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Internet-Mediated Climate
Advocacy: History, Convergence,
and Future Outlook
Dr. Luis E. Hestres (The University of Texas ...
Two distinct yet related
trends
•  Growing importance of
digital communication
technologies to collective
action;
•  Growt...
From Union Halls to
Armchairs
Technologies facilitated move
from face-to-face organizing to
“armchair” activism by
automat...
The Pre-Internet Era
Environmental Advocacy
Community
•  Exemplarize pre-Internet
advocacy modes;
•  A stable advocacy
com...
From Armchairs to the
Internet
Digital communication
technologies, such as the
Internet and mobile phones,
have lowered th...
The ’MoveOn’ Model
MoveOn.org’s model of
organizational hybridity is
critical to understanding
climate change advocacy
ove...
Three Case Studies
350.org
•  Founded in 2007;
•  Challenged Keystone XL
pipeline;
•  Now focused on fossil fuel
divestment.
Climate Reality Project
•  Founded by former VP Al
Gore;
•  Heavily involved in cap-and-
trade bill, 2009-10;
•  Now focus...
The Guardian’s ‘Keep It in
the Ground’ campaign
•  In partnership with 350.org;
•  Initially targeted Bill and
Melinda Gat...
Future Directions
•  Tension of targeting capitalist
system (i.e. divestment) vs.
working within international
negotiation...
Questions?
Luis Hestres: luis.hestres@utsa.edu | Jill Hopke: jhopke@depaul.edu
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Internet-Mediated Climate Advocacy: History, Convergence and Future Outlook

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I will be presenting research, co-authored with Luis Hestres (University of Texas at San Antonio), at the 2017 conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in Chicago August 10.

Research summary: The past two decades have transformed the ways political groups and individuals engage in collective action. Meanwhile, the climate change advocacy landscape, previously dominated by well-established environmental organizations, now accommodates new ones focused exclusively on this issue. This article examines the convergence of these trends through the examples of 350.org, the Climate Reality Project, and The Guardian’s “Keep It in The Ground” campaign. Implications for the future of Internet-mediated climate advocacy are discussed.

Published in: News & Politics
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Internet-Mediated Climate Advocacy: History, Convergence and Future Outlook

  1. 1. Internet-Mediated Climate Advocacy: History, Convergence, and Future Outlook Dr. Luis E. Hestres (The University of Texas at San Antonio) & Dr. Jill E. Hopke (DePaul University) Presented at the 2017 AEJMC conference | Chicago, IL
  2. 2. Two distinct yet related trends •  Growing importance of digital communication technologies to collective action; •  Growth of climate change- focused advocacy— including new organizations.
  3. 3. From Union Halls to Armchairs Technologies facilitated move from face-to-face organizing to “armchair” activism by automating processes associated with membership, such as donations and list management.
  4. 4. The Pre-Internet Era Environmental Advocacy Community •  Exemplarize pre-Internet advocacy modes; •  A stable advocacy community; •  Relied heavily on media- based and legalistic tactics.
  5. 5. From Armchairs to the Internet Digital communication technologies, such as the Internet and mobile phones, have lowered the costs of participation in collective action and made brick-and- mortar organizations less central to the process.
  6. 6. The ’MoveOn’ Model MoveOn.org’s model of organizational hybridity is critical to understanding climate change advocacy over the last 15 years.
  7. 7. Three Case Studies
  8. 8. 350.org •  Founded in 2007; •  Challenged Keystone XL pipeline; •  Now focused on fossil fuel divestment.
  9. 9. Climate Reality Project •  Founded by former VP Al Gore; •  Heavily involved in cap-and- trade bill, 2009-10; •  Now focused on countering climate change denialism.
  10. 10. The Guardian’s ‘Keep It in the Ground’ campaign •  In partnership with 350.org; •  Initially targeted Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust; •  Shifted emphasis to investment in clean tech.
  11. 11. Future Directions •  Tension of targeting capitalist system (i.e. divestment) vs. working within international negotiation framework (e.g. We Are Still In coalition) •  Renewed activism against pipelines and large-scale extraction projects (e.g. Mazaska Talks) Mazaska Talks (Money Talks)
  12. 12. Questions? Luis Hestres: luis.hestres@utsa.edu | Jill Hopke: jhopke@depaul.edu

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