Metaphors we die by? Geoengineering, metaphors, and the argument from catastrophe

Nerlich, B. and Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519, 2012. Metaphors we die by? Geoengineering, metaphors, and the argument from catastrophe. Metaphor and Symbol, 27 (2), pp. 131-147. ISSN 1092-6488

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Geoengineering the climate by reflecting sunlight or extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has attracted increasing attention from natural scientists, social scientists, policy makers and the media. This article examines promotional discourse related to geoengineering from the 1980s to 2010. It asks in particular how this option for dealing with the problems posed by climate change were framed through the use of conceptual and discourse metaphors and whether one can argue that these are metaphors we “live by” or metaphors we might “die by.” Findings show that an overarching argument from catastrophe was bolstered by three conceptual master-metaphors, namely “THE PLANET IS A BODY,” “THE PLANET IS A MACHINE,” and “THE PLANET IS A PATIENT/ADDICT,” linked to a variety of discourse metaphors, older conceptual metaphors, and clichés. This metaphorical landscape began to shift while the article was being written and will have to be closely monitored in the future.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Geoengineering and (un)making the world we want to live in
Publication Title: Metaphor and Symbol
Creators: Nerlich, B. and Jaspal, R.
Publisher: Routledge
Date: April 2012
Volume: 27
Number: 2
ISSN: 1092-6488
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 20 Apr 2020 09:30
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2020 09:30

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