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Debating Climate Change: Pathways through Argument to Agreement

By: Elizabeth L Malone

176 pages, illustrations, graphs, index


Paperback | Oct 2009 | #180862 | ISBN-13: 9781844078295
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £24.95 $33/€28 approx
Hardback | Oct 2009 | #180863 | ISBN-13: 9781844078288
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £85.00 $111/€97 approx

About this book

Climate change may have begun as a scientific issue, but it is also a political issue, a manifestation of the problems associated with modernization, industrialism, capitalism and globalization. The climate change debate raises questions about whether global consensus or cooperation about the environment (or anything else) is possible, how the environment fits into and underlies the current ways people live their lives, and what counts as knowledge within the world system. As the world moves into a new era of international climate negotiations and increasing public awareness, understanding the complex debates and disagreements becomes ever more crucial so that ways forward can be found.

"Debating Climate Change" uses an innovative approach to the climate change debate - combined discourse and social network analyses - to examine how we talk about the issue in both scientific and non-scientific ways. Analyzing 100 documents from top level climate scientists and international negotiators to energy company perspectives in the mass media, Elizabeth L. Malone illuminates all sides of the debate and finds agreement between varied and seemingly opposed parties. She then shows how we can build upon these areas of agreement to tackle climate change.

Written in a clear, accessible style, this original research and insightful use of communication analysis will help advance understanding and negotiation on climate change throughout the pivotal times to come.

'As climate change has moved from the science pages to the front page of the world's newspapers, this very timely book makes sense of the current debates in climate policy. With admirable rigour Elizabeth L. Malone demonstrates that despite the diversity of arguments, all is not yet lost and agreement is in reach.' Dr Richard J.T. Klein, Stockholm Environment Institute 'Climate change calls for new engagement across partisan, disciplinary, and institutional divides. Elizabeth Malone's important new book helps us better understand these fault lines and find ways to bring people and ideas together.' Barry Rabe, Professor, Gerald Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan 'The book is well written and takes the reader gradually through the analytical process...This is an interesting read for all those interested in the climate change debate' Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers


Preface: Climate Change in the Spotlight
1. Introduction: Trying to Make Sense of Disparate Arguments about Climate Change
2. The Many Faces of Dispute
3. Climate Change - Part of Globalization?
4. Arguments-Agreeing and Disagreeing
5. Finding Common Ground: The Features of the Arguments Themselves
6. Elements of Arguments as Social Links
7. Beyond Family Ties: Social Network Analysis
8. Prospects for the Debate: Endless Recycling of Arguments or Movement toward Agreement?
Appendix 1 Arguments sorted by family with coded rhetorical features
Appendix 2. Documents listed by argument

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Elizabeth L. Malone is a sociologist and Senior Research Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington and has been doing research on climate change as a dimension of human change for over a decade.

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