From climate skeptic to climate cynic

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Whilst we know quite a bit about organized forms of climate skepticism, very few studies focus on how disorganized climate skeptics seek an underdog position to speak truth to power. Hence, we investigate frank speech as updated ancient forms of truth-telling ‘parrhesia’, in two Swedish empirical sources that strongly question the climate change consensus. The first is a digital space for free speech, and the second a focus group of climate skeptics. Tracing ‘epistemic skepticism’ and ‘response skepticism’, we inquire into the attempts to counter scientific expertise and the different ways to refuse to act in accordance with officially sanctioned advice. We analyze the details of climate cynic truth-telling in relation to truth-telling as provocation, as ethical practice and as exhibition of a specific aim. We explore how the climate skeptic turns into a climate cynic, and discuss how alternative truth construction forms an anti-climate ethical selfhood. We end by problematizing how parrhesia is linked to ethical relativism, and argue that the recognition of climate cynicism facilitates our understanding of how conflicting political realities about climate change are produced.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Exeter
  • Uppsala universitet

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)


Sidor (från-till)345-365
Antal sidor21
TidskriftCritical Policy Studies
Utgåva nummer3
Tidigt onlinedatum2018 jan 29
StatusPublished - 2019
Peer review utfördJa