How the words we use to describe climate change impact the planet

10 Jun 2020

Words shape how we feel, how we act, how we perceive the world. “Change” and “emergency” resonate in profoundly different ways when attached to the word “climate”. When is alarmist language helpful, and for how long can alarmist language retain its urgency? How do the ways we frame nature affect the degree to which we care for it? This session on linguistics explores why we must choose our words and metaphors carefully, because they don’t end in letters and punctuation but in the shaping of thoughts and therefore habits, actions, lifestyles. Words are causes for real effects in how we address climate change.

  • Arran Stibbe

    Professor of Ecological Linguistics, University of Gloucestershire