Penguins in the popular imagination: the quest for new climate change metaphors (2019)
Type of ContentOther
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
The human relationship with penguins started long before the first Europeans “discovered” them during the first Age of Exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries. Over time, human-penguin interaction evolved from exploitation (for meat, hides, and oil), through curiosity, to affection, empathy, and protection. This shifting relationship mirrors the development of the dominant metaphors that have framed human (first European and, more recently, global) interaction with nature. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, nature was a God-given resource to be conquered and exploited. The Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution built on those metaphors to treat nature as a divinely-inspired machine to be re-engineered and subjected to man’s rational will. Such metaphors are no longer sustainable in the face of global climate change. The development of the penguin as a metaphor for benign, and endangered nature provides a positive case study for how new metaphors can spark behavioural change.
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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