Volume 22, Issue 6
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This paper puts the spotlight on the discursive practices by which politicians, interest group representatives, and other influential public figures in effect promote climate inaction by conveying confidence in technological innovation. Data consist of policy debates on prominent public service television in Denmark. The study uses Discursive Psychology to examine how references to technological innovation are: (i) sequentially invoked as the solution to problematization of policies that allow high levels of emissions; (ii) grammatically designed to highlight the force of technological innovation; and (iii) rhetorically produced to support a subjective contrast between a pessimist and an optimist outlook. Overall, the study finds that invocation of technological optimism constitutes a ‘ready answer’ to communicative challenges that emerge during the debates, which effectively justifies inaction.


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