Climate Change Discourse: A Cognitive Linguistic Study خطاب التغير المناخي: دراسة لغوية معرفية


   

 

Climate Change Discourse: A Cognitive Linguistic Study

خطاب التغير المناخي: دراسة لغوية معرفية

Hashim Aliwy Mohammed Alhusseini (Ph.D)Asst. Prof. at Department of English ا.م.د هاشم عليوي محمد الحسيني Sarah Hazim MohammedMA Candidate at Department of English, ساره حازم محمد

College of Education, University of Wasit, Iraq

قسم اللغة الإنجليزية، كلية التربية للعلوم الانسانية. جامعة واسط. العراق.

مقال نشر في مجلة جيل الدراسات الادبية والفكرية العدد 62 الصفحة 121.

     

المستخلص

              لقد تم تسليط الضوء على التغير المناخي وآثاره المدمرة في العديد من الاجتماعات الدولية في جميع أنحاء العالم. من المعتقد أن هذا التحدي العالمي يصور بشكل مختلف في الخطابات السياسية والعلمية. وبالتالي ، تحاول هذه الدراسة سد هذه الفجوة من خلال التحقيق في الاستعارة المفاهيمية في خطب سياسية وعلمية مختارة. تهدف الدراسة إلى الكشف عن الأيديولوجيات الكامنة وراء استخدام التعبيرات المجازية. تتبنى الدراسة الاستعارة المفاهيمية لاكوف وجونسون (2003) في تحليل خطب الرئيس شي جين بينغ وباراك أوباما حول التغير المناخي في الدورة الحادية والعشرين لمؤتمر الأطراف عام 2015. كما تبحث الدراسة في الاستعارة في خطابين علميين حول التغير المناخي. تلك الخطب تعود إلى جوديث كاري وجيف سمرهايز.

خلصت الدراسة إلى أن الرؤساء يؤكدون على استخدام استعارة البناء لإظهار إنجازاتهم والإشارة إلى أنهم صناع القرار في العالم. بينما العلماء يستخدمون استعارة الحركة والاستعارة الرياضية أكثر من الأنواع الأخرى من الاستعارة. هذا يدل على أن هدفهم الرئيسي هو تسهيل فهم القضايا المعقدة في مفهوم التغير المناخي ومحاولة جعل هذه الفكرة سهلة الفهم من قبل المتلقي..

الكلمات المفتاحية: التغير المناخي, الاستعارة المعرفية, الخطاب, السياسة.     

ABSTRACT

    Climate change and its destructive impacts have been highlighted in several international meetings around the world. It is believed that this global challenge is pictured differently in the political and scientific discourses.

This paper attempts to fill in this gap through investigating the conceptual metaphor in selected political and scientific speeches. It aims at uncovering the ideologies behind using metaphorical expressions.

The study adopts Lakoff and Johnson’s (2003) conceptual metaphor in analyzing the speeches of the president Xi Jinping and Barack Obama’s about climate change in COP 21 in 2015. The study also investigates metaphor in two scientific speeches about climate change. Those speeches belong to Judith Curry and Geoff Summerhayes. It is concluded that the presidents emphasize the use of metaphor to show their achievement and to indicate that they are the decision makers in the world. It is found that the scientists use movement metaphor and sport metaphor more than the other kinds of metaphor. This shows that their main intention is to facilitate the understanding of the complex issues in the notion of climate change and try to make this notion easily comprehensible by the audience. (192 words)

Keywords: climate change, conceptual metaphor, discourse, politics,

 
  1. Introduction

    Climate change is one of the most dangerous challenges in the globe. The way in which people, especially the public figures, deal with the problem can be uncovered through investigating their discourse in the events that are concerned with climate change and its impacts. It is believed that the politicians’ perspectives on climate change are different from the perspective of the scientists (Silden, 2017). This paper attempts to fill in this gap through examining the persuasion in the political and the scientific discourse on climate change. It aims at investigating metaphor in climate change discourse and uncovering the ideologies that are revealed in the politicians and the scientists’ speeches about climate change.

     The researchers apply Lakoff and Johnson’s (2003) conceptual metaphor to analyse four high level speeches qualitatively. Two of the selected speeches belong to the presidents, namely, Xi Jinping and Barack Obama, whereas the other speeches belong to the scientists, namely, Judith Curry and Geoff Summerhayes.

  1. Literature Review

          Before going into details, it is necessary to know what climate change is all about. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (henceforth IPCC) defined climate change as follows:

Climate Change refers to the change of the state of climate that can be identified (by using statistical tests) by changes in the means and the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decade or longer. It refers to any change in the climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity (IPCC, 2007, p. 7).

Politics played a great role in environmental debates. Environmental policy was described as the involvement of an organization to regimes, regulations, and other environmental techniques that deal with ecological issues. The ecological issues include water and air pollution, ecosystem management, controlling biodiversity, and maintenance of endangered species and natural resources (Eccleston & March, 2010).

The global concern in the environment and the forecasted damage in the ecosystem led the governments and the individuals to adopt plans for using technologies that are less harmful to the environment. These plans were clearly announced in the international conferences that are concerned with the environment. Thus, many meetings and conferences have been held such as the UN Conference of Human Environment, which was held in 1972, The Conference of Environment and Development, that was held by the UN in1992, and the Global Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. This attention was also promoted by annual scientific reports on ecological issues such as ozone loss and climate change (Clarke, 2002). Resourceful institutions and politicians do not wait these incentive events, but they try to employ their political power to persuade the others to put environmental issues on the top of their agendas (Young, 1998; Kingdon, 2014(.

          Climate change is as any scientific issue is not easy to be understood. Many studies have been made by the specialists to reveal the reasons behind the complexity of climate change understanding. It is stated that if the audience do not understand the issue, they will not take part in solving the problem (Sterman & Sweeney, 2007; Maibach, Roser & Leiserowitz, 2008(.

According to Cooper (2011), the main reasons beyond the difficulty of the understanding of the ecological issues are related to the communication between the scientists and the audience. The scientists cannot deliver the knowledge appropriately; they speak in an authoritative tone and do  not indorse the receivers in their speech. That inevitably leads the audience to distrust. The denials of the climate dynamics use the gap in communicating the problem to strengthen the suspicions about the untruthfulness of climate change.

          Pongiglione (2012) stated that climate change is usually presented as a fear message. Psychologically, this leads the recipients to despair; that whether they take an action against the problem or not; there is no improvement to occur at all.

Most of the studies that dealt with climate change are classified into categories.  Understanding climate change as a scientific phenomenon is one of research types that are related to ecological issues, the concern of such studies of climate change as a science. The other category of the ecological studies is the studies that are concerned with political and social perspectives on climate change. Lastly, the personal and behavioral perspective on climate change are the concerns of the other studies on the environmental problems (Capstick, 2012). Capstick (2012) pointed that the early studies of environmental issues , although their first concern was the acceptance of the science and the conflict between the public and, aimed at approaching the problem through using the information deficit model (i.e., this model claims that the public stances towards science including the doubts about technologies are based on lack of knowledge) to reveal the conflict between the public and the scientists about the understanding of the problem and to identify ways to solve this conflict.

          Before going deeply into environmental discourse, it is important to know what the word discourse means. Cook (2006) defined discourse as ‘stretches of language perceived to be meaningful, unified and purposive (p. 8)’. According to Semimo (2008), discourse was defined as ‘naturally occurring language use in authentic situation’ (p. 23). As these definitions show, the term discourse refers to any kind of text (spoken or written); conversations, textbooks, speeches, scientific articles, news stories, songs lyrics and poems. To investigate the environmental issues, one may use any type of texts that deal with the topic.

          In light of the given definitions of ‘discourse’, Skonnemoen (2009) defined ‘environmental discourse’ as ‘text material that treats the complex environmental issues like climate change and the heavy metal pollution’. Studies that link linguistics to the ecological issues have received great attention in recent years (Nerlich, Koteyko & Brown, 2010; Moser, 2010, 2016; Flottum, 2016). Dealing with environmental issues as discursive phenomena is an approach for seeing and assessing the ecological issues. By discursive perspective, new metaphors, vocabularies, analogies, and evaluation methods are used to promote awareness of the matters that were neglected in the past. The stances that constitute environmental discourse are represented in many forms such as academic lectures on ecological matters, media events like the United Nations Earth Summit which was held in Rio de Janeiro,  Greenpeace action to fight nuclear testing, and bottle banks beside supermarket. All these are cultural forms to communicate environmental issues (Brockmeier, 1995).

          Some linguistic repertoires have been identified as coherent lines of talking and thinking about climate change. These repertoires are effective, since they promote resources to the politicians and the journalists to pre sent their own argumentations about the environmental issues. Consequently, this will clarify the necessity for alternation of the behavior towards the environment. This alternation might be shaped in accordance with the discursive context (Ereaut & Segnit, 2006; 2007). As a result of their study, Ereaut and Segnit (2007) found that by the employment of the potentials power of locality, the gap between  the scientific consensus on climate dynamics and the willingness to take action about it could be closed.

          Metaphors are used as a technique to communicate the environmental issues. Hassol (2008) stated that a good way to clarify the idea of climate change to the public is through using metaphors. She gave an example of ‘age metaphor’ to support her study. Age metaphor is that; although it is impossible to know the exact age, but the average of age can be determined in certain area (in USA the average is 77), the same is correct with the climate (the average of change is predictable ).

          The words that the scientists use must be manipulated to align the expressions that are used by the public. For example, the words ‘enhance’ means ‘to increase scientifically’, but for the public it means ‘to improve’. So, in a scientific debate, when an expression ‘enhanced greenhouse’ is negative thing, it is positive to the public (Hassol, 2008). It is stated that environmental discourse is mostly presented in an identifiable structure. It is constructed in a narrative form; first situation is developed to be more complicated to take reaction, the reaction leads to resolution, the resolution is the final situation (Flottum, & Gjerstad, 2013a; 2013b; 2016).

          The sociocognitive theory presents discourse as a genre. Accordingly, discourse is the employment of the text in specific context (Van Dijk, 1997).

.  According to Schaffner (1997), political discourse is a broad term that is used to refer to talks and texts which are made at various political events such as parties, conferences, or interviews. These talks or texts are formed as public speeches, bills or campaigns.  As a kind of discourse, political discourse can be tackled as a field of study that aims to uncover the political ideologies and to show how language is used to affect the public opinion (Chilton & Schaffner, 2002).

  1. Research Methodology

                          The present study employs the qualitative data analysis in investigating the selected texts. Krippendorff  (2019) pointed out that qualitative method is preferable because it tends to focus on how particular propositions and ideas are represented and it helps to discover and reveal the ideologies that are hidden under overt propositions. In this regard, Green and Thorogood (2004, p. 5) stated that “the most basic way of characterizing qualitative studies is that those aims are generally to seek answers to questions about the ‘what’, ‘how’ or ‘why’ of a phenomenon, rather than questions about ‘how many’ or ‘how much’”.

                          The first step in this study was the collection of the required data for the purpose of the qualitative analysis. Inasmuch, speeches by the politicians and speeches by a set of scientists are selected to be analyzed. The speeches are selected on the basis of their primary concern which is climate change. The political speeches that are involved in this study were made during the annual conferences of climate change where politicians from different countries around the world attend to show their interest in such a global problem. They present their plans to fight climate change and protect the environment. The scientific speeches belong to professors in climatology.

          The 1st speech was given by the president of the US (2009- 2017), Barack Obama. The speech was delivered in COP21. It presented the American plan to fight and solve the phenomenon of climate change.

          The 2nd speech was given by the president of China, Xi Jinping, it was delivered in COP21. It contained the plans of China to fight climate change, since China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

                          The 3rd speech was given by the American environmentalist Judith Curry.  She represented the US committee of Science, Space and Technology in the UN assembly in 2015. This speech was downloaded from her official website.

                          The 4th speech was given by the Australian scientist, Geoff Summerhayes. Summerhey’s speech was given during the environment week in Australia in 2017. At that time, this scientist was a board member in the Australia’s new horizon organization. It contained the perspectives of the institution he represented on climate change and the convenient solution for this global problem.

                          The rest of this section is devoted to explain the basics of the conceptual metaphor theory which is adopted in analyzing the sampled texts.

                          In 2003, Lakoff and Johnson published a book entitled ‘Metaphors We Live By’. They described ‘metaphor’ as a means to understand things in terms of other things.

For instance,  ‘Argument is War’. Phrases like ‘your claims are indefensible’ show that people use terms of war to talk about argument (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980). Metaphor facilitates understanding of various complex ideas. The creation of metaphor is mainly originated from senses, and mobility. It is also created as a result of interaction with physical surroundings and interaction between individuals from the same culture, i.e., religious, political etc. (Lakoff & Johnson, 2003).

            Charteris-Black (2011) stated that metaphors are used in political speeches to make them more effective and convincing. Politicians use metaphor as a technique to motivate emotions in telling the stories. According to Charteris-Black (2011), metaphor plays a fundamental role in political discourse. He presented many examples to show the employment of metaphor in political discourse. For instance, water metaphor is used to describe immigration negatively; ‘floods of immigrants’. In his book,’ Analyzing Political Discourse’, Charteris-Black (2014) stated that metaphor is a dominant persuasive figure in the speech of politicians that needs to be given more attention..

           Identifying metaphors is done through careful reading to the texts and marking the metaphorical expressions that carry other basic senses than the meaning they carry in the current text. The source-based approach is used to identify the conceptual metaphor and to group them into categories; the generic and the specific categories.

             Conceptual metaphor is based on two domains; source and target. The former term is used to refer to the concept which the speaker uses to resemble the target concept with, whereas the latter is the term that is used to refer to the concept that the speaker wants to describe. For instance, the phrase ‘argument is war’, argument represents the target concept while ‘war’ is the source concept. It is not always that these two concepts are identical but rather only some features are similar between the two and these features are given special attention by the speaker to be highlighted through discourse (Lakoff, 1993). The study of metaphor is a phenomenon that is worthy to be the core topic of a research as the study that was done by Jorunn Skinnemoen (2009). .

  1. Data Analysis

    This section presents an investigation of conceptual metaphor in the four selected speeches about climate change to show how the metaphorical expressions are employed differently in the political and the scientific discourse. It is important to note that the first two speeches are political while the other are scientific.

4.1 Metaphor in Barack Obama’s Speech 

          This speech was delivered by the former president of the USA in COP21. It was about the American contribution to fight climate change. The speech contained what was achieved and what has to be achieved in the future

          Conceptual metaphor is employed in Obama’s speech to serve various functions. The statements where conceptual metaphor is employed and what the use of them indicates, is the concern of this section.

          . ”the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century(…)”

          The speaker uses ‘war metaphor’ to refer to climate change as a threat. From the beginning of his speech, Obama tries to persuade his addressees with the seriousness of the problem. When ‘war metaphor’ is used, the speaker tries to deliver a message that climate change is an enemy that needs to be fought. That in turn will lead to motivate the audience to take action to fight climate change.

          . ”…if the climate keeps changing faster than our efforts to address it.”

          The speaker uses terms of sport or what is called ‘sport metaphor’ to refer to climate change as ‘fast’. He tries to indicate that climate is a competition that requires hard efforts to win.

” …floods of desperate peoples seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own.”

          Obama uses terms associated with water like ‘floods’ to refer to the large amount of refugees around the world. He presents it as an impact of climate change. The speaker tries to facilitate the understanding of such complex notion as climate change through presenting concrete views that can easily be observed by anyone.

          . ”we’ve made ambitious investments in clean energy…”

          The speaker uses personification when he refers to the investment of his country as ambitious. This word is perceived as personal feature. The speaker tries to tell that these investments are sufficient to protect the USA from the destructive impacts of climate change.   Obama goes on highlighting the outcome of his country’s advanced work to deal with climate change. He states:

          . ”…and drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly two decades.”

In this statement, the speaker uses ‘drive’ which is mainly associated with journey to describe carbon emission amount. In other words, he uses ‘journey metaphor’ to refer to climate change impacts. He tries to indicate that targets of reducing climate change impacts can be reached gradually such notions are stated in environmental discourse to facilitate understanding of complex notions (see Chapter 2, Sec 2.5).

”We have proved that strong economic growth and a safer environment no longer have to conflict with  one another; they can work in concert with one another. ”

          In the underlined statement, the speaker uses the word ‘concert’ to describe the kind of relation between strong economic growth and safer environment. From a linguistic perspective, the speaker uses ‘music metaphor’ to talk about climate change. Such technique is used for ethical purposes. Obama tries to add ethical glimpse to his speech in order to indicate the optimism which is one of the obvious feature in this speech.

          . ”America is on track to reach the emissions targets …”

          The above statement is an example of ‘journey metaphor’. The speaker uses ‘track’ and ‘reach’ to persuade the audience that climate targets can be reached when the plans are valid and workable. As mentioned earlier, journey metaphor is used to facilitate understanding of complex notions such as climate change.

          . ”Let’s secure an agreement that builds in ambition,”

          The above statement is an instance where a word of construction, ‘build’, is used to describe the climate agreement. Critically such words are used to show the capacity of human beings in doing something. In the context of this speech, Obama uses this expression to tell that the ladders have the power to endorse an ambitious climate agreement. Thus, the above statement is used to motivate the audience taking action against climate change.

          . ” …countries willing to do their part to skip the dirty phase of development.”

          The above statement is another example where ‘sport metaphor’ is used to talk about climate change. This is indicated through the use of the word ‘part’. It reveals that the countries are involved in a game and each of them has to do his part. On the basis of Conceptual Metaphor Theory (henceforth CMT), sport metaphor is used to facilitate understanding of the intended notion, since everyone has knowledge about sport. In environmental discourse, this kind of metaphor is used for persuasive purposes (Semimo, 2008).

4.2 Metaphor in Xi Jinping’s Speech 

          This speech was delivered by the president of People republic of China in COP21. It contains the speaker’s view about climate change and the solutions for this global problem. It also contains the actions that have been taken by the Chinese government to control the destructive impacts of global warming.

          . ”…and bring about a comprehensive, balanced, ambitious and binding agreement on climate change.”

          The speaker uses personification in describing the intended climate agreement. He tries to persuade the audience with the effectiveness of the agreement through attributing it as ”ambitious”, ”comprehensive” and ”binding”.

          . ”Explore pathways and governance models for mankind to achieve sustainable.”

          In the above statement, the speaker uses ”pathway” which is associated with journey or what is called ”journey metaphor”. He employs this metaphorical expression to facilitate the notion that achieving success requires hard work to reach the target.

          . -” The Paris agreement should help meet the goals of the UNFCCC”

          The speaker uses ”sport metaphor” (stated in the use of the word goals) to tackle the reason behind holding COP21. This type of conceptual metaphor is to facilitate understanding of complex notions and its common feature in environmental discourse (see Chapter 2).

          . ” The Paris agreement should help galvanize global efforts (…)”

          . ”it should also mobilize businesses…”

          . ‘…’deliver benefits to all our people”

          In the statements above, Xi Jinping uses the words ‘‘galvanize’’, ”mobilize” and ”deliver” which are mainly associated with movement to refer to the effectiveness of setting the agreement. As they are familiar to the recipient, movement word facilitates understanding of the notion. This, in turn, makes the discourse persuasive. In this context, the speaker attempts to persuade his addressees with the necessity of endorsing the climate agreement which is the key target of holding COP21.

          . ” is also important that climate-friendly technologies should be transferred to developing countries to help them build green economy”.

The reference to the ”friendly technologies” shows that the speaker uses personification in talking about climate change. Describing technologies as ”friendly” persuades the recipients with the effectiveness of such technologies in protecting the environment.

          . ”We should create a future of win-win cooperation,”

          Xi Jinping use the expression ”create future” which is associated with construction. On the basis of CMT, the words of construction are employed to facilitate the complex notions. In this context, the speaker tries to persuade his addressees through using the expressions that make them understand what he tackles.

          . ”Facing global challenges …”

          . ”…and strive to achieve it as soon as possible,”

          The speaker describes climate change as an enemy that should be faced by all countries. In other words, he uses ”war metaphor”. Such metaphorical expressions are employed to persuade the audience with the urgency of the problem and the necessity of taking actions to control the climate change impacts.

4.3 Metaphor in Judith Curry’s Speech  

          This speech was delivered by the American climatologist Judith Curry. She gave this speech to the committee on Science, Space and Technology in the House of the Representatives in the United States. The session was held on 15th of April, 2015. Curry presented the speech to offer the testimony on the existence of climate change and its impacts on the planet. She sheds light on the recent researches on climate change and what is found out by the scientists.

          The following extracted statements from Curry’s speech show how conceptual metaphor is utilized by the speaker to serve particular functions.

          . ” …whether these dynamics are operating in a manner that is healthy for either the science or the policy                 process.”

          The speaker uses the word ”healthy” to describe the scientific findings about climate change and its causation. She presents these findings as actions that affect policy and science. In accordance with CMT, using action metaphor helps to persuade with the effectiveness of the notion. Curry tries to persuade that the scientific findings should be taken into account by the policymakers to overcome the challenges

          ” the U.S. and other nations will remain vulnerable to climate surprises and extreme weather events ”

          ”The climate change response challenge”

          The speaker resembles climate change to war that makes its parties in danger. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, war metaphor is used for the sake of persuasion with the effectiveness of the problem. Curry tries to say that the governments have to verify their policies in the war against global warming.

          .”The IPCC AR5 notes a slowdown in surface warming since 1998:”

          . ” …the ties for warmest year further reflect a plateau in the warming. ”

          . ”…the natural fluctuations that influence Arctic sea ice loss – heat transported by the Atlantic and                 Pacific.”

          . ”The issue of greatest concern is how the climate will evolve during the 21st century.”

          Movement metaphor is used above to facilitate the understanding of the hiatus in warming which is a key issue in Curry’s speech.

          . ”Arctic sea ice will recover over the next two decades.”

          In the above statement, Curry tries to personify the sea. She intends to persuade with impact of the Arctic sea. The melting in that sea reflects the threshold of destructive impacts of climate change. In comparison with the length of this speech which is more than 1700 words, Curry uses conceptual metaphor few times. This means that she addresses the scientists and does not intend to facilitate the understanding of her testimony since they are familiar with the terms of climate science.

4.4 Metaphor in Geoff Summerhayes’ Speech

          This speech was delivered by the Australian climatologist and the chairman of the Australian Prudential Risk Authority (henceforth APRA). He gave this speech in the annual Australian conference of environment in February 2017. It is about climate change understanding and prudential risks. The speech also tackles the role of the scientists in prescribing the approaches to face this global challenge.

          The metaphorical expressions are used by Summerhayes in this speech to serve diverse functions, as shown below.

          . ” in order to have a two-in-three chance of keeping global warming below 2 degrees, we need to restrict                 future global emissions to around 800 gig atons of CO2.”

. ”Addressing climate change is still a lofty goal. But we no longer talk about it with the starryeyed (…)”

          . ”You can expect to see us on the front foot on climate risks (…) ”

          The use of sport metaphor is indicated in the words ‘‘chance’’ ‘‘goal’ and ”front foot”’. The speaker tries to facilitate the understanding of his testimony through using this metaphor in describing the probability of making progress.

          . ”It provides a pathway for more ambitious emissions reductions (…) ”

          Summerhayes tries to make his speech easily perceived through the use of ”journey metaphor” which is indicated in the word ”goal”. This helps to make the speech persuasive.

          . ” physical risks stem from the direct impact of climate change on our physical environment ”

          Describing the climate as an issue that affects the environment conceptualizes it as an action. This metaphor is used to emphasize the seriousness of the problem and the necessity of taking action to control the destructive impacts of climate change.

          . ” (…) part of the now agreed transition to a low-carbon economy.”

          . ” this does not mean suddenly elevating climate-related issues to the top of our priority list.”

          The employment of movement metaphor, which is indicated in the words ”low” and ”elevating”, is another kind of metaphor that is used by the speaker to make his testimony easily perceived by his addressees.

          . ”Clearly governments here and globally have a wide range of policy approaches available to meet their emissions reductions commitments. ”

          . ” How robust are your strategies given different scenarios and contingencies?”

          . ”We understand the challenges …”

          . ”I will also talk about how we see ‘climate risks’ as part of our broader approach to prudential risk  management ”

          . ” Climate risks also have potential system (…)”

          The above statements show that Summerhayes uses war metaphor, which is indicated in the words ”challenge”, risk”, ”strategy”. This kind of metaphor is employed to present climate change as an enemy that needs to be fought. It is used for the sake of persuasion. Generally speaking, conceptual metaphor is not a dominant strategy in this long speech (more than 2700 words). This means that his speech is directed to the fellow scientists and he does not emphasis facilitating the understanding of his testimony.

  1. Conclusion

          On the basis of investigating conceptual metaphor in four selected political and scientific speeches about climate change, it is found out that metaphor is employed differently by the presidents and the climatologists.

          As shown in the previous section, the presidents use many metaphorical expressions in their speeches, but they emphasize the use of construction metaphor and war metaphor. This means that they intend to show the seriousness of the challenge through using war metaphor and they intend to show their achievement through using construction metaphor. The presidents employ metaphorical expressions to persuade the audience that they are the decision makers in the world, especially when they refer to their ability to create the future they want.

          The scientists employ sport metaphor and movement metaphor overtly in their discourse. This reveals their intention to facilitate the understanding of such complex notion as climate change and its causes. They attempt to make their speeches comprehendible. This indicates that they follow the genre of environmental discourse through the employment of metaphor for the sake of persuasion. It is worth mentioning that the presidents go beyond the genre for the sake of giving a bright image about their countries and the success of their policies.

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