Bill McKibben states in his article, “Climate of Denial”, political and industrial leaders use the uncertainty of science to their advantage,
::::Desktop:Climate-Change-Infographic.jpg::::Desktop:Climate-Change-Infographic.jpg“Cloud the issue as much as possible so that voters, already none too eager to embrace higher gas prices, would have no real reason to move climate change to the top of their agendas. I mean, if the scientists aren't absolutely certain, well, why not just wait until they get it sorted out?”[9]

Only 28% of British news coverage depicts a human contribution to warming as significant, and the other 72% includes a skeptic viewpoint or denies that it is anthropogenic.[10] Many popular news stations are sponsored by big companies that have a great deal of money and power that pay the exorbitant prices of ads and the news stations would not want to risk these contributions by running stories that say climate change can be attributed to their products. CNN, for example, is funded by “clean coal” and natural gas, making it politically difficult to do unbiased stories on these two industries.  People tend to stick to a set news provider and are therefore presented with a slanted version of current events, for example, the conservative Fox News and decidedly liberal New York Times.  As Mark Catoe states in his answer to the Quora question on the passion behind the climate change skeptic movement, people are convinced by “motivated reasoning…a brain reflex that inclines us to believe what we already believe – in spite of new information that comes our way.”[11] Since acceptance of climate change is something that conditionally affects one’s entire lifestyle, people have great subconscious incentive to continue with what they already believe. As Chris Mooney states in his article “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science,” psychology plays a large role in reasoning:
“Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call ‘affect’). Not only are the two inseparable, but our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts, in a matter of milliseconds—fast enough to detect with an EEG device, but long before we're aware of it…We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.”[12]

Psychology plays a large role in people’s opinions of the environmental movement and directly motivates them to continue with previous notions of skepticism. Motivated reasoning limits people from opening up to pitfalls in their argument and keeps them closed to new developments.
Economics is a huge part of the climate change debate and is used by every framer from each side of the debate. Environmental groups argue that investing in sustainable technologies will create long term green jobs, while conservatives believe that environmental regulations stifle business. A great infographic from Grist portrays climate change activists’ response to skeptics and those that believe the movement is a hoax. It points out the irony in the economic claims and reads:
::::Desktop:oex97kej.jpeg::::Desktop:oex97kej-1.jpeg“Which makes more sense? Regional environmental groups and community activists are spending their limited operating budgets in a massive conspiracy with 90% of the world’s scientists to create a worldwide hoax and crash the global economy or big oil companies are spending their obscene profits to bribe anyone they can to protect their profits and limit any future liability their pollution may cause.”[13]   

According to a recent poll taken on LinkedIn, money is the biggest motivation behind the skeptic movement.[14] Big businesses, with invested interest in unsustainable operations, invest money in convincing the public not to move away from over-consumerist culture. Lobbyists from large companies frequently make significant contributions to political campaigns. Bill McKibben, a well-respected environmental activist, looks critically at motivations behind industry that keep the U.S. far behind Europe on climate change issues.
But in any given year the payoff for shifting away from fossil fuel is incremental and essentially invisible. The costs, however, are concentrated: If you own a coal mine, an oil well, or an assembly line churning out gas-guzzlers, you have a very strong incentive for making sure no one starts charging you for emitting carbon.”[15]

Many companies fail to look at big picture costs such as health effects and irreparable degradation of the environment and, instead, only focus on profits for the current quarter.  As Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney once said, “We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make a statement. We are here to make money.”[16] Businesses reap monetary benefits from denying climate change and convincing their customers to do the same. On the other side is the green jobs market, which claims that jobs can be created from investments in sustainable products, energy, and resources. However, the unique American culture of freedom of choice makes the population resistant to behavior change recommendations. The authors of Dead Heat describe our history with pollution and the evolution of our materialistic economy, recounting the cultural foundations of industries. For example,
“…coal burning took hold in England in the 1600s after the widespread clearing of forests…In America, however, abundant forests provided both pioneer and city dweller with all the wood they needed for decades after others had turned to coal…This sort of excessive energy use still prevails in America today.”[17]

As McKibben states, “We had the single hardest habit to break, which was thinking of energy as something cheap.”[18] In addition to our freedom of choice ideology, the United States is also deeply driven by consumerism. Americans simply do not like being told what to do.  One example is Human Achievement Hour, countermovement to the annual global action of powering down for one hour on the last Saturday of March for the awareness of climate change.  According to their website, “Human Achievement Hour is an annual event meant to recognize and celebrate the fact that this is the greatest time to be alive, and that the reason we have come so far is that people have been free to use their minds and the resources in their environment to experiment, create, and innovate.”[19] They also highlight that “future solutions require individual freedom not government coercion.”[20] The American culture was founded on the idea of consumerism. The colonists’ final straw with the British was based on taxes. From this has sprung the idea that prices should be driven continuously lower and that the economy should grow infinitely. However, infinite growth is not possible on a finite planet.
Two other commons ways of framing the environmental movement from the supporters’ standpoint are global versus local and top down versus bottom up. These two frames refer to the way that climate change should be mitigated. Who is responsible and where should the motivation come from? Should grassroots organizations motivate people to practice behavior change? Will this have a big enough impact? Most environmentalists would argue for top down change with pressure generated from local grassroots organizations.  Durkheim would have also been interested in this because he thought about social order over the individual and about the concept of mechanical versus organic solidarity.[21]
Social media provides unique solutions for the environmental movement. It has significant reach into the general public and has great power to infiltrate everyday life, which can have a large impact on a company or organization. Donors are more likely to give when they can see the direct impact their money creates and the transparent inner workings of the group. In addition, people who might not otherwise be reached might see the group or see that their friend had recently interacted with its social media content. Peer to peer recommendation is the most valuable type for consumers, viewers, and company officials, because people trust their family and friends over anyone else. An increased fan base can also be used to show constituent support to government officials, increasing their incentive for grant funding to non-profit organizations.  Not only do social media give positive reinforcement between peers, but it can also be used to create an Internet form of peer pressure. If one sees that all of their friends believe in climate change from postings or “likes,” that person is more likely to believe in it themselves, despite actual knowledge of the topic. In addition, solutions to climate change are rooted in innovation, which is sparked by informed discussion, debate, and collaboration, something that social media has the power to generate, organize, and disseminate.
Harrison Rainie and Barry Wellman’s Networked: The New Social Operating System is important for social media’s applications to the environmental movement. It states that the social network revolution gives more opportunities to reach beyond traditional social world of tight groups and small communities. It is easier to be in touch with more people than ever before, and the Internet revolution increases people’s power to gather information and communicate.
“Although people often view the world in terms of groups, they mostly function in networks. In networked societies, boundaries are more permeable, interactions are more diverse than others, connections shift between multiple networks, and hierarchies tend to be flatter and more recursive.”[22]

They also argue that the network revolution creates a shift in the basis of achievement from individual to societal. Technology is part of broader social change.[23] Many people fear that the Internet has alienated people from each other and the environment, but social networking sites challenge that. Meetup.com is “the world’s largest network of local groups” that meet in person regularly, and it has the goal of “using the Internet to get off the Internet.”[24]  As Durkheim argued, the biggest problem for modern society is size, complexity, and diversity. The success of Meetup.com contrasts with Putnam’s Bowling Alone, which shows that communities have become disconnected. Communities are now centered about much more abstract things rather than crops and nature. This is a large part of apathy toward the climate change movement and social media can be one of the solutions. [25]
When the experienced environmental bloggers of Experts’ Opinions on Sustainability were asked about their opinions on the role of social media in the environmental movement, the overall response was a significant one. Although the sample is biased, their career choice and the rapid expansion of the environmental blogosphere can attest to the true growth of the field.  Among answers were the ideas of heightened transparency (Brendan Seale, The Interconectedness of Things[26]), which increasing awareness for the interconnectedness of the world and thus how actions have wide reaching effect. Meris Michaels, of Towards Better Health[27] emphasized calls to action, and Celesa Horvath succinctly said,
“In a nutshell, social media and emerging technologies effectively democratize knowledge and information, causing a shift in the patterns of communication between and among stakeholders, and driving increased transparency and accountability. In effect, social media facilitate advocacy and action.”

There are, however, some setbacks to the abundant use of social media. There is now an overload of information and there are dozens of examples of this type of misleading advertising mostly involving large companies and their PR departments.  The challenge of a plethora of information can be overcome with weeding technologies such as feeds and categorically divided news, but the misleading information aspect is much more challenging. Jessica Reeder, of Love and Trash[28], writes,
“One of the biggest roadblocks for the environmental movement has always been disinformation, which often comes from hearsay and punditry…Social media allows experts and brands to develop a trusted voice that people feel they can rely on. By offering consistency and good information, by being reasonable and trustworthy, environmental activists are better able to dispel rumors and spread knowledge on important issues. Unfortunately, this works the other way as well.”

Social media can be used to improve a brand’s image over time. Many companies now use their CSR (corporate social responsibility) campaigns as a direct form of marketing to the conscious consumer, a path that environmental organizations are starting to pick up on as well. Social media are used by environmental organizations and large corporations alike to improve public sentiment. The flipside ‘greenwashing’ which the FTC defines as “unqualified general environment benefit claims – such as calling products ‘green.’”[29] One notable examples of this is the Levi’s Water<Less Jean advertisement, which would make one think that the jeans, made from water-intensive cotton, no longer take any water to produce.  In reality, the brand means that the jeans take less than average amounts of water to produce.  But the campaign is flawed in many ways: which part of the supply chain are they starting at? What is their comparison point?  Another example along the lines of environmental deception is the advertising by BP after their catastrophic oil spill, claiming that the gulf had been returned to previous conditions. The three pronged recycling symbol stands for collection, processing, and marketing development, and emphasizes that green products need to not only be produced responsibly, but must also used and disposed of in an environmental conscious way.  The FTC is currently looking to regulate green claims and third party certifiers like the Rainforest Alliance Certification and Fair Trade Certifications have been independently created to validate claims.  Many times, companies will think about how they can claim that they are green and pick the smallest actions that will have he biggest PR impact. However, including their shortcomings can help build trust between the advertiser and the consumer. Social media creates the ultimate amount of transparency and allows consumers to see through these shallow campaigns.
::::Desktop:250px-Recycle001.svg.pngThe reputation of a movement is crucial to progress in solving the social problem.  While Stone believes that the environmental movement is strong[30] and concludes, “Thus, while the environmentalists might do well to keep image in mind, I doubt they have an image they need to run away from, or for that matter could run away from…,”[31] many would disagree. The war of activists is stereotypically seen as hippies versus capitalists. The power of the people is to pressure corporations and the government. An all too common sentiment is that the general public just cannot make a significant difference when it comes to climate change, but their demands on companies and politicians are enough to make a big splash. Collaboration is the only hope for finding solutions to the environmental movement and social media is the ultimate tool for this.  The potential for the climate change movement in social media is vast.


Bibliography
"Why Is the Climate Change Movement so Passionate?" LinkedIn. Ed. Sara B. Allan. LinkedIn, 20 Nov. 2011. Web. 7 Dec. 2011. <http://linkd.in/vxOK4x>.
Best, Joel. Social Problems. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2008. Print.
Catoe, Mark. "Why Is the Climate Change Denier Movement so Passionate?" Quora. 22 Oct. 2011. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <http://www.quora.com/Why-is-the-climate-change-denier-movement-so-passionate>.
Randall Collins and Michael Makowsky, The Discovery of Society, Chapter 6. New York: McGraw Hll, 2005.
Glover, Matthew. "Global Warming - The Debate." Renegade Conservatory Guy. 30 July 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. <http://renegadeconservatoryguy.co.uk/global-warming-the-debate/>.
Heiferman, Scott. "Scott Heiferman Professional Biography." Meetup.com. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. <https://sites.google.com/a/meetup.com/scott-heiferman-professional-biography/>.
Hilgartner, Stephen, and Charles L. Bosk. "The Rise and Fall of Social Problems: A Public Arenas Model." American Journal of Sociology 94.1 (1988): 53-78. Print.
Hoggan, James, and Richard D. Littlemore. Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming. Vancouver: Greystone, 2009. Print.
"Human Achievement Hour 2012." Competitive Enterprise Institute: Free Markets and Limited Government. Competitive Enterprise Institute, Mar. 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. <http://cei.org/hah>.
Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., & Smith, N. (2011) Climate change in the American Mind: Americans’ global warming beliefs and attitudes in May 2011. Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/ClimateBeliefsMay2011.pdf
Anthony Leiserowitz in Harris, Richard. "Climate Change: Public Skeptical, Scientists Sure : NPR." NPR : National Public Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR. NPR, 21 June 2011. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <http://www.npr.org/2011/06/21/137309964/climate-change-public-skeptical-scientists-sure>.
McKibben, Bill. "Climate of Denial." Mother Jones. The Foundation for National Progress, May-June 2005. Web. 1 Apr. 2012. <http://motherjones.com/politics/2005/05/climate-denial>.
McCright, Aaron M. and Riley E. Dunlap. 2000. “Challenging Global Warming as a Social Problem: An Analysis of the Conservative Movement’s Counter Claims.” Social Problems 47(4): 499-522.
Mooney, Christopher. "The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science." Mother Jones. The Foundation for National Progress, May-June 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. <http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney>.
Nelson, Gabriel, and Amanda Peterka. "FTC Proposes Crackdown on 'Greenwashing'" The New York Times - Energy and Environment. The New York Times, 06 Oct. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/10/06/06greenwire-ftc-proposes-crackdown-on-greenwashing-42606.html?pagewanted=all>.
Oppenheimer, Michael, and Robert H. Boyle. Dead Heat: The Race against the Greenhouse Effect. New York: Basic, 1990. Print.
Putnam, Robert D. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. Print.
Rainie, Harrison, and Barry Wellman. Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2012. Print.
Stewart, James B. Disney War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. Print.
Stone, Christopher D., and Garrett James Hardin. Should Trees Have Standing?: Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects. Los Altos, CA: W. Kaufmann, 1974. Print, 157.
Zimmerman, Jess. "Infographic: The Idea of a Climate Change Hoax Makes No $)%*@ sense." Grist. Grist Magazine, Inc., 27 Feb. 2012. Web. 3 Apr. 2012. <http://grist.org/list/infographic-the-idea-of-a-climate-change-hoax-makes-no-sense/>.


[1] Hilgartner, Stephen, and Charles L. Bosk. "The Rise and Fall of Social Problems: A Public Arenas Model." American Journal of Sociology 94.1 (1988): 53-78. Print.
[2] Best, Joel. Social Problems. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2008. Print.
[3] Glover, Matthew. "Global Warming - The Debate." Renegade Conservatory Guy. 30 July 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. <http://renegadeconservatoryguy.co.uk/global-warming-the-debate/>.
[4] Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., & Smith, N. (2011) Climate change in the American Mind: Americans’ global warming beliefs and attitudes in May 2011. Yale University and George Mason University. New Haven, CT: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. http://environment.yale.edu/climate/files/ClimateBeliefsMay2011.pdf
[5] Anthony Leiserowitz in Harris, Richard. "Climate Change: Public Skeptical, Scientists Sure : NPR." NPR : National Public Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR. NPR, 21 June 2011. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <http://www.npr.org/2011/06/21/137309964/climate-change-public-skeptical-scientists-sure>.
[6] Stone, Christopher D., and Garrett James Hardin. Should Trees Have Standing?: Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects. Los Altos, CA: W. Kaufmann, 1974. Print, 157.
[7] Hoggan, James, and Richard D. Littlemore. Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming. Vancouver: Greystone, 2009. Print.
[8] Hoggan and Littlemore.
[9] McKibben, “Climate of Denial.”
[10] Glover, “Global Warming – The Debate.”
[11] Catoe, Mark. "Why Is the Climate Change Denier Movement so Passionate?" Quora. 22 Oct. 2011. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <http://www.quora.com/Why-is-the-climate-change-denier-movement-so-passionate>.
[12] Mooney, Christopher. "The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science." Mother Jones. The Foundation for National Progress, May-June 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. <http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney>.
[13] Zimmerman, Jess. "Infographic: The Idea of a Climate Change Hoax Makes No $)%*@ sense." Grist. Grist Magazine, Inc., 27 Feb. 2012. Web. 3 Apr. 2012. <http://grist.org/list/infographic-the-idea-of-a-climate-change-hoax-makes-no-sense/>.
[14] "Why Is the Climate Change Movement so Passionate?" LinkedIn. Ed. Sara B. Allan. LinkedIn, 20 Nov. 2011. Web. 7 Dec. 2011. <http://linkd.in/vxOK4x>.
[15] McKibben, Bill. "Climate of Denial." Mother Jones. The Foundation for National Progress, May-June 2005. Web. 1 Apr. 2012. <http://motherjones.com/politics/2005/05/climate-denial>.
[15] Glover, “Global Warming – The Debate.”
[16] Stewart, James B. Disney War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. Print.
[17] Oppenheimer, Michael, and Robert H. Boyle. Dead Heat: The Race against the Greenhouse Effect. New York: Basic, 1990. Print.
[18] McKibben, “Climate of Denial.”
[19] "Human Achievement Hour 2012." Competitive Enterprise Institute: Free Markets and Limited Government. Competitive Enterprise Institute, Mar. 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. <http://cei.org/hah>.
[20] Human Achievement Hour 2012.
[21] Collins, Randall and Michael Makowsky, The Discovery of Society, Chapter 6. New York: McGraw Hll, 2005.
[22] Rainie, Harrison, and Barry Wellman. Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2012. Print.
[23] Collins, Randall and Michael Makowsky, The Discovery of Society, Chapter 6. New York: McGraw Hll, 2005.
[24] Heiferman, Scott. "Scott Heiferman Professional Biography." Meetup.com. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. <https://sites.google.com/a/meetup.com/scott-heiferman-professional-biography/>.
[25] Putnam, Robert D. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. Print.
[26] http://brendanseale.wordpress.com/
[27] http://www.mieuxprevenir.blogspot.com/
[28] www.LoveandTrash.com
[29] Nelson, Gabriel, and Amanda Peterka. "FTC Proposes Crackdown on 'Greenwashing'" The New York Times - Energy and Environment. The New York Times, 06 Oct. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/10/06/06greenwire-ftc-proposes-crackdown-on-greenwashing-42606.html?pagewanted=all>.
[30] Stone, 147.
[31] Stone, 156.