Challenges to developing a long-term environmental perspective

PAN and DIM 1

Authored by: Patrick D. Murphy

Routledge Handbook of Ecocriticism and Environmental Communication

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138053137
eBook ISBN: 9781315167343
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315167343-15

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Abstract

Increasingly in not only the United States but much of the rest of the world, economies lurch rapidly through boom and bust cycles without any lessons seemingly learned from the last bust as producers and consumers charge into the next boom. The mindset that facilitates such behaviors bodes ill for communicating environmental values that would encourage cultural shifts from destructive consumption to sustainable living that would slow and perhaps even reverse environmental degradation and species extinction. Two components of the consumptive mindset that need to be understood in order to enhance the effectiveness of environmental communication are PAN and DIM. The first acronym stands for “Present as Always Normal” and the second for “Discrete Incident Mentality.” Together, these two attitudes occlude the otherwise obvious signs of environmental crisis and need to be brought to consciousness in order to be overcome as part of replacing destructive cultural values with environmentally healthy ones.

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