The Discursive (De)Construction of Climate Change Advocacy

Framing the US Green New Deal Resolution




climate activism, climate change, argumentative framing, policy debates, social media communication


This paper studies the climate-related discourses of two (sets of) actors with a significant following on the two poles of the current US climate debate: the climate advocacy of one of the most vociferous US environmentalists in office, House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the delegitimizing climate counternarratives fashioned by mainstream conservative media outlet Fox News. Specifically, it centres on the processes that govern the argumentative framing of the 2019 policy proposal known as the (US) Green New Deal Resolution (GND) within Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s tweets and news segments on the GND posted on the official Fox News YouTube site. Guided by the analytical framework delineated in Fairclough and Mădroane (2020), this paper seeks to lay bare the ways in which these two deliberating agents made selected premises salient and overriding, used linguistic devices to (re)define and (re)categorize phenomena, and had recourse to macro speech acts such as explanations and narratives to support their intended aims. In exposing the mechanisms that govern the framing of the critical issue of climate change and the debate of an environmental policy, it hopes to contribute to understanding how framing strategies are employed within policy debates that unfold in less formal contexts and to shed light on the communication of climate-related issues in ways that more effectively resonate with the public and counteract climate scepticism and denial.


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