English Research Seminar 30.03.2022
Communicating the climate crisis: ecocritical discourse analysis and digital storytelling; Hermine Penz (University of Graz); Wednesday 30th of March, at 18:00 in room D2.2.228
Communicating the climate crisis: ecocritical discourse analysis and digital storytelling
Climate science has clearly established human activity as the major cause of global warming or climate change. The successive reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have provided future scenarios of the detrimental effect of rising temperatures for the years to come. It has already been leaked that he 6th IPCC report, which is to be published this year, will predict very dramatic scenarios for our future and life on earth in general unless the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is stopped and reduced substantially. However, despite the urgency of the problem, the importance of taking action is difficult to communicate to stakeholders and the public.
This paper discusses some basic issues of climate change communication and uses qualitative (eco)critical discourse analysis to highlight communication strategies employed by climate scientists, climate deniers and climate activists, identifying similarities and differences in their strategies. It also looks at ways of how climate change could be communicated more effectively to the general public to promote action. One of the suggestions is to engage people more personally and on a local level. For this purpose, the method of digital storytelling is presented. This method has been applied in the teaching of classes on “Language and Ecology”, yet also has the potential to activate the general public for climate action as it was originally developed in community work. In the context of teaching, this method allows learners to include a personal perspective on the issue and thus broadens the methodological repertoire by adding story telling to critical text/discourse analysis.