Plenty of Green News, Information, and Entertainment. But is it Helping?

by kespeland on April 1, 2008

The Sundance Channel has announced the return of its Tuesday evening environmental line up called “The Green.” It’s a season of some original programming, documentary films, and environmental news that first aired in April 2007. Meanwhile, the Discovery Channel still plans to launch its 24-hour channel dedicated to the “green lifestyle,” called Planet Green. There’s simply more information than ever out there about the environment and our impact on it. Especially when it comes to global warming. (I reported on the explosion of “green lifestyle” media in January; that story is online here.)

But is all this information changing behaviors? Is it changing attitudes?

It’s hard to say, although the popularity of green media might be one indication. But here’s another: political scientists from Texas A & M University conducted a public opinion poll and found that, the more people know about global warming, the less they care about it. Their research appears in the journal “Risk Analysis.” You can read the full text here.

The reason? Nothing definitive, but one possibility the authors (Paul Kellstedt, Sammy Zahran, and Arnold Vedlitz) suggest:

Perhaps this simply reflects an abundance of confidence that scientists can engineer a set of solutions to mitigate any harmful effects of global warming. But it can not be comforting to the researchers in the scientific community that the more trust people have in them as scientists, the less concerned they are about their findings.”

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