Climate Change and Global Warming. An American Perspective through the Lenses of Old and New Modes of Communication

  • Denise Milizia University of Bari Aldo Moro
Keywords: climate change, global warming, spoken corpus, social media, American presidents


Starting from the premise that climate change is a divisive issue in the United States, and that the phrases ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ have partisan significance, we compare the rhetoric U.S. presidents have used in their statements about the climate crisis in debates, interviews, and other contexts vis-à-vis what they have said/written in social media. We find more polarization in social media; ‘global warming’ seems to be more commonly associated with tweets that use a hoax frame, and is used more often by Republicans than Democrats. Thus, we find Donald Trump tweeting, “I don’t think science knows. This climate crisis is not only fake news but also fake science, bullshit, and an expensive hoax”, and Joe Biden arguing that “climate change is an existential threat, it’s already here, and we have to hurry, we have to act before it’s too late, because time is running out”. 

Author Biography

Denise Milizia, University of Bari Aldo Moro

Denise Milizia is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Bari Aldo Moro. Her research interests are in the field of ESP, Corpus Linguistics, political phraseology in American, British and Italian cultures, and legal phraseology, in particular in European documents. She has published several works in which she analyses the relationship between the UK and the European Union, with a special focus on the role of metaphor in European politics. Her most recent interests lie in the study of the new crises, in particular the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, both in Europe and in the U.S. Her recent publications include “Britain was already cherry-picking from the European tree without bothering to water the soil or tend to its branches”. A metaphorical study of the UK in Europe (Journal of Language and Politics, 2023) and Framing the pandemic in the UK and in the US: the war, the science and the herd (Textus 2023). She has recently edited The European Union between the pandemic, new crises and future perspectives (LED 2023). She is co-editor of the international journal ESP Across Cultures.