In contrast to scientific interpretations of global warming as a social problem, common sense interpretations are quite a different matter. That is, they are based in quite different systems of relevance.

For the most part, common sense interpretations of global warming are based not in the theoretical stock of knowledge of the scientist, but in the taken for a granted attitude of everyday life -the realm of the unproblematic, a topic requiring further explanation.

When considering what constitutes an environmental social problem in everyday life, it seems reasonable to consider against what background we formulate such a claim. To say that something is “problematic” is to presuppose that there is a state, which can be said to be “unproblematic.”

Claims concerning environmental-social problems in everyday life presuppose some unproblematic state of nature and specifically a human relationship with nature.

Environmental-social problem claims, then, identify “badness” and the “disorder” of what is perceived to be a “normal,” orderly world. The foundation for this sense of orderliness (the realm of the unproblematic) can be described as the everyday life world.

The realm of the unproblematic is constituted by all things we take for granted as common sense and has been characterized as the “everyday life-world.” Through our immersion in the life-world we plan, act, go about our affairs and eventually die. The matter of common sense – “that is just the way it is!” life-world stands as the basis for all of our affairs. The hallmark characteristic of the lifeworld is that it is “taken for granted.”

To make the observation that humans in everyday life generally exist in a state of taken for granted, however, only describes the final outcome of the complicated world building process through which humans construct order with social institutions and other social arrangements.

Taken for granted is an empirical phenomenon for sure, but it only exists as a consequence of the ongoing process of social world building. While it is impossible to discuss all of the considerably important issues involved here, it is important to note that humans exist in a “relative position of world openness”. That is, humans do not enter a world that is biologically defined for them by instinct. In short, humans enter a world that must be ordered by social institutions and cultural constructions.

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