Climate of Doubt–Example of a QIP

Before heading off into the Vancouver evening last week, we watched the first half of the PBS documentary, Climate of Doubt, which examined the manner in which a coalition of powerful moneyed interests, in alliance with like-minded citizens’ groups and (mostly) Republican politicians was able to successfully stymie US congressional efforts to address some of the potential negative consequences of a warming planet.

The documentary takes us through a case of public opinion formation that fits Charles Lindblom’s definition of circularity perfectly. According to Lindblom, government policies that reflect the will of the general public may nonetheless be considered undemocratic if those opinions are formed as the result of undue influence by powerful interest groups and large corporations (read: Exxon Mobil). I have embedded the documentary below, so please watch the remainder. I’ll also use my first post of the semester to provide an example of the what a suitable QIP might look like (after the fold).

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