Climate Change and Post-Political Communication
Media, Emotion and Environmental Advocacy
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For many years, the objective of environmental campaigners was to push climate change on to the agenda of political leaders and to encourage media attention to the issue. By the first decade of the twenty-first century, it appeared that their efforts had been spectacularly successful. Yet just at the moment when the campaigners’ goals were being achieved, it seemed that the idea of getting the issue into mainstream discussion had been mistaken all along; that the consensus-building approach produced little or no meaningful action. That is the problem of climate change as a ‘post-political’ issue, which is the subject of this book.
Examining how climate change is communicated in politics, news media and celebrity culture, Climate Change and Post-Political Communication explores how the issue has been taken up by elites as potentially offering a sense of purpose or mission in the absence of political visions of the future, and considers the ways in which it provides a focus for much broader anxieties about a loss of modernist political agency and meaning. Drawing on a wide range of literature and case studies, and taking a critical and contextual approach to the analysis of climate change communication, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of environmental studies, communication studies, and media and film studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: ‘Post-political’ climate change
Chapter 1: Political elites and the search for green meaning
Chapter 2: Cycles, arenas and norms: understanding news coverage
Chapter 3: Green consumption, lifestyle journalism and media advocacy
Chapter 4: Climate change and celebrity culture
Chapter 5: Celebrity solutions and the radical alternative
Conclusion: In search of the political
Philip Hammond is Professor of Media and Communications at London South Bank University, UK.
"This is a must read for anyone concerned with the workings of 21st century fear culture and the media. Hammond provides an excellent account of how climate change has been integrated into a therapeutic outlook on public life." - Frank Furedi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Kent
"Is climate change the ultimate global problem which must be solved through coordinated, collective action; or is this drive for consensus on climate change denying political subjectivity and obstructing the possibility of solving more pressing social injustices? Philip Hammond’s new book, Climate Change and Post-Political Communication, offers an original and persuasive answer to this question by following the roles of media, news journalism and celebrity in the public framing of climate change." - Mike Hulme, Professor of Human Geography, University of Cambridge