Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 399797
Title Scale framing in the climate change controversy
Author(s) Dewulf, A.; Termeer, C.J.A.M.
Event Scaling and Governance Conference 2010, Wageningen, 2010-11-10/2010-11-12
Department(s) Public Administration and Policy
WASS
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2010
Abstract The appropriate scales for science, policy and decision-making about climate change issues cannot be unambiguously derived their physical characteristics, and often involve a struggle about the appropriate scales at which to frame climate issues. In general framing refers to the way actors make sense of issues by making particular aspects of an issue more salient in a communicative context. Scale is a powerful resource for framing issues, especially in the case of climate change where a multitude of scales and levels are potentially relevant. The framing of an issue as a local, regional or global problem, or as a short term or long term problem, is not without consequences. Framing an issue at a certain level on a certain scale carries implications for who is to blame, who is responsible and what should be done. Framing involves a normative leap from ‘what is’ to ‘what ought to be’ and thus directs the search for solutions towards certain alternatives and not others (e.g. framing climate adaptation as a local issue directs the search for solutions towards local rather than national or global solutions). In the controversy about climate science that became known worldwide as ‘climategate’, scale framing has played an important role too. Already by its naming, the issue of the hacked e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia was scaled up to the proportions of a big scandal. The issue was also scaled up from a CRU issue to a global issue of international climate science and the IPCC. Interestingly, this upscaling allowed afterwards for the downscaling of ‘climategate’ towards a national level issue in other countries – thus the parliamentary hearing about ‘climategate’ in the UK was mirrored by a parliamentary hearing in the Netherlands about national climate policy. Given that climate issues are very susceptible to scale framing, it is crucial to account for this process in any attempt at scale-sensitive governance.
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