New research on language and the environment

The French journal Mots. Les langages du politique recently published a special issue on language and the environment. The issue includes contributions from three of the project members.

Together with Øyvind Gjerstad, project members Kjersti Fløttum and Anje Müller Gjesdal wrote the article Avenir et climat : représentations de l’avenir dans des blogs francophones portant sur le changement climatique”.

Abstract: This article investigates how the future is perceived in blogs related to climate change, extracted from the corpus NTAP (Networks of Text and People). The analysis, mainly undertaken in a lexical perspective, focuses on the periods 2009-2010 and 2013-2014. The results show that the negative and pessimistic perspectives are clearly more prevalent than the positive and optimistic ones.

Project member Guillaume Carbou wrote the article La topique romantique dans les discours de l’écologie politique”.

Abstract: This paper shows that what is called romanticism is an ideological engine that fuels contemporary ecology. Romanticism in this sense does not simply apply to arts but to a wide political movement: romanticism is a cultural reaction against industrial and capitalist modernity and is based on the critique of the various alienation processes this modernity generates. The present paper defines the five core axes of this critique and then highlights their presence in two separate corpuses. The first corpus consists of six texts from six authors widely seen as inspirationnal for political ecology (Bernard Charbonneau, André Gorz, Ivan Illich, Henry David Thoreau, Arne Naess and Murray Bookchin). The second corpus is composed of critical comments from internet users on online press articles dealing with regional development projects. These two different corpuses shed light on the fact that romantic ideology fuels the scholarly literature on political ecology as well as the more profane environmental protests.