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From climate skeptic to climate cynic
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management. Univ Exeter, Business Sch, Exeter, Devon, England.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2898-9995
Lund Univ, Dept Polit Sci, Lund, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Critical Policy Studies, ISSN 1946-0171, E-ISSN 1946-018X, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 345-365Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Whilst we know quite a bit about organized forms of climate skepticism, very few studies focus on how disorganized climate skeptics seek an underdog position to speak truth to power. Hence, we investigate frank speech as updated ancient forms of truth-telling 'parrhesia', in two Swedish empirical sources that strongly question the climate change consensus. The first is a digital space for free speech, and the second a focus group of climate skeptics. Tracing 'epistemic skepticism' and 'response skepticism', we inquire into the attempts to counter scientific expertise and the different ways to refuse to act in accordance with officially sanctioned advice. We analyze the details of climate cynic truth-telling in relation to truthtelling as provocation, as ethical practice and as exhibition of a specific aim. We explore how the climate skeptic turns into a climate cynic, and discuss how alternative truth construction forms an anti-climate ethical selfhood. We end by problematizing how parrhesia is linked to ethical relativism, and argue that the recognition of climate cynicism facilitates our understanding of how conflicting political realities about climate change are produced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2019. Vol. 13, no 3, p. 345-365
Keywords [en]
Climate change, climate skepticism, the cynics, ethics, subjectivity, truth-telling
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-393755DOI: 10.1080/19460171.2018.1429938ISI: 000482065500006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-393755DiVA, id: diva2:1362380
Funder
Swedish Research Council FormasAvailable from: 2019-10-18 Created: 2019-10-18 Last updated: 2019-10-18Bibliographically approved

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