Mapping Climate Communication: No.2 Network of Actors

Mapping Climate Communication: No.2 Network of Actors

Network of Actors displays relationships between 237 individuals, organizations and institutions participating in climate communication in Canada, United States and the United Kingdom.

The Network of Actors poster illustrates relationships between prominent institutions, organizations and individuals participating in climate communication in the United States, Canada and the United
Kingdom. Influential participants (actors) help construct public understanding of both the science and the politics of climate change. By illustrating 237 actors on a discursive framework this map
reveals tensions, alliances and relationships within the complex, contentious and dynamic field of climate communication. The map includes detailed information on nodes (actors) in the charts at
the bottom.

Design objectives:
• Display the wide variety of actors engaged with climate communication
• Display relationship of actors to each other and within five major discourses
• Collect and display information on these climate communication actors
• Explore relationships between discourses, especially neoliberalism and ecological modernization
• Explore the impact of neoliberalism on climate communication
• Develop the concepts of discursive confusion and contradictory communication
• Create an accessible information rich visually appealing design
• Open discursive space for the marginalized climate justice discourse

• hand-drawn sketches + Adobe IllustratorTM
• network visualization in a discursive framework
• discourse mapping of climate communication actors
• global feedback process by presentation of an early version of the poster

The poster is an interpretation of data collected based on many complex factors. Actors were chosen based on my familiarity with the field and an estimate how much influence they hold in climate communication literature, the media, public policy, environmental education and in public
awareness of climate change. I collected and documented information on the actors in the tables on the bottom of the poster and in Appendix B. Actors are plotted on an ideological framework.

Colors, positions, size of the circles and the style and width of the circumference lines reflect an interpretation of data collected (see legend and 6.2). Since different types of actors are associated with different metrics, it was necessary to make many judgments about the relative importance of various ways of measuring impact and the relative influence of a wide range of institutions, organizations, media outlets and individuals. The decision-making processes for the various types of
actors are listed below.

Actors mapped here include:
1) governments
2) intergovernmental organizations (IGOS)
3) science research institutions
4) media organizations
5) non-governmental organizations / charities (NGOs)
6) associations and societies
7) climate research institutes + think tanks
8) websites / blogs
9) contrarian blogs
10) contrarian organizations
11) individuals
12) corporations

Actors are situated on the framework within five discursive realms: climate science, ecological modernization, neoliberalism, climate contrarianism and climate justice (described in the report and on the poster). Nodes are color-coded according to where they are situated. The four corners are extreme positions relative to discursive norms in the center, those discourses that currently reproduce the status quo, i.e. unsustainable development with severe risks associated with accelerated climate change. The center is occupied by the mainstream discourses that currently enable this dynamic.

The twelve types of actors listed above are coded by circumference lines. Internet traffic is coded by the width of circumference lines. Each node has six variables:
1) name
2) location (Canada, USA, UK or international organizations operating in these countries)
3) discursive position: location on framework + color
4) relative influence: size of the circle
5) type of actor: circle circumference line (see legend)
6) Internet traffic: width of circle circumference line (see legend)
Position on map, size and circumference lines are based on the data in the tables.

This poster is the second in a series for the Mapping Climate Communication project. Details on this project including a Poster Summary Report are published on my blog:

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I’ve been browsing visualizations for days. Some of them are really confusing.