Picturing the Clima(c)tic: Greenpeace and the representational politics of climate change communication (1994-present)

Doyle, Julie (2007) Picturing the Clima(c)tic: Greenpeace and the representational politics of climate change communication (1994-present) Science as Culture, 16 (2). pp. 129-50. ISSN 1470-1189 (electronic) 0950-5431 (paper)

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Abstract

Images of melting glaciers have come to dominate the pictorial language of climate change. This paper argues that photographs of melting glaciers engender a representational problem in the communication of climate change as they depict the already seen effects of climate change. Given the dominance of the photograph within Greenpeace campaigns, the paper examines this adherence to visual immediacy by analysing Greenpeace climate change campaign literature since 1994. Identifying five representational phases over the last decade, the analysis shows how a symbolic pictorial language of climate change was being created, and the ways in which risks were communicated as actual rather than potential. Understood retrospectively however, this visualisation calls attention to the problems of communicating environmental issues of a temporal (long term) and unseen nature through a medium of representation which privileges the ‘here and now’.

Item Type:Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Greenpeace, climate change communication, visual representation
Subjects:F000 Physical Sciences > F800 Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences > F810 Environmental Geography
P000 Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
L000 Social Sciences > L900 Cultural Studies
DOI (a stable link to the resource):DOI: 10.1080/09505430701368938
Faculties:Faculty of Arts > School of Arts and Media
ID Code:7126
Deposited By:Julie Doyle
Deposited On:04 May 2010
Last Modified:18 Jun 2010 12:41

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