"We Don't Really Want To Know” Environmental Justice and Socially Organized Denial of Global Warming in Norway
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Global warming is the most serious environmental problem of our time and a major issue of environmental justice. Yet meager public response in the form of social movement activity, behavioral changes, or public pressure on governments is noteworthy in all Western nations. Existing research emphasizes lack of information as a limiting factor for failed public response. This explanation cannot account for the significant population who know about and express concern for global warming. Ethnographic and interview data from a rural Norwegian community indicate that nonresponse is at least partially a matter of socially organized denial. Because Norwegian economic prosperity is tied to oil production, collectively ignoring climate change maintains Norwegian economic interests. Most environmental justice research focuses on people facing disproportionate exposure to environmental problems. This project examines wealthy citizens who perpetuate global warming as they turn a blind eye. Environmental justice implications of socially organized denial are discussed for global warming and beyond.
- Norgaard, Kari