Warming Warnings: Global Challenges of Risk and Crisis Communication

Authored by: David McKie , Christopher Galloway

Handbook of Risk and Crisis Communication

Print publication date:  September  2008
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805857771
eBook ISBN: 9780203891629
Adobe ISBN: 9781135597757


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This chapter takes the issue of global warming as an exemplary warning in relation to 21st century global risk. It focuses on the central role of communication in shaping social perceptions of risk in general, and on one potential catastrophe with global impact in particular. It explores the limits of rationality within an ecology of risk communication by looking back—to an earlier 20th century risk perceived as global—and considers how global warming has more recently passed a critical point in public consciousness. It focuses on how different discipline weightings can align advances in knowledge with contemporary contexts; on encouraging environmentally responsible business actions without relying too heavily on a legalistic approach; on how new communication infrastructures are evolving; and on how to engage emotions in catalyzing the international collaboration needed to tackle global challenges.

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