Communication of Risk

Your text explains that political discourse is influenced by the way we communicate about climate change such that,
One of the reasons we disagree about climate change is that we receive multiple and conflicting messages about climate change and we interpret them in different ways. (Hulme 2009, 215)
 There are various ways that climate change narratives differ:
  • The ways the issue is framed (p.226)
    • the organization of ideas, definition of controversy and invoction of core values and assumptions
  • The different audiences targeted
    • different frames will resonate with different audiences depending on their values
  • The language used
    • "linguistic repertoire" (p. 230) such as distinctive vocabulary, stylistic features, certain metaphors, idioms or images
  • The stories told
    • who has caused this? who is responsible? who loses? what should be done about it?  heroes and bad guys? winners and losers?
  • The imagery used or invoked
    • What are the pictures someone shows you?  What feelings are they intended to illicit?  What descriptions do they use to paint pictures in your head?
Below are different Tweets from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  Using the five ways climate change narratives differ as explained in your text and outlined above, describe the way at least two of the three Tweets provide different narratives.  If their are other Tweets by these people that you'd like to use please do so but be sure to link to your chosen Tweet in your response.  Due Friday, October 20 at 11:59pm. (Tips for writing a blog post comment are here)


  1. When speaking of narrative differences, each of these three people hold a unique stand point on the subject of climate change. Starting with Hilary Clinton's tweets, the way she "frames" her narrative leans heavily towards the percentage of the population who understand and believe in climate change. The way she words her posts seem slightly provoking, but at the same time, what she said was worded without slander. Although her intentions, from what I see, are still orbiting around politics and people instead of climate change itself. As for Bernie Sanders, his narrative is more neutral. Though climate change isn't neutral, as explained in the reading, his focus is on a mass effort instead of complaining about the inconveniences that we've caused ourselves (ie. climate change.) His "story" narrative seems to be pointing fingers at Donald Trump, blaming him for his contribution to the current state of the environment. Audiences targeted here would be democrats and those who do not follow Trump. A noble effort to raise awareness but still bias in my opinion. Lastly, Donald Trump's narrative focus' less on climate change and more on the cost of it. His "imagery" narrative paints a picture revolving around economics being more important than the planet we live on. What little he had to say seems some what of a farce instead of a productive post. Although it may not make much of a difference, his use of language could influence some who have read this and could allow them to take this issue not as seriously as they should. Overall, these tweets may or may not have their heart in the right place, but as for how people interpret climate change, this could give them a less than educational understanding of how important climate change really is.

  2. Bernie's tweet on climate change frames a narrative based on stories. By mentioning Donald Trump's name in the first part of his tweet he demonizes him and places the shame on the country on him. Bernie's second tweet also targets a certain audience. When he mentions morals he appeals to an audience that is moral and cares about the country and the preservation of such.
    Donald Trump also appeals to a different target audience with his linguistics. With the use of slang and inaccurate "facts" he appeals to a less educated audience. His diction is also much less formal, he does not use words that are very difficult to understand. With the mentioning of money in the first sentence he would also appeal to an audience that is concerned less about our planet and more about the couple dollars this "bullshit" increases their taxes.

  3. The way climate change is being framed between Hillary and Trumps comments is completely different. Hillary takes the idea of a "choice" between addressing global warming and growing the economy and says there is no choice, they are equally important and one cannot preside over the other. Trump says global warming is expensive and the scientist are wrong, and for that reason we should not do anything about it, essentially making the false choice Hillary argued. Hillary makes a second comment targeting the climate change deniers as selfish and lacking integrity, while trump targets the scientific community as being stubborn. Both frame the issue to directly oppose the others ideals, effectively dividing the nation by pitting them against one another. Politics...

  4. Donald J. Trumps tweet obviously uses language to make his message more controversial and hopefully to get the point across by using vulgar vocabulary. Donald Trump is known for using this tactic and actually works most of the time getting him free of charge publicity. Bernie Sanders 2nd tweet emphasizes imagery by providing the reader with the idea of devastating harm and how we cannot turn our backs on this problem. He tries to paint the picture of harm that will be caused by climate change and highlights the fact that we cannot ignore this problem.

  5. First I want to address all three tweets dates, Donald Trump's tweet first. The date that it was published is January 1st, 2014! Wow this is so old that ebola was outbreaking when it was tweeted. Secondly Trump was not involved in the US political scene in anyway. He announced he would be running for president June 16th, 2015. (18 months after this was tweeted).
    In response to Bernie Sander's tweet, there are a few things I would like to address. Firstly Bernie says Trump is an "abdication" to american leadership which is just another person taking a cheep shot at our president. Secondly I like to ask the question, what does the paris climate agreement actually accomplish? There is so much media and news about the agreement, all of which is directed at bashing our president instead of informing the public on what the agreement is supposed to accomplish. Basically the goal of the agreement is to lower carbon emission on a global scale which I agree with and is a good thing. However there are a lot more factors to it like how are you going to enforce this in third world countries that have little if any local governments, and how are you going measure a countries emissions? . In the US we have the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) which regulates and protects our environments across the country. Leading me to ask the question, why do we need to join a global climate agreement when we already have a government agency that receives 8.1 billion dollars in tax payer money?

  6. Within Donald trump's tweet, he uses a very elementary approach in order to communicate his message. He uses twitter as a platform to promote his seemingly uneducated opinion. He targets people that are easily persuaded with propaganda-like reports. In addition, he mentions that climate change is "expensive" as if it is some sort of inconvenience. Granted, this tweet is from 2014, so there is a chance his stance on this issue has swayed, though his recent actions would not lead me to believe this is true.

    In Hillary Clinton's tweet, she takes a much less aggressive approach, and seems to us it as more of a warning. Her tweet includes a link to a lengthy article further explaining her view on the issue of climate change. Since her tweet sounds like a warning, it could cause a change by invoking fear of those that read it.

  7. One way that Bernie Sander's tweet and Donald Trump's tweet provide different narratives on climate change is through the framing of climate change. Bernie Sanders frames climate change as a international problem and since the United States is a world hegemony, then we have to be the ones to lead the fight against climate change. Hence, why he was critical of the U.S. leaving he Paris Accords. Donald Trump frames climate change as a economic problem and a waste of U.S. resources. He does this by talking about how expensive fighting global warming is.
    Another way their tweets provide different narratives is through the language they used. Bernie Sanders invokes a moral argument by talking about how it is the right thing to do and talks about preserving the Earth should be one of our top priorities. Donald Trump uses more extreme language by using all caps and curse words to emphasize how strongly he perceives climate change as a joke and a waste of time.
    The last way they provide different narratives is through imagery. Bernie Sanders mentions the devastating harm that climate changed has brought to invoke images that we have seen where hurricanes and floods have destroyed homes and communities. Donald trump uses talks about how the planet is freezing and our global warming scientists are getting trapped in ice. This is done to make us think of how ridiculous global warming sounds by picturing a frozen planet and the irony behind global warming scientists getting stuck in ice.

  8. Since Trump and Clinton ran against each other for President, I will be using their tweets. All five of the ways climate change narratives differ can be shown in each tweet. For instance, Hillary uses imagery by including a picture of a quote she said a day before her tweet. To the viewer, it looks as if she is going back on a point she made earlier to emphasize her opinion, so she seems to have more credibility. Clinton's narrative shows that we shouldn't be having to choose between taking action against climate change and economic growth, as those who want economic growth have cynical intentions. The language used portrays confidence that those who oppose or don't believe in climate change's actions will fail.
    On the other hand, Trump's tweet is completely different in almost every aspect. First, there is a difference in language. Trump does not use the word "climate change", but instead "global warming" in all caps. He uses a curse word and goes further to actually use a taunting style by saying "our GW scientists are stuck in ice." His narrative is basically saying, "my opinion is right just because I said so." He emphasizes economic impact by saying how expensive it would be to take action on climate change, stating that all of the talk about global warming needs to stop. His intended audience seems to be people who do not believe in climate change, as he confidently makes statements as if they have already been proven true (which they haven't.)

  9. I would love to illustrate the differences in narrative between Bernie Sanders in Donald Trump. These two are polar opposites and the tweets above depicts that clearly. Bernie Sanders, a long time environmental activist, believes climate change is not only real, but perpetuated by humans and its effects can already be seen. Donald Trump, our current president, has expressed his feelings clearly and bluntly on the topic of climate change on multiple occasions. On one of these occasions, he explains: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." This is just one of his stories that illuminate his core values and beliefs. Since he is president of the US, he has the largest audience on the largest stage imaginable. While some believe everything he claims, with little to no evidence, there are still many who do not agree with his ideas. Bernie Sanders, being one of the biggest rivals to Trumps idealogy, he follows what over 96% of climate scientist say, that climate change is real and it is a problem. Bernie's linguistic style is urgent and demanding. Elucidating from the tweets, he condemns Trump for his decision to back out of the Paris Climate Accord, and stresses the real situation of modern man-made climate change. Trump appears to mock the idea, using all caps and stating it is "Bullshit". Being proactive on climate change does not follow Trumps current agenda, disregarding facts ("fake news") and the well-being of the future of America and the whole world. Still, he appeals to some, in that he says it will be bad for the economy and cost money/jobs(?). Trump's narrative places climate change on the back burner and does not see it as an immediate threat to the American people. On the other end, Bernie Sanders has made it a number one priority, using modern science and reason to back his claims.

  10. In Donald Trump’s tweet, the narrative expressed is assumed by the five different ways a narrative is told. Language can be very important when conveying a message to others about your own ideas, and Trump uses very strong, even obscene language, when he swears. It can be argued that by using strong language , there is a strong message being conveyed. The audience Trump is targeting with his message are people who are “global warming” skeptics, deniers, and powerful individuals who are more concerned with money and the economy than the Earth, like Trump. There are no pictures used, but the imagery in his language can be seen clearly. Trump says, “GW scientists are stuck in ice,” either making an ironic joke or implying that the science is not progressing. The story Trump is describing is that the “GW scientists” are the cause of the ongoing, “very expensive…bullshit,” conversation that is still occurring. Trump never mentions other people, whether it be politicians, tax payers, etc. The only people brought into his statement are the “GW scientists”. Trump frames his opinion by mentioning that, “[o]ur planet is freezing, [and at] record low temps,” but not citing where these ‘facts’ come from. By not citing his sources, there is no way to know if he is just making these statements up. If he is, he is only pushing his ideas by stating them. By tying these five types of interpreted messages together, it can be assumed that Donald Trump’s narrative is about the monetary aspects of “global warming”, and the argument to why “global warming” has to stop.

    In Hillary Clinton’s tweet, the narrative implied is about not having to choose between two important issues, climate and money. The audience Clinton is targeting are her supporters, people who align themselves with her ideals, and those who believe in climate change issues. This is argued when Clinton calls out the “climate change deniers and obstructionists,” those who do not hold the same ideals as her. The language she uses is also strong like Trump, but said with more decorum. Clinton calls those who differ as “obstructionists” and that their “cynical efforts will fail.” By using this type of strong language, she instills upon her audience that their shared view of this issue is strong, and that she is a strong leader. The imagery used is not of a photograph, but of another quote from her about the topic. Even though the shared quote was from the day before, it shows that Clinton has spoken on this issue before. How Clinton’s message is framed can be seen distinctly when she says, “…reject the false choice between combating climate change and fostering economic growth,” and calling out the “climate change deniers and obstructionists.” She is only acknowledging her beliefs of what is important to her. The story being told is that the “deniers and obstructionists” and their “cynical efforts,” are responsible for no agreement or solution being made. However, she points out that, “[i]f any country can prove that, it’s the United States,” in regards to not having to choose between the two issues. When pulling apart these five differences that make up Clinton’s narrative, it’s inferred that she is trying to push people into thinking that there shouldn’t be a choice between the value of the Earth and the monetary system that dictates what happens in the country.

  11. Trump's tweet targets an audience of people who value the health of the economy over the health of the environment. It frames the climate change as just temperature as opposed to the large connectedness of the whole environment. In his tweet scientists are the bad guys, trying to steal the working man's tax dollars. His language used includes an inappropriate term to show how serious he is about stopping the lying scientists.
    Sander's tweet on the other hand frames the issue as a moral need to save the planet. His target audience is people who want to do everything they can to save the planet. His story is that Trump is the bad guy. Trump and his rich cronies want to destroy the environment in pursuit of profits. His language used is very professional, showing him as someone who should be listened to. His tweets paints a picture of a planet in crisis that needs all of us to help.

  12. Trump's tweet targets an audience of people who value the health of the economy over the health of the environment. It frames the climate change as just temperature as opposed to the large connectedness of the whole environment. In his tweet scientists are the bad guys, trying to steal the working man's tax dollars. His language used includes an inappropriate term to show how serious he is about stopping the lying scientists.
    Sander's tweet on the other hand frames the issue as a moral need to save the planet. His target audience is people who want to do everything they can to save the planet. His story is that Trump is the bad guy. Trump and his rich cronies want to destroy the environment in pursuit of profits. His language used is very professional, showing him as someone who should be listened to. His tweet paints a picture of a planet in crisis that needs all of us to help.

  13. The third tweet follows the stories told narrative as well as the language narrative. This is evident because he says in the tweet that the scientist are stuck and global warming is costing too much money. This also uses the language narrative because he used very strong and charged terms. All of the tweets however reach a similar audience since they are all tweets directed at the followers of these politicians. The second tweet makes similar efforts by using words we would consider to be charged like the "devastating harm" and "international disgrace".


Popular Posts