'Climategate': Paradoxical Metaphors and Political Paralysis

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Abstract:

Climate scepticism in the sense of climate denialism or contrarianism is not a new phenomenon, but it has recently been very much in the media spotlight. When, in November 2009, emails by climate scientists were published on the internet without their authors' consent, a debate began in which climate sceptic bloggers used an extended network of metaphors to contest (climate) science. This article follows the so-called 'climategate' debate on the web and shows how a paradoxical mixture of religious metaphors and demands for 'better science' allowed those disagreeing with the theory of anthropogenic climate change to undermine the authority of science and call for political inaction with regard to climate change.

Keywords: climate scepticism; climate science; framing; metaphor; policy; religion

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3197/096327110X531543

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2013) of 1.739.
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