Spheres of argument concerning oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: a crisis of environmental rhetoric?

Sovacool, Benjamin K (2009) Spheres of argument concerning oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: a crisis of environmental rhetoric? Environmental Communication, 2 (3). pp. 340-361. ISSN 1752-4032

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Abstract

Rhetorical theorists have frequently attacked the rhetoric of science for relying on expertise, perpetuating a gendered bias, and being used to intentionally manipulate the public. Yet while connections between the rise of scientific rhetoric and the erosion of public knowledge may sound reasonable to the casual observer, the approach taken in this manuscript traces the unintended consequences of lay-expertise on environmental activism and public policy. This essay analyzes two different categories of pro-environmental rhetoric used by actors concerned with preventing oil and natural gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). By examining the public controversy over ANWR, this essay asks: how are technical versus public claims in the debate over ANWR formed? What standards of evidence are required? What does this reveal about the rhetorical strategies used by those concerned with protecting the environment, both in ANWR and as a whole? What does it also disclose about the media and nature of modern public discourse? In doing so, the essay focuses on the importance of science and scientific rhetoric in establishing a sound basis for both public activism and environmental journalism.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Benjamin Sovacool
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2015 10:23
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2016 10:17
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58122
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