In 1961 a newspaper article discussed a proposal to build an 18-story, 600-room hotel inside the Grand Canyon descending from the south rim to the canyon floor. A letter-writing campaign ensued that succeeded in blocking the hotel. But lawmakers instead passed a bill that allowed the company to mine uranium there—they never had any intention of building the hotel. In 1967 a newspaper ad asked, “Should we also flood the Sistine chapel, so tourists can get nearer the ceiling?” This ad is famously attributed with successfully mobilizing people to oppose construction of two dams in the Grand Canyon. This also resulted in the construction of the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station. This presentation will cover these and other historical and contemporary examples of propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation campaigns in which public opinion has been shaped to respond, or not respond, to environmental concerns.
This program is cohosted by the National Park Service – Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. This is an in-person event.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Matthew has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and has taught environmental ethics, media ethics, and technology and human values at Northern Arizona University, Coconino Community College, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Matthew recently participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar on extending Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic.” He is co-founder of Sedona Philosophy, which offers guided hikes and retreats in Sedona and northern Arizona.