Title: Entertaining our way to engagement? Climate change films and sustainable development values

Authors: Bridie McGreavy; Laura Lindenfeld

Addresses: Department of Communication and Journalism, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, University of Maine, 5784 York Complex, Bldg. #4, Orono, ME 04469, USA ' Department of Communication and Journalism, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, University of Maine, 5784 York Complex, Bldg. #4, Orono, ME 04469, USA

Abstract: How we communicate about climate change shapes our response to the most complex and challenging issue society currently faces. In this paper, we conduct a discursive analysis and ideological critique of stereotypical representations in three climate change films: The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy (2008) and An Inconvenient Truth (2006). We argue that these films situate their treatment of climate change in a narrative context that reiterates troubling stereotypes about race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. These representations do not align with key sustainable development goals such as equity, freedom, and shared responsibility. Our essay demonstrates how the stories we consume about climate change as we entertain ourselves potentially influence our sense of the world, guide our relationships to one another and impact our collective abilities to create a sustainable future.

Keywords: climate change communication; discourse analysis; ideological criticism; films; movies; stereotyping; sustainable development goals; environmental sustainability values; stereotypes; race; ethnicity; gender; sexuality; equity; freedom; shared responsibility; cinema.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2014.061766

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2014 Vol.17 No.2, pp.123 - 136

Available online: 28 May 2014 *

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