Ritið 1/16

Ritið 1/16 - 2016

Magnús Örn Sigurðsson: “Push button. Save planet.” Narratives, Neoliberalism and the Misrepresentation of Climate Change

The discussion on climate change has been dominated by a debate between those who deny climate change and those who worry about the problem and want to take mitigative action. With an ever strengthening scientific knowledge on climate change this debate is not as notable as it once was and it seems as though a shift has occurred within the general discussion.
The article argues that there is such a shift towards a significant solution-orientated narrative emphasizing technical solutions to the climate dilemma. This technological solution-narrative is distinguished and analyzed within three prominent discourses in the US by considering online videos produced by political parties, corporations, and non-profit organizations.
The analysis concludes that this specific narrative is a misrepresentation of climate change and that it downplays the seriousness of the problem. Thus, it is proposed that the apparent shift from denial narratives is a mere rerendering of climate change denial. Finally, the article suggests that the narrative can be viewed within the context of contemporary theories on neoliberalism as a materialization of that particular ideology.
Keywords: Climate change, neoliberalism, technical solutions, the myth of progress, climate change denial, narratology, online videos, discourse, the United States of America
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