People’s Conceptions and Valuations of Nature in the Context of Climate Change
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEnvironmental Values. 2022, 31 (4), 397-420(24). 10.3197/096327121X16328186623850
This paper investigates how people conceive and evaluate nature through language, in a climate change context. With material consisting of 1,200 answers to open-ended questions in nationally representative surveys in Norway, we explore what semantic roles and values the respondents attribute to nature as well as to how they interact with the public debate about climate change. We observe that different conceptions and valuations of nature are tied to different perspectives on the climate change issue: some address the responsibilities of causing climate change, others its consequences, and others yet its potential solutions. The study provides knowledge about the variety of conceptions of nature that can be mobilised by individuals and suggests that policy measures and public communication could benefit by taking this diversity into account.