Just as the natural environment can be polluted, so too can public discourse. I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up examines the sorry state of today’s public square, showing how polluted, polarized conversations discourage people from taking action on critical issues such as climate change, and demonstrating how we can clear the air and become more powerful and effective communicators.
The most urgent environmental threat today is not climate change, species extinction or the declining health of oceans, argues author Jim Hoggan in his latest book. The more pressing problem is resistance to change that results from pollution in the public square. A smog of adversarial rhetoric, propaganda and polarization that comes from all sides, is stifling discussion and our ability to solve problems collectively.
Hoggan investigates this troubling state of public dialogue and asks leading intellectuals why, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, so little is being done to address today’s critical environmental challenges.
As chair of the David Suzuki Foundation and founder of one of Canada’s most successful PR firms, he is uniquely positioned to probe this question. During Hoggan’s 30-year career in crisis management he has dealt with food poisonings, labour disputes, multi-million dollar bank fraud, sawmill explosions, even bodies disappearing from funeral homes.
So how do we improve public discourse and curb over-the-top advocacy, corrupt conversations and propaganda. How do we counteract polarization and gridlock?
Hoggan sought answers from more than 60 outstanding scholars, ranging from a NASA scientist to deep-sea oceanographer. He tapped the brains of cognitive researchers, political pundits, philosophers, moral psychologists, corporate analysts and systems thinkers. He sought an interview with Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh and travelled to the Himalayas to speak with the Dalai Lama.
The resulting book features extensive interviews for those who want to dive deeply into the subject, and highlights key lessons and pullout insights for speed readers.
Available for sale at Amazon, Chapters and at your local independent bookstore.