In beginning to map the stakeholders, both human and non-human, within the broad issue of climate change, I have been able to begin the process of understanding the intricacies of the connections within the issue, as well as beginning to discover who the major stakeholders are, through the frequency in which they are appearing across the different maps. In a broad sense, everything and everyone in the world is a stakeholder, so the following maps have allowed me the opportunity to narrow down the stakeholders within the issue of climate change, and place them in particular categories under the umbrella of climate change as effectors of the trajectory of the debate and the actions undertaken to combat the issue. The following maps have also helped me in beginning to understand how the roles of different stakeholders overlap.
This first map was created in week 2. In this first map, we began to map the stakeholders involved in the broad issue of climate change. We divided the stakeholders up into ‘human’ and ‘non-human’, two very broad yet effective categories in which to start placing different groups. I found that it was hard to know what groups to start with because the breadth of people involved in the issue is so broad, but once we started, it got easier. From this first map, I took away an understanding of the complexity of identifying the stakeholders, as well as an initial idea of how different stakeholders might be connected, and how both human and non-human groups may affect each other and interlock.
This second map was created in week 2 as well, as an extension of the first map. In this second map, each member of the group began to map the stakeholders relating to their particular focus area, rather than climate change as a whole. As a group, we chose to map our individual issues around the idea of ‘geographical proximity’. This narrowed the stakeholder groups down, and allowed each person to go into a lot more detail, as well as allowing members to begin to draw connections between stakeholders. This began to build up a much richer overview of how different stakeholders are involved with one another, and drew the insight that no stakeholder can ever really act alone when dealing with an issue as large as climate change—there will always be another person/thing that will affect that stakeholder.
This was an extension of the previous map, which I did at home in order to extend my understanding further. In completing this map at home, I was really able to consider what might constitute ‘geographical proximity’, and came up with the idea that a stakeholder can either be physically close to the issue, or emotionally close to the issue. This was a really interesting way of looking at my own focus area, being the factors that influence a person’s views on climate change, because it allowed me to draw out the idea that being physically close to events that could be attributed to climate change would probably influence a person in that they would be more likely to believe in the issue, an idea that was presented in some of my textual sources. Similarly, being emotionally close to an issue, either through social media sources or through friends/family who have been personally affected by a climate change related issue, would presumably elicit a sense of belief in the issue.
Another interesting thought to come out of this map is the fact that, whilst the majority of stakeholders can be linked to at least one other, the government and social media groups in the context of geographical proximity appear to be the most dominant. Both link to numerous other stakeholders, and both could be said to be instrumental in eliciting a person’s response to the issue of climate change, and, more importantly, they could be said to influence directly a person’s views of climate change.
This map was created in week 5, and is a more detailed version of the map created in week 2. This map was created with the intent of providing the names of specific organisations and things that sit within each stakeholder category. Whilst I thought that this would provide more clarification of each stakeholder, it actually broadened the categories out, and caused me to start thinking of additional stakeholder categories that I had not considered in week 2.
This map was created in week 5, and it aims to extend from the previous map by connecting individual stakeholders to the controversies that exist within the issue of climate change, as well as considering the emotional responses of the different groups in relation to each specific controversy. After the initial mapping of controversies and emotions, and the stakeholders involved, I was shown by my tutor a method of refining and dissecting this information to build up an even richer understanding of the relationships between stakeholders, as seen below.
This exercise could be carried out across each of the controversies identified in the previous map. Indeed, this particular mapping exercise has been the most beneficial to me in terms of extending my understanding of the role and influence of different stakeholders under the banner of a particular issue, and it has highlighted to me the idea that the major stakeholders within issues, and the ones with the most power, are actually the groups who are least affected by climate change, yet they are the ones who are not taking any action. This relates back to my readings, as well as my third map, which suggested that people who are in close proximity to an issue are more likely to believe that it is occurring. Through this particular mapping exercise, I was able also to begin to gain an understanding of the motivations behind each stakeholder in their involvement in the issue.
After analysing all 10 of my images, I have come to realise that as visual pieces, they are aiming to create a striking and lasting visual impact, and as such, they all present just one side of the argument. However, unlike text sources, they are not created to give a balanced perspective, and are very successful in communicating the single viewpoint of the author. Also, throughout all the images which depict humans, the gender is male, perhaps hinting that men are ultimately the ones who have the power to fix the issue of climate change, and equally that they are the ones ignoring all the signs and making no attempts to combat the issue. Men are also often the people in positions of power.
‘The Global Warming Hoax’:
This political cartoon is representing the extreme right-wing view of politics, and is using humour and satire to almost mock the views of people with this political inclination. Throughout the text sources I collected, the overall idea I found was that, whilst people do generally acknowledge that climate change is occurring to an extent, they are reluctant to fully commit to a definite standpoint on the issue, particularly when it means that they must impart some of the blame onto themselves. This cartoon addresses this issue by establishing the extent to which some people will go to deny climate change, despite overwhelming evidence which surrounds us everyday in media reports. In a way this cartoon draws people more towards the left-wing as they do not want to appear completely ignorant, even if they are not completely convinced by all the evidence pointing to climate change. The medium of a political cartoon is extremely effective in communicating very succinctly a particular view of an issue, and in this case it is much more effective than a written piece because of its immediate visual impact. A political cartoon will generate a different response from different people based on their cultural values, and knowledge, so ties in with my own focus area.
This art installation is a particularly sobering reminder of the effects of climate change on the human race. The artwork was created to draw attention to the melting ice caps in Antarctica and Greenland, highlighting the World Wildlife Fund’s warning about the consequences of melting ice caps, mainly sea level rises. The installation is extremely effective in its communication of the message as it brings an issue which is not visible to us in our everyday lives to our doorstep, making us stop and consider our impact on aspects of the planet which we normally feel no connection to. Indeed, this project links in with my text sources as in these sources, I found arguments that when people personally experience an event that could be blamed on climate change, they are more likely to engage with the issue, and believe in it. In this installation, people are confronted visually with hundreds of melting people, drawing an emotional response as they come to realise that this could become the fate of the human race if we do not tackle climate change.
‘Stop Climate Change Before it Changes You’:
The main aim of this poster is to scare and shock people into taking action against climate change by presenting visually a possible consequence, albeit extreme, of the issue, should we continue to ignore it and take no action. Unlike the textual sources I have read, there is no concrete explanation behind this visualisation, and it is open to interpretation. The message of the poster, ‘stop climate change before it changes you’, is very effectively conveyed in the image, and the use of the human figure, rather than the typical animal images used in a a lot of climate change posters, makes the viewer feel very personally connected with the campaign because they can come in a way to feel sensually all the modifications which the individual in the poster has experienced. It uses scare-mongering to generate a sense of fear, in turn presumably encouraging people to take action against climate change. This poster differs to a lot of other textual and visual sources because it shows a possible effect on the physical bodies of humans, rather than on animals or the environment.
Whilst this image does not strictly relate to climate change and could be applied to any issue, it resonated strongly with me because it shows visually an idea that has come up in my readings, particularly in Robert Kenny’s article ‘We Don’t Want to Believe in Climate Change’ (Kenny 2013–2014). Here, Kenny suggests that we are all in part climate change deniers because we do not want to admit that we individually are playing a part in climate change. In this cartoon, we are presented with the harsh reality that we all like to pass problems off to others to deal with, even when they are problems, like climate change, that will affect us all in the long run. The irony of the situation plays on the emotions of the viewer as they come to realise that they in fact are probably guilty of choosing to ignore an issue which is extremely pressing.
‘I Don’t Believe in Global Warming’:
This artwork uses irony to demonstrate the ignorance of people who deny the existence of climate change. Whilst this artwork by Banksy is not literally a victim of climate change, its placement below the water line really makes people stop and consider the impact of rising sea levels. Like the ‘Melting Men’ installation, this artwork brings an often invisible consequence of global warming to the fore in people’s minds as they suddenly see the issue in their own environment, and are forced to confront it in their mind. This creates the opportunity for people to reflect on their own practices which may be contributing to climate change.
‘Follow the Leaders’:
This installation artwork is a small-scale sculpture located in Berlin created by Issac Cordal. It is commenting on the fact that no matter how much evidence there is supporting the occurrence of climate change, politicians will continue to be in a state of inaction as they cannot come to a consensus. It works extremely well as a form of social commentary, and I feel as though it makes more of a statement/impact than any written piece could. The fact that it is on a small scale adds more meaning to the artwork, as it serves to create the impression that no matter how important politicians think their views are, they will amount to nothing if the politicians do not take action at some point in the near future.
‘Problem Me, Solution Me’:
This poster resonated particularly strongly with me because of the articles I have been reading which discuss the idea that people are reluctant to hold themselves accountable for climate change, and they often tend to try and pass the blame onto others, ignoring the issue. Here, the viewer is confronted with two large ‘me’ words, which serve to relate directly to the viewer, and draw a very personal connection with them. The use of both first person and third person in ‘me’ and ‘you’ centres the issue on the viewer and essentially puts the blame on them, causing them to deeply consider their own contributions to climate change, and, by extension, possible ways they could reduce their footprint. Rather than just blaming the viewer for climate change, however, the poster also suggests that they can take action to combat global warming, a call to action.
‘Poster for a Contest About Global Warming’:
This poster captured my attention because of its extremely clever representation of extinction of animals caused by climate change. It shows both that we are running out of time to stop the extinction of animals through climate change, as well as the idea that animals are becoming extinct at a faster rate than we realise, hinted at in the allusion to the egg-timer, which generally runs for 3 minutes. The graphic nature of the animals passing through one half of the timer and coming out the other side as bones is extremely effective in conveying its message, and reminds people that once animals have become extinct, time cannot be reversed, and the animals cannot be brought back.
‘Please Stop Global Warming’:
This poster captured my attention because of the sense of naivety conveyed through both the colour palette and the illustration style. This visual style draws the viewer in emotionally, as they want to help the polar bear. However, it also makes the viewer feel somewhat responsible for the polar bear’s plight, even though there is no mention anywhere on the poster that it is making a comment about climate change. Whilst it is a serious message being conveyed, there are also humorous undertones—the viewer knows that taping the ice together will not stop it from breaking apart, but the innocence of the polar bear makes the viewer feel sorry for the creature in that it doesn’t understand what is happening. It also serves, through the use of a cute polar bear, to act as an inciter of change, as people feel the need to act in order to help the animal. This illustration would not have the same visual impact if it had used a human child.
This illustration captured my attention first and foremost because it presents a very confronting issue in a naive and childlike way. This makes the message it is conveying more palatable to the viewer, as it comments on the possible outcome on earth if we do not stop polluting the atmosphere. Rather than a typical gas mask which is used in a lot of apocalyptic imagery, this illustration rather uses an oxygen tank with a tree as the oxygen source. This can be seen as a suggestion that nature is the life-source of humans, and that we will not realise how much we rely on nature until we destroy it.
- Azevedo, N. 2009, Melting Men, viewed 25 August 2016, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1210783/Melting-men-Thousand-ice-sculptures-left-thaw-sun-highlight-climate-change-Arctic.html>
- Banksy 2009, I Don’t Believe in Global Warming, viewed 25 August 2016, <http://www.upworthy.com/wait-banksy-doesnt-believe-in-global-warming>
- Cordal, I. 2009, Follow the Leaders, viewed 25 August 2016, <http://cementeclipses.com/Works/follow-the-leaders/>
Dovnorovics, K. 2008, Poster for a Contest About Global Warming, Behance, viewed 25 August 2016, <https://www.behance.net/gallery/Global-warming/103980>
- Germaine 2008, Stop Climate Change Before it Changes You, Ads of the World, viewed 25 August 2016, <https://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/wwf_fish_0>
- Kenny, R. 2013–2014, ‘We Don’t Want to Believe in Climate Change’, The Monthly, December–January, viewed 10 August 2016 <https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/december/1385816400/robert-kenny/we-don%E2%80%99t-want-believe-climate-change>
- Le, S. n.d., Problem Me, Solution Me, <http://cargocollective.com/stevele/print>
- Luckovich, M. The Global Warming Hoax, viewed 25 August 2016, <http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/subject/The-Climate+Change+Hoax-Comics-and-Cartoons-by-Mike+Luckovich’s+Editorial+Cartoons.php>
- Madden, C. n.d., Untitled, viewed 25 August 2016, <https://au.pinterest.com/pin/426082814730648504/>
- Please Stop Global Warming… 2014, viewed 25 August 2016, <http://themetapicture.com/magnificent-illustrations-to-think-about-climate-change/>
- Today’s Society n.d., viewed 25 August 2016, <https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ck2-oGKWEAAtK8E.jpg>