The use of religious metaphors by UK newspapers to describe and denigrate climate change

Journal article


Woods, R., Fernandez, A. and Coen, S. 2012. The use of religious metaphors by UK newspapers to describe and denigrate climate change. Public Understanding of Science. 21 (3), pp. 323-329. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662510385061
AuthorsWoods, R., Fernandez, A. and Coen, S.
Abstract

British newspapers have denigrated anthropogenic climate change by misrepresenting scientific consensus and/or framing climate change within unsympathetic discourses. One aspect of the latter that has not been studied is the use of metaphor to disparage climate change science and proponents. This article analyses 122 British newspaper articles published using a religious metaphor between summer 2003 and 2008. Most were critical of climate change, especially articles in conservative newspapers The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and The Times. Articles used religion as a source of metaphor to denigrate climate change in two ways: (1) undermining its scientific status by presenting it as irrational faith-based religion, and proponents as religious extremists intolerant of criticism; (2) mocking climate change using notions of sin, e.g. describing ‘green’ behaviours as atonement or sacrifice. We argue that the religious metaphor damages constructive debate by emphasizing morality and how climate change is discussed, and detracting attention from the content of scientific data and theories.

Keywordsclimate change, discourse, global warming, media, metaphor, religion
Year2012
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Journal citation21 (3), pp. 323-329
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
ISSN0963-6625
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662510385061
Publication dates
PrintApr 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited08 Apr 2011
Output statusPublished
Additional information

Published online before print: 26 November 2010.

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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/855vq/the-use-of-religious-metaphors-by-uk-newspapers-to-describe-and-denigrate-climate-change

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