Our Focused Readings
Hidden Tribes (Hawkins et. al. 2018)
The Hidden Tribes study consists of a number of questions on your views about the world and places you into one of the seven profiles (Progressive Activists, Traditional Liberals, Passive Liberals, Politically Disengaged, Moderates, Traditional Conservatives, Devoted Conservatives). The Passive Liberals tribe is the largest as 26% of Americans aren’t knowledgeable about politics and are generally the most pessimistic about resolving conflicts. Hidden Tribes aims to identify our differences as being the first step to building a united and inclusive society that people feel like they have more in common with each other than differences.
Global Warming’s Six Americas (Leiserowitz et. al. 2009)
Global warming’s Six Americas consists of six overall attitudes that people may have towards climate change/global warming. These groups are the alarmed, concerned, cautious, disengaged, doubtful and dismissive. According to the webpage, these groups can be characterized by the following:
- The Alarmed are fully convinced of the reality and seriousness of climate change and are already taking individual, consumer, and political action to address it.
- The Concerned are also convinced that global warming is happening and a serious problem, but have not yet engaged the issue personally.
- Three other Americas – the Cautious, the Disengaged, and the Doubtful – represent different stages of understanding and acceptance of the problem, and none are actively involved.
- The Dismissive are very sure it is not happening and are actively involved as opponents of a national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In an update published January 16th, 2020, readers were alerted that the Alarmed is now the group that holds the largest percentage of people in comparison to its counterparts (Goldberg et. al. 2020). This means that a higher percentage of people believe that global warming is a serious issue and are taking action to address that.
Heterodox Academy (Haidt 2015)
The Heterodox Academy is an association of professors, administrators, and graduate students that are standing up to voice that viewpoint diversity is necessary for the health of an institution such as a university that thrives on disagreement and challenge. Viewpoint diversity refers to the state of a community or group in which members approach questions or problems from multiple perspectives.
Their main focus is to challenge orthodoxy through the application of empathy, diversity, and tolerance.
The Heterodox Academy mainly claims that orthodoxies are toxic institutions that causes people to fear shame, ostracism, or any other form of social or professional retaliation for questioning or challenging a commonly held idea.
The best way to defend against orthodoxies — or to neutralize them — is to foster commitment to open inquiry, viewpoint diversity and constructive disagreement.The Heterodox Academy
These readings allowed us to identify various perspectives on multiple topics, and realize that these perspectives are subject to change based on the information presented to people, and the effects they see of these issues in their own lives. This is important when defining who is a key player of a movement or point of view.
So, Who is Empowered by Green Empowerment?
Green Empowerment involves different groups within the organization working towards the same projects and goals through different initiatives. The importance of a single group is difficult to choose, as they each play key roles in achieving these goals. The organization consists of the Board of Directors, the Associate Board, the Staff Team, and the Technical Advisory Committee. The Board of Directors consists of experienced professionals making the larger decisions of the organization. The Associate Board gives young adults the pathway to volunteer in Portland. They expand networks and engage with people to bring engagement and development to the organization. The Staff Team are perhaps the backbone and face of the organization, consisting of experienced members setting forth the initiatives being accomplished. Similarly, the Technical Advisory committee provides the skills and expertise needed for the projects. The Associate Board, Staff Team, and Technical Advisory committee allow for these projects to take place and become implemented in the various locations focused on. Of course, volunteers also play a role in the success of the projects and initiatives.
Because Green Empowerment has so many different actors working together to accomplish their mission, it is important to examine how these actors interact with each other. Green Empowerment‘s mission is to “[work] with local partners around the world to strengthen communities by delivering renewable energy and safe clean water”. Their mission attracts donors, who are necessary for funding the completion of their projects.
Donors often like to see that their money is going to good use, so they rely on reports of successful projects to showcase the good work that is happening. Green Empowerment also offers the opportunity for donors to travel to the countries where the projects are being implemented to see the work that they are doing. This allows for an opportunity for the donors and the beneficiaries to interact with one another.
The beneficiaries of the projects are the most important actors here because they are the people who are inspiring all of the work that this organization does. On the other hand, this work is only made possible through the funding that the donors provide. And of course, the staff and volunteers serve as the intermediary between the two.
Goldberg, Matthew, Abel Gustafson, Seth Rosenthal, John Kotcher, Edward Maibach, and Anthony Leiserowitz. 2020. “For the First Time, the Alarmed Are Now the Largest of Global Warming’s Six Americas.” Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. January 16. https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/for-the-first-time-the-alarmed-are-now-the-largest-of-global-warmings-six-americas/.
Haidt, Jon. 2015. “The Problem: Orthodoxies.” Heterodox Academy. September 10. https://heterodoxacademy.org/the-problem/.
Hawkins, Stephen, Daniel Yudkin, Míriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon. 2018. “Profiles of the Hidden Tribes.” Hidden Tribes. https://hiddentribes.us/profiles/.
Leiserowitz, Anthony, Edward Maibach, and Connie Roser-Renouf. 2009. “Global Warming’s Six Americas.” Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. May 20. https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/about/projects/global-warmings-six-americas/.