Leave only Footprints? Reframing Climate Change, Environmental Stewardship, and Human Impact

Ethics, Policy and Environment 20 (1):84-102 (2017)
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Cheryl Hall has argued that framing of climate change must acknowledge the sacrifices needed to reach a sustainable future. This paper builds on that argument. Although it is important to acknowledge the value of what must be sacrificed, this paper argues that current frames about the environment falsely portray humans and the environment as in a zero-sum game, and in doing so ask people to give up the wrong things. This could undermine the public’s trust in environmentalism, and might even create a backlash against action on climate change. I propose we need alternative framing that portrays humans as a keystone species, and highlights positive human activity.
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