Climate Threats from Kyoto to Paris: Framing and Images in Securitizing Climate Change Discourses
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Climate change is an issue that presents many threats that are dispersed according to geography and vulnerability. Climate change exists within separate discourses and is framed uniquely in each discourse. The question that I want to answer with this study is why attempted securitizations of climate change have not translated into a widespread understanding and acceptance of climate threats. By understanding how climate change is constructed as a threat to the public, we can better understand how it is perceived. Knowing how climate change is perceived can explain the potential for legitimacy of actors and actions. This thesis uses a content analysis of elite discourses to determine the prevalence of different threats within climate change communication. This study finds that most climate communication makes use of threats that are abstract and distant, diminishing the desired effect. Those communicating climate change threats make use of visuals to take advantage of the affectual power of images. Previous securitizations of climate change have made us of referent objects that are too abstract for the audience to be successful. This study argues that to communicate climate change threats in a way to increase the salience of the threat, messages must be localized and personalized and take advantage of the immediate affectual properties of images.
- OU - Theses