Neohelicon

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 127–145 | Cite as

Ecomedia and ecophobia

Article

Abstract

This essay argues about the urgency for determining why (despite the saturation of popular media with messages about environmental issues) global temperatures continue to rise, unsustainable practices grow rather than shrink, and viable solutions sprint further and further out of reach. To date, no work in ecomedia studies has seriously addressed the matter of ecophobia—one of the ethical positions unwittingly conveyed in a great deal of ecomedia. There are several reasons why so much of ecomedia has had limited effects on pushing people to change their behaviors and thereby halt or slow the warming of our atmosphere: (1) it reproduces what it critiques: media reiterates and perpetuates the ecophobic ethics that are so central to the problem in the first place; (2) it is embedded in a period in which our continuous partial attention runs hand-in-hand with our compassion fatigue; (3) it dilutes the material to such a degree that important abstract concepts are blurred, thus preventing thinking people from seeing key connections, and (4) it is entertainment, and the blurring of virtual and actual worlds makes a lot of the actual news simply another form of entertainment. It is the first of these—the marketing of counter-productive values embedded (wittingly or not) within green narratives—that raises the alarm bells. This essay argues that some of the ideas of liberty America has enjoyed and promulgated are both unsustainable, in an environmental context, and ironically reliant for their continuation on notions—such as sexism, racism, homophobia, and, not least of all, ecophobia—that are in stark conflict with the very bases of liberty. Liberty stops at hate speech and hate crimes (at least it should), yet mainstream ecomedia participates in marketing these crimes.

Keywords

Ecocriticism Ecomedia Ecophobia Ecofeminism Liberty 

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oriental Scholar (东方学者) for the Department of Comparative and World Literature (2015-18)Shanghai Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.SUNGKYUNKWAN UNIVERSITYCollege of Liberal Arts, Department of English Language and LiteratureSeoulSouth Korea

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