B1 - Social Constructions of Climate Futures
Climate change takes place independently of how humans perceive it, believe in it, or talk and write about it. However, the way people communicate and debate different perceptions and beliefs about climate change affects how societies imagine and negotiate climate futures.
These debates assign responsibility for causing climate change and for mitigating it, and advocate or reject specific solutions – imagined climate futures thus influence the Earth’s actual climate futures.
The objective of the project is to explore, how climate futures are imagined through communication and how these imaginations travel across different arenas of communication: local, stakeholder, and media arenas. Climate futures are debated across a variety of social and cultural contexts including science, politics, the media, and everyday conversation. While these different spheres of communication are somewhat distinct, they are also connected in ways that shape understandings, imaginations and solutions that are adopted to address climate change. Debates in different world regions are both rooted in local cultural contexts and are also globally intertwined.
To explore how discourses of climate futures are constructed, we ask the following key questions:
- To whom do people in and across various communicative arenas attribute responsibility for actions to address climate change?
- What kind of actions do they advocate for and reject?
- How are imaginations of possible and plausible climate futures socially and culturally constituted and embedded in broader visions of the future and in belief systems?
Knowing how societies imagine climate futures is an important precondition for the overall CLICCS goal of identifying possible and plausible climate futures, for developing scenarios for mitigation and climate-related sustainable adaptation.
Climate communication blog: www.climatematters.hamburg