1. By double bind, I am drawing on Kim Fortun’s defini-
tion in Advocacy after Bhopal where she analyzes situations
in which “individuals are confronted with dual or multiple
obligations that are related and equally valued, but incongru-
ent” (2001, 13). Double binds cannot be resolved or reduced
through narratives; they present persistently mismatched
messages and explanations that must be accounted for
2. This book project started out as a dissertation project
that has its earliest roots in my first experience with debates
about climate change and the American public in the fall of
2002, sitting in a class at the Massachusetts Institute of Tech-
nology, where I attended graduate school. The class focused
on global environmental problems with topics ranging from
climate change to nuclear power, coal production, and indus-
trial pollutants. My classmates were all young scientists and
engineers conducting graduate research on environmental
problems. On the day that climate change took center stage,
we moved beyond the usual discussion of science and policy.
To my surprise, many students angrily blamed the media for
not getting the public to care about climate change as an issue
that required both personal and collective action. The solu-
tion, some students forcefully argued, was that we needed
an image to capture the problem and galvanize public imag-
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