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Genevieve Guenther: The Language of Climate Politics

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It is possible that the only news we hear about more than politics is the climate crisis, and sometimes it is politics about the climate crisis? But what are we hearing and saying about climate change, and is it what we think we’re hearing and saying? 

Genevieve Guenther, founder of the nonprofit organization End Climate Silence, has engaged journalists in efforts to improve coverage of environmental crises in their reporting. Publishers Weekly called her new book, The Language of Climate Politics: Fossil Fuel Propaganda and How to Fight It, a “revelatory study.” In it, she puts forth powerful new ways to talk about the climate crisis that she says will help create transformative change. 

Guenther argues that the climate debate is not neatly polarized, with Republicans obstructing climate action and Democrats advancing climate solutions. Partisans on the right and the left often repeat the same fossil-fuel talking points, and she says this repetition produces a consensus upholding the status quo, even as global heating accelerates. 

Guenther says big energy interests weaponize the discourses of science, economics, and activism, co-opting and twisting climate language to help “greenwash” their plans for ongoing extraction. But all too often climate scientists, economists, and even advocates will unwittingly echo the assumptions of their supposed political opponents. This apparent agreement between foes, filtered through the news media, not only influences views about the climate crisis but also enables powerful decisionmakers to justify the policy actions that threaten us all. Guenther says she knows how to transform it and equip people with powerful new terms that will enable them to fight more effectively for a livable future.

MLF Organizer
Andrew Dudley

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Guenther photo by Michael Halsband.

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Wed, Sep 18 / 5:30 PM PDT

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Genevieve Guenther

Genevieve Guenther

Founding Director, End Climate Silence; Author, The Language of Climate Politics: Fossil-Fuel Propaganda and How to Fight It; X @DoctorVive

Image - Britt Wray

In Conversation with Britt Wray

Director of CIRCLE, Stanford Psychiatry; Founder, Unthinkable Xbrittwray


5 p.m. doors open & check-in
5:30–6:30 p.m program
6:30 p.m. book signing
(all times Pacific)


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$50 with a book