1st Edition

Discourses of Global Climate Change Apocalyptic framing and political antagonisms

By Jonas Anshelm, Martin Hultman Copyright 2015
    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    210 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the arguments made by political actors in the creation of antagonistic discourses on climate change. Using in-depth empirical research from Sweden, a country considered by the international political community to be a frontrunner in tackling climate change, it draws out lessons that contribute to the worldwide environmental debate.

    The book identifies and analyses four globally circulated discourses that call for very different action to be taken to achieve sustainability: Industrial fatalism, Green Keynesianism, Eco-socialism and Climate scepticism. Drawing on risk society and post-political theory, it elaborates concepts such as industrial modern masculinity and ecomodern utopia, exploring how it is possible to reconcile apocalyptic framing to the dominant discourse of political conservatism.

    This highly original and detailed study focuses on opinion leaders and the way discourses are framed in the climate change debate, making it valuable reading for students and scholars of environmental communication and media, global environmental policy, energy research and sustainability.

    1. Introduction: Discourses of climate change and global environmental politics  2. The discourse of Industrial Fatalism: Keeping the promise of modernity intact  3. Green Keynesian discourse  4. Now or Never? Eco-socialism in the Climate Change debate  5. Climate sceptical discourse  6. The UN Conference in Copenhagen and beyond  7. Apocalyptic framing and conservative action? A concluding discussion


    Martin Hultman is a research fellow in cultural studies, energy politics and environmental history at Umeå University, Sweden.

    Jonas Anshelm is a professor researching energy politics, environmental history and political history of ideas at Linköping University, Sweden.

    "Through the Swedish context, Anshelm and Hultman offer provocative accounts of how circulating global discourses about various aspects of climate science-policy shape a spectrum of perceived engagements. This is a compelling tale of how patterns of communicating about climate change are intertwined with our 21st century patterns of practice."

    Max Boykoff, University of Oxford, UK

    "If climate change threatens the very core of civilization, why do micro-practices of risk management dominate the policy responses? Discourses of Global Climate Change uses discourse analysis to deepen our understanding of climate change politics. This clearly-written, provocative study will enrich the work of policymakers and climate scholars."

    Nancy Langston, Michigan Technological University, USA

    "This is an important contribution to understanding the dramatic shifts in global climate debates over the last decade. It links politics and the discourses of climate change in Sweden and internationally. This allows a powerful tool to interrogate the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit and illuminate its far-reaching impacts."

    Heather Goodall, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

    "This book provides an exceptionally insightful analysis of the politics of climate change in Sweden, and the predominant discourses they identify illuminate climate change debates worldwide. They highlight limitations of the dominant eco-modernist discourse suggesting that climate change can be handled – via technological innovations, market mechanisms and individual behavioral changes – without fundamentally modifying the current socio-economic system and its commitment to endless growth. Their analysis of the sources of climate change skepticism in Sweden reveals remarkable similarities to the U.S. situation, again showing the wide applicability of their results."

    Riley E. Dunlap, Oklahoma State University, USA

    'Offering an unvarnished picture of views about global climate-change policy abroad, this book does not bring agreeable news, but it addresses issues Americans could benefit from knowing. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals.'

    F. T. Manheim, George Mason University, CHOICE Reviews, December 2015