MacCracken, Michael C., "Climate Change Discussions in Washington: A Matter of Contending Perspectives"

MacCracken, Michael C. “Climate Change Discussions in Washington: A Matter of Contending Perspectives.” Environmental Values 15, no. 3 (2006): 381–95. doi:10.3197/096327106778226275.

The scientific evidence and understanding underpinning societal responsibility for the accelerating pace of climate change has become increasingly strong over the past hundred years. Although many nations have begun to take actions that have the potential to eventually slow the pace of change, contention over the issue continues in the United States, particularly in the nation’s capital. A major cause appears to arise from different interpretations of the evidence arising from different perspectives on the issue, including those of the scientific, environmental, fossil-fuel generating, technological, economic and ethical communities. In addition, the public encounters a cacophony of intermixed perspectives from the media and elected officials. While each perspective provides some useful insights, each alone contributes to inhibiting development of the national political consensus needed to responsibly address climate change. Without leadership that balances and reconciles competing perspectives, it is unlikely that a sufficient limiting of emissions will be enacted to prevent significant changes in climate that will impose increasing challenges for those in both developing and developed nations. (The White Horse Press)

© 2006, The White Horse Press. Republished with permission.