This article investigates the different roles attributed to humanity in the climate change debate, through the depiction of the greenhouse effect. Our hypothesis is that the stance associated with different genres will not only demonstrate different conceptualisations of the greenhouse effect but also convey different views on humans’ capacity (or lack of capacity) to mitigate climate change. The corpus under study is composed of texts pertaining to three genres which display particular viewpoints: scientific papers present a documented view on the phenomenon, online forum discussions present exchanges between users who endorse or question particular characteristics of the Greenhouse, and sceptical newspaper articles explicitly deny the existence of an anthropogenic phenomenon. Through a corpus-based, cognitive and pragmatic analysis of the metaphorical expression greenhouse effect, the research shows that humans’ place(s) in the Greenhouse is a significant part of environmental argumentative strategies.
- greenhouse effect
- online forum