Document Type

Honors

Department

Communications

Abstract

Capturing the public's attention with messages of climate change is immediately important in the face of the threat of global warming. As science communicators and climate scientists struggle to effectively communicate the risks of climate change to the general public, a cross-disciplinary understanding of exemplary communication events is essential to furthering the field of climate change communication. By applying theories of rhetorical criticism to the arguments in the viral, and controversial, New York Magazine cover piece "The Uninhabitable Earth" by David Wallace-Wells, this study evaluated the dominant frames, appeals and persuasive narratives utilized in the article. The analysis drew conclusion to the research question: is "The Uninhabitable Earth" a persuasive apocalyptic climate change narrative? The rhetorical evaluation of this prominent article added another dimension of understanding of climate rhetoric in the emerging field of science communication. The apocalyptic narrative, metaphor and appeals of the article were effective, and have been used in similar climate change communication to the same end.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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