Image Politics of Climate Change

Visualizations, Imaginations, Documentations

Scientific research on climate change has given rise to a variety of images picturing climate change. These range from colorful expert graphics, model visualizations, photographs of extreme weather events like floods, droughts or melting ice, symbols like polar bears, to animated and interactive visualizations. Climate change graphics have not only increased knowledge about the subject, they have begun to influence popular awareness of global weather events. The status of climate pictures today is particularly crucial, as global climate change as a long-term process cannot be seen.

When images are widely distributed, they are able to shape how the world is thought about and seen. It is this implicit basic assumption of the power of images to influence reality that this book addresses: today's images might become the blueprint for tomorrow's realities.

»Image Politics of Climate Change« combines a wide interdisciplinary range of perspectives and questions, treated here in sixteen interdisciplinary case studies. The author's specializations include both visual practice and theory: in the fields of climate sciences, computer graphics, art, curating, art history and visual studies, communication and cultural science, environmental and science & technology studies. The close interlinking of these viewpoints promotes in-depth insights into issues of production and analysis of climate visualization.

Overview Chapters

  1. Frontmatter

    Seiten 1 - 4
  2. Table of Contents

    Seiten 5 - 8
  3. Image Politics of Climate Change: Introduction

    Seiten 9 - 26
  4. Chapter 1. The Epistemic Value of Visualization in Climate Sciences

    The Creation of Global Imaginaries: The Antarctic Ozone Hole and the Isoline Tradition in the Atmospheric Sciences

    Seiten 29 - 54
  5. Images for Data Analysis: The Role of Visualization in Climate Research Processes

    Seiten 55 - 78
  6. Chapter 2. Communicating Results: The Status of Climate Expert Graphs in IPCC Reports

    "Tricks," Hockey Sticks, and the Myth of Natural Inscription: How the Visual Rhetoric of Climate gate Conflated Climate with Character

    Seiten 81 - 104
  7. The Color of Risk: Expert Judgment and Diagrammatic Reasoning in the IPCC's 'Burning Embers'

    Seiten 105 - 124
  8. Chapter 3. Images of Climate Change in the Press and on the Web

    Between Risk, Beauty and the Sublime: The Visualization of Climate Change in Media Coverage during COP 15 in Copenhagen 2009

    Seiten 127 - 152
  9. Twist and Shout: Images and Graphs in Skeptical Climate Media

    Seiten 153 - 186
  10. Towards an Interactive Visual Understanding of Climate Change Findings on the Net: Promises and Challenges

    Seiten 187 - 210
  11. Color Plates

    Seiten 211 - 222
  12. Chapter 4. From Vision to Action? Making the Invisible Imaginable through Art and Photography

    Picturing the Clima(c)tic: Greenpeace and the Representational Politics of Climate Change Communication

    Seiten 225 - 248
  13. The Uncanny Polar Bear: Activists Visually Attack an Overly Emotionalized Image Clone

    Seiten 249 - 272
  14. How Photography Matters: On Producing Meaning in Photobooks on Climate Change

    Seiten 273 - 298
  15. The Pensive Photograph as Agent: What Can Non-Illustrative Images Do to Galvanize Public Support for Climate Change Action?

    Seiten 299 - 322
  16. Chapter 5. Images of Climate Control

    Picturing the State of the Nation's Environment: Early Aerial Photography in the United States from the 1930s to the late 1960s

    Seiten 325 - 344
  17. Picturing Climate Control: Visualizing the Unimaginable

    Seiten 345 - 362
  18. Images of Feasibility: On the Viscourse of Climate Engineering

    Seiten 363 - 382
  19. Contributing Authors

    Seiten 383 - 388
€39.99 * $55.00 *

21 March 2014, 388 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8376-2610-0

Payments in Euro can be made directly with us from destinations worldwide.
Prices incl. VAT. Free delivery within Germany, for other destinations see details.

* = recommended retail price

Recommend it

Birgit Schneider

Birgit Schneider, Universität Potsdam, Deutschland

Thomas Nocke

Thomas Nocke, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany

... with Birgit Schneider und Thomas Nocke

1. »Completely unnecessary!« - Why is that not true for your book?

Climate change in its scientific complexity is very difficult to imagine for people not involved in climate science; in daily experience, climate change cannot be directly grasped. At the same time we are confronted with – often conflicting – climate information and the inability to imagine possible climate futures. Here our book takes its starting point. It critically analyzes the full diversity of pictures originating from different contexts which all claim to make climate change meaningful on a visual level, e.g. coming from climate research, politics, activism, art, press, and blogs. To our knowledge up to now such a wide-ranging anthology doesn't exist which at the same time fruitfully combines theory with practice.

2. What new perspectives are opened up by your book?

Today's images might become the blueprint for tomorrow's realities. Therefore climate pictures have a key role in making the future imaginable. The close interlinking of the author's viewpoints promotes in-depth insights into issues of production and analysis of climate visualization like the power of images, their frictions and expressiveness, and how such images are able to depict uncertainty.

3. What's the book's possible impact on the current discourse?

The most important debate this book is aiming at is the question if there is a general link from (climate) knowledge to action, from image to action? What is the ›right‹ way to communicate climate change knowledge? It is claimed that using pictures which are as effective as possible helps to vividly put across to the recipients what they are unable to envision and become conscious of by means of text alone. It is this implicit basic assumption of the power of images to influence reality that we address in this book. How are images supposed to influence reality? But also: what limitations do they have?

4. With which audience would you like to discuss your book?

We would like to discuss our book with all people who are confronted with the task to produce climate pictures like climate researchers, cartographers, graphic designers, film makers teachers, and artists, but also with those employing climate pictures like policy makers, campaign developers, and journalists; in addition, we would like to discuss issues raised in this book with disciplines reflecting on the general use of images like art history, sociology and philosophy.

5. Your book in one sentence:

The anthology critically analyzes the diversity of pictures originating from multiple contexts which all claim to make climate change meaningful on a visual level.

Birgit Schneider / Thomas Nocke (eds.)
Book title
Image Politics of Climate Change Visualizations, Imaginations, Documentations
transcript Verlag
kart., Klebebindung, 66 SW-Abbildungen, 3 Farbabbildungen
Commodity Group
ART009000 SOC052000 SOC026000 POL044000
Release date
21 March 2014
Bild, Natur
Visual Studies, Climate Studies, Art History, Media Studies, Cultural Studies, History of Science, Politics
Climate Change Communication, Visual Culture, Visual Studies, Media, Information Design, Environment, Climate Policy, Statistics, Photography, Global Warming, Weather, Image, Nature, Environmental Sociology, Environmental Policy, Fine Arts

We use cookies to enable the use of certain functions on this website.

Privacy statement