Buffers Against Inconvenient Knowledge: Brazilian Newspaper Representations of the Climate-Meat Link

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Abstract

Analyzing Brazilian newspapers’ climate coverage leading up to 2010, this article shows that climate change was framed as an energy problem although energy is a small part of the country’s emissions compared to emissions from land use change and agriculture. Linked to well over half of national emissions, meat production is the single largest cause of national emissions. Yet discussions of meat as a problem in the context of climate change were marginal, at best. During the years 2007-2008, only 0.14% of climate change-mentioning articles
- 0.01% of the total word count of climate change-mentioning articles - were dedicated to meat as a problem in the context of climate change. Counting also passages in articles not dedicated to the topic, the word count only rose to 0.13% of the total word flow of the articles. To the extent that the topic of meat as a problem appeared, it was underdeveloped and approached in ways that reduced attention, concern, and agency on the part of Brazilians to steer the country towards a new, more sustainable development path. This paper presents
these findings and offers a preliminary political economic explanation for its existence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-35
JournalDesenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente
Volume40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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