Understanding anti-environmentalism : content analyzing the blogosphere for insight into opposition to environmentalism

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Tambeau, Murray Alan
content analysis
Environmentalism, like any other noteworthy social movement, has been met with some resistance. Opposition to this movement has come both from the general public and from organized anti-environmental groups. The closeness, or lack thereof, between the organized groups' messages and those of the public has yet to be clearly defined. Given that organized groups are often more capable of getting their message out to a larger audience, it is important to know to what extent the thoughts and ideas they put forward are representative of those of the public. Without examining this relationship, responding to anti-environmental sentiment in the public will be difficult.In an effort to understand opposition towards environmentalism in the general public, this project examined the blogosphere. Anti-environmental weblog (blog) postings were subjected to a content analysis in order to reveal common themes present within them. The specific focus of the analysis was on the manner in which environmentalism was portrayed by its opponents, as opposed to points of factual disagreement. Comparisons were then made to the arguments of the organized anti-environmentalism factions, and a more complete picture of the opposition toward environmentalism was constructed. From this basis, recommendations for a response to anti-environmental sentiment from leaders in the area of sustainable development were given.
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