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From polarization to reluctant acceptance: Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and the post-normalization of the climate debate
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, CSPR. (LUNETS)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2874-4146
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, CSPR. (LUNETS)
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (LUNETS)
2019 (English)In: Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, ISSN 1943-815X, E-ISSN 1943-8168, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 45-69Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper covers the public debate on BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) between 2008 and 2018. Through a qualitative analysis of around 800 feature articles, editorials, and opinion pieces published in English, German, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian in news media and debates sections of scientific media, we highlight conspicuous aspects of the debate and relate them to the theoretical concept of post-normal science. We find that the debate is characterized by an emphasis on values, scientific uncertainty and the integrity of science, premised on a pervading sense of urgency. To a significant extent, the debate can be understood as a “normal” view of science questioning what it perceives to be unscientific model-based climate scenarios, and the scenarios, in turn, can be seen as a response to post-normal circumstances. The urgency permeating the debate provides conditions for open debate about ethical and epistemological uncertainty. The debate goes through a period of polarization – corroborating findings from previous studies on the climate science debate after COP21 – between an intense critique of BECCS inclusion in climate scenarios and reluctant acceptance thereof. Towards the end of the studied period, emphasis shifts towards reluctant acceptance, indicating that post-normal debate may only occur as a temporary state always tending towards new consensus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019. Vol. 16, no 1, p. 45-69
Keywords [en]
BECCS, the IPCC, climate science debate, Paris agreement, climate politics, post-normal science
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Economic Information Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-155722DOI: 10.1080/1943815X.2019.1579740ISI: 000466110800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-155722DiVA, id: diva2:1298871
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2016-00958Swedish Research Council, 2016-06359
Note

Funding agencies: Svenska Forskningsradet Formas [2016-00958]; Vetenskapsradet [2016-06359]

Available from: 2019-03-25 Created: 2019-03-25 Last updated: 2019-06-04Bibliographically approved

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Haikola, SimonHansson, AndersAnshelm, Jonas

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