Episode 134: Interview with Dr Genevieve Guenther on how fossil-fuel interests have manipulated language and the media to suppress support for climate action
In this fascinating interview, Dr Genevieve Guenther does a deep dive on the powerful ongoing ways in which the fossil fuel industry influences communication about climate change– preventing us from not only seeing the true problem of climate change, but also preventing us from envisioning and desiring and implementing solutions. She analyses the various ways in which the fossil fuel industry try and divert attention from their activities—emphasizing, for example, individual carbon footprints, and their spending on renewables (in reality a tiny percentage of their overall budgets). She also highlights the emotional impact—undermining individuals’ confidence in their ability to do anything about climate change. Genevieve also discusses the important work done by a charity she has set up, End Climate Silence, and her work to stop the New York Times taking money from fossil fuel industry.
Genevieve is an author and activist. Her work focusses on the role of language in climate change drawing on sociology, psychology, philosophy, and literary theory to critique current forms of climate communication. She is affiliate faculty at The New School, where she sits on the advisory board of the Tishman Environment and Design Center. Genevieve is also the founder and director of End Climate Silence, an volunteer organisation that pushes the news media to cover the climate crisis with the urgency it deserves. Genevieve’s book The Language of Climate Politics, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.