Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Climate Governance

Research Handbook on Climate Governance

Edited by Karin Bäckstrand and Eva Lövbrand

The 2009 United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen is often represented as a watershed in global climate politics, when the diplomatic efforts to negotiate a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol failed and was replaced by a fragmented and decentralized climate governance order. In the post-Copenhagen landscape the top-down universal approach to climate governance has gradually given way to a more complex, hybrid and dispersed political landscape involving multiple actors, arenas and sites. The Handbook contains contributions from more than 50 internationally leading scholars and explores the latest trends and theoretical developments of the climate governance scholarship.

Chapter 16: Climate skepticism

Reiner Grundmann

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation


This chapter examines the changing use and meaning of the term ‘skeptic’ in the US elite press. Based on an analysis of the New York Times, it appears that the meaning of the word skeptic changed from a synonym of legitimate critic to an illegitimate form of dissent. Different forms of climate skepticism appear in different time periods. Over time an escalation in rhetorical armory can be shown, which was associated with political events, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the partisan mobilization of science at Congressional hearings.

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