Navigating Environmental Attitudes

Paperback | September 5, 2012

byThomas A. Heberlein

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The environment, and how humans affect it, is more of a concern now than ever. We are constantly told that halting climate change requires raising awareness, changing attitudes, and finally altering behaviors among the general public - and fast. New information, attitudes, and actions, it isconventionally assumed, will necessarily follow one from the other. But this approach ignores much of what is known about attitudes in general and environmental attitudes specifically - there is a huge gap between what we say and what we do. Solving environmental problems requires a scientific understanding of public attitudes. Like rocks in a swollen river, attitudes often lie beneath the surface - hard to see, and even harder to move or change. In Navigating Environmental Attitudes, Thomas Heberlein helps us read the water andnegotiate its hidden obstacles, explaining what attitudes are, how they change and influence behavior. Rather than necessarily trying to change public attitudes, we need to design solutions and policies with them in mind. He illustrates these points by tracing the attitudes of the well-knownenvironmentalist Aldo Leopold, while tying social psychology to real-world behaviors throughout the book. Bringing together theory and practice, Navigating Environmental Attitudes provides a realistic understanding of why and how attitudes matter when it comes to environmental problems; and how, by balancing natural with social science, we can step back from false assumptions and unproductive,frustrating programs to work toward fostering successful, effective environmental action.

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The environment, and how humans affect it, is more of a concern now than ever. We are constantly told that halting climate change requires raising awareness, changing attitudes, and finally altering behaviors among the general public - and fast. New information, attitudes, and actions, it isconventionally assumed, will necessarily foll...

Thomas A. Heberlein is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Visiting Professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:September 5, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199773335

ISBN - 13:9780199773336

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Table of Contents

1. Attitudes, Rivers, and Environmental Fixes2. Reading Water and Minds3. Aldo Leopold Meets the Bennington Women4. Attitudes are Not Everything5. Educating the Public . . . and Other Disasters6. Norms7. Aldo Leopold and the Flying Horse8. Avoiding the Cognitive Fix Keeper Hole9. Going with the Flow10. Increasing the Flow: Activating and Creating Norms11. Thinking Beyond the RimAcknowledgementsNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"People who have spent their lives dealing with environmental issues from a broad range of perspectives consistently abide by erroneous assumption that all we need to do to solve environmental problems is to educate the public. I consider it to be the most dangerous of all assumptions inenvironmental management. In Navigating Environmental Attitudes, Tom Heberlein brings together expertise in social and biophysical sciences to do an important kind of 'science education' - educating eminent scientists about the realities of their interactions with the broader public." --the late Bill Freudenburg, Dehlsen Professor of Environment and Society, University of California, Santa Barbara