The Right and the Good: Communicating Environmental Issues


  • Goldwin Edison McEwen University of Alberta and MacEwan University



Environmental Communications, Environmental Decisions, Degrowth, Medical Ecology, Limits to Growth, Climate Change, Sustainability, Environmental History, Enforcing, Global Warming


What we see is partially dependent on what we are shown. As communicators, we have a duty to inform and educate and lead. As environmental communicators we have the privilege of explaining how the various parts of our natural world work, individually, in unison, and in relationship to people. By examining two specific areas of growing global concerns, this paper provides an analytic tool and starts a discussion as to what should be guiding decisions concerning major environmental questions. The first growing global concern discussed is tailings ponds in Northern Alberta’s oil sands. The second is the large bodies of air pollution in Asia. In both cases, (Good) short term decisions that benefit a few have led to large environmental concerns. Should humanity be worried about our future? Could (Right) long-term, sustainable, and inclusive decisions lead to more manageable environmental challenges? To be a communicator in the real world it is important to know and differentiate between the Good and the Right. Good and Right communications in environmental issues support daily or frequent acts concerning any or all of three critical areas: sustainability, conservation, and climate change. Questions are addressed. Where are people now with respect to environment, how did we get here, and what are the pros and cons of changing from Good to Right solutions? By looking at one individual’s choice, readers see that Good and Right decisions do not have to be mutually exclusive.


Author Biography

  • Goldwin Edison McEwen, University of Alberta and MacEwan University
    Goldwin McEwen, is CEO of Gold Mum Publishing (GMP) that coordinates an international consortium of professionals who come together to produce bilingual illustrated stories for children. The books teach language and help bring diverse cultures together. Over the past 30 years, he has successfully published fiction and non, and managed both internal and extern communications projects.

    Contracts involved bringing groups from many geographic locations and ideologies together. Marketing, community relations, issue management, and strategic planning were crucial ingredients to success. Recently he worked with a team at the University of Alberta to develop artwork, posters, and TV display for the Marshall McLuhan house in Edmonton. He is also working on his ABC accreditation with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation with the Project Management Institute (PMI).

    Academically, while obtaining a diploma in Professional Writing from MacEwan University he earned Scholarships and won an IABC Edmonton Capital City Award of Excellence for Communication Skills and Tactics. He has also earned a Master of Arts in Communications and Technology (MACT) from the University of Alberta.




How to Cite

The Right and the Good: Communicating Environmental Issues. (2014). Earth Common Journal, 4(1).