Although this book is about the newly emerging academic field of environmental communication, it is also about voice and practical activism. Shane Ralston contends that a deeply pragmatic form of environmental communication has the potential to transform the way environmental activists speak about their methods and goals – moving them toward a rhetoric of eco-justice.
Sometimes looking forward requires stepping back – in this case back to two progressive era thinkers who revolutionised our outlook on social and environmental justice: John Dewey and Aldo Leopard. The author argues that the impoverished state of present day studies in environmental communication can be traced to a shallow conception of the pragmatic – a conception that can be made deeper through recourse to Dewey’s and Leopold’s ideas.
Originating from their philosophies are twin rhetorics of control and restraint, that when balanced define a rhetoric of eco-justice. This new approach to speaking about environmental matters proves helpful for contemporary environmental activists – particularly when working in the areas of wilderness preservation, gardening politics, global climate change and environmental justice