‘Seeing the Climate? The Problematic Status of Visual Evidence in Climate Change Campaigning’

Doyle, Julie (2009) ‘Seeing the Climate? The Problematic Status of Visual Evidence in Climate Change Campaigning’ In: Dobrin, Sidney and Morey, Sean, eds. Ecosee: Image, Rhetoric, and Nature. State University of New York Press, New York, USA, pp. 279-298. ISBN 978-1-4384-2583-2 (hardcover)/ 978-1-4384-2584-9 (pbk)

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Abstract

This paper argues that the effectiveness of visual rhetoric as a persuasive discourse within environmental campaigning reached a crisis point in the history of climate change communication. International environmental groups such as Greenpeace are often dependent upon the photographic image to provide evidence of environmental degradation and threat in order to persuade the public and governments to take action. As a result of this reliance, efforts over the last decade to bring awareness to a sceptical global audience of the potential impacts of human induced climate change were constrained by the very lack of visual evidence about this issue. This paper argues that this lack calls attention, on the one hand, to the problematics of communicating an ‘unseen’ environmental issue such as climate change within the confines of the visual rhetoric of much environmental discourse. At the same time, these limitations are inscribed more specifically by those of photography as a discourse of visual evidence and truth, unable to visualise, and thus make ‘real’, future environmental threats.

Item Type:Chapter in book
Uncontrolled Keywords:photography, visual, climate change, environment, time
Subjects:P000 Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies > P320 Sociology of Media
F000 Physical Sciences > F800 Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences > F890 Geographical and Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
P000 Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies > P390 Media studies not elsewhere classified
P000 Mass Communications and Documentation
Faculties:Faculty of Arts > School of Arts and Media
ID Code:6660
Deposited By:Anne Galliot
Deposited On:20 Nov 2009
Last Modified:14 Dec 2012 02:17

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