Models and metaphors in overcoming resistance to climate change science

Harrison, Karey (2011) Models and metaphors in overcoming resistance to climate change science. In: Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering International Conference (SSEE 2011): Escaping Silos, 24-26 Oct 2011, Brisbane, Australia.

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Objective: This paper will show how the use of cognitive models and metaphors in climate change communication overcomes resistance to action on climate change.
Methods: This paper draws on my research on the role of metaphor and models in human reasoning. Using metaphoric analysis and participant action research, this paper will examine case studies such as my use of cognitive models in teaching into ENG2002 Technology, Sustainability and Society, and in my work as an Al Gore Climate presenter – giving climate presentations to over 2000 people in professional, business and community organisations; and academic conference presentations on economics and climate change.
In these presentations I use metaphoric analyses of the ontological commitments of Lovelock's and Club of Rome's systems models to test and challenge the ontological commitments of objectivist–logico-empiricist, mechanistic and atomistic models of self, society, democratic theory and practice, economics, energy resources, ethics, journalism practice and media reporting, philosophy of language, communication theory, social science and science research methodology.
Results & Conclusion: The use of contrasting concrete models and metaphors is an effective means for producing 'gestalt shifts' in the ways people think about issues. In relation to climate change in particular, the use of ecological models like Lovelock's Daisy World model, confronts audiences with their dependence on complex life systems on this planet, and with the fact that we are dangerously modifying those systems. This changes how people think about the earth system, and hence how they will choose to act.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2013 03:23
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 00:48
Uncontrolled Keywords: anti-climate change; influences; communication; metaphor
Fields of Research (2008): 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040104 Climate Change Processes
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220302 Decision Theory
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170204 Linguistic Processes (incl. Speech Production and Comprehension)
Fields of Research (2020): 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3702 Climate change science > 370201 Climate change processes
50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5003 Philosophy > 500303 Decision theory
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520499 Cognitive and computational psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified

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