How is the Psychological Climate Paradox presented in climate change communications? : A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of the Psychological Climate Paradox in the documentary trailers Anthropocene: the human epoch & Kiss the Ground

University essay from Jönköping University/Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation

Abstract: Effectively communicating climate change issues to the public have been proven to be a complicated task. Increasing scientific research explaining how humans have caused changes on climate, have led to a decreasing concern, contributing to the Psychological Climate Paradox. The aim of this study is to analyze how the issue of climate change is communicated in the documentary trailers of Anthropocene: The human epoch (Baichwal, Burtynsky & de Pencier, 2018) and Kiss the Ground (Tickell & Tickell, 2020), and whether these contribute to the Psychological Climate Paradox or not. To do so, the presence of three out of five barriers to effective climate communications, which help uphold the Psychological Climate Paradox were taken into consideration. The method of the research consisted of a modified Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (MCDA), focusing on the semiotic aspects of denotation and connotation, visual codes, and the linguistic aspect of vocabular choice The study concludes that the three psychological barriers which contribute to climate communication were clearly present in the Anthropocene trailer. However, the Kiss the Ground trailer rather presented the audience with the solutions to the barriers, known as the new Psychological Strategies, which Stoknes (2015) argues contribute to more effective climate change communication.

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