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

Nerlich, Brigitte and Jaspal, Rusi (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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Geoeengineering 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: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Metaphor and Symbol on 12/04/2012, available online:
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Nerlich, Professor Brigitte
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2014 17:21
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 13:19

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