Contemporary high-level political rhetoric surrounding climate change — how Gore, Bush, and Obama approach the issue.
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Vint, Kyle J.
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Climate change has become a hot button issue spanning the fields of economics, politics, religion, race, ethics, and identity. This thesis provides a rhetorical criticism analyzing how three high-level politicians, namely Al Gore, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, navigate the intense contours of climate change discussions and articulate their own rhetorical understanding of the phenomena. Presidents and major political figures influence and shape the evolution of climate change rhetoric within American politics. One of the ways high-level politicians shape understandings of climate change is by articulating different rhetorical frames of climate change. This thesis analyzes how political leaders employ different frames in the face of political, economic, and rhetorical constraints. This thesis argues that the ways Gore, Bush, and Obama framed climate change, its consequences, and its solutions, hold important implications for the discussions and policy formulations surrounding climate change.