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Sea-level rise in public science writing: history, science and reductionism
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3476-2567
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Presentation Abstract: Sea-level rise is potentially one of the most dramatic effects of climate change. In the past few years, a rush of literary non-fiction books have appeared that aim to explain and communicate this threat to the public. This paper critiques how sea-level rise is framed in many of those books, on two accounts. First, anthropogenic sea-level change is frequently framed by accounts of natural variations of sea level in earth history, focusing on geological rather than societal processes. Second, single and sudden floods are often used to exemplify sea-level rise in ways that draw attention away from incremental environmental change in favour of fast-paced but de-contextualised events. The paper argues that both these frames de-politicise sea-level rise and may steer public understanding and discussion away from relevant political, cultural and ethical considerations, thereby obstructing rather than facilitating appropriate negotiations in response to predicted sea-level rise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
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Other Humanities not elsewhere specified Languages and Literature Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193703OAI: diva2:1033781
Under western skies – Water: events, trends, analysis, Mount Royal University, Canada

QC 20161010. Presented 30 september.

Available from: 2016-10-10 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2016-10-10Bibliographically approved

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Lidström, Susanna
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