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  • Thumbnail for Reflecting crisis, instilling fear the apocalyptic rhetoric of climate change literature
    Reflecting crisis, instilling fear the apocalyptic rhetoric of climate change literature by Lewis, Daniel Ford

    Many general connections have been made between apocalyptic language and the rhetoric of crisis in climate change discourse. However, this study aims to thoroughly examine the rhetorical and narrative elements shared by both the historically religious apocalyptic genre and contemporary climate literature. These elements are generally grouped within the temporal structure and narrative of human destiny, the claims to authoritative knowledge and power, and the identification of evil opposed to the righteous cause. When employed, these themes of apocalyptic discourse individually and collectively convey a sense of crisis of the certain impending catastrophe of authoritative power over the cause of evil in the world. Therefore, this paper argues that through the apocalyptic topoi of time, authority, and evil, the books An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, Eaarth by Bill McKibben, and the novel Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood exemplify the employment of apocalyptic rhetoric in climate literature, which works to both reflect and intensify a perceived sense of crisis surrounding the issue of climate change.