Copenhagen failure : a rhetorical treatise of how speeches unite and divide mankind
The purpose of this treatise is to analyse five of the Copenhagen Climate Convention's main speeches to see how they supported or weakened the agreement possibilities in the convention. Particular focus will be on the elements that divide or unite negotiators and whether the summit's failing outcome is already built in the pre-planned speeches held at the main podium. Theoretically, the study builds on Kenneth Burke's identification thesis and Elizabeth L. Malone's climate change debate analysis. I combine these in my analysis using a revised version of Malone's argument family classification tool putting it into Burke's theoretical framework. The central concept is Burke's identification, whose manifestations are searched from speeches. The analysis will cover five of the main speeches from Copenhagen summit negotiators (the United States, China, Zimbabwe, the African Union and the Climate Group). Analysed speeches contain more elements that divide negotiators than elements with possibly uniting effect. The division between North and South is particularly distinct in most speeches. Another dividing issue is the major emitters' tendency to speak themselves out of more emission cut commitments instead of expressing willingness to engage in more ambitious accord. At the same time, less developed countries utter their mistrust which increases division and weakens the possibilities for negotiators to become consubstantial. Every participator agrees in public about seriousness of climate change, but this claim is supported only weakly by other arguments in their speeches. Copenhagen Climate Convention's failure can be foreseen in speeches that fail to build and recognise a common interest among negotiator countries. Rhetorical analysis reveals that climate change as an environmental problem is not faced by a ”global we” but from national perspectives, which weakens the possibilities for real action. The ”global we” facing and reacting to climate change has not emerged. This is a challenge for further study discussing the ways in which the real identification could be achieved and action taken. ...
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