Hvad vi taler om når vi taler om Klimaet - en undersøgelse af ontologiens betydning for klimadebatten

Aske Severin Juul Christiansen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


In this thesis I track the ontological foundation present in dealing with climate change as it is expressed in two documents central to the Danish climate policy and in a IPCC report. The examined documents are Klimaloven, Klimapolitisk Redegørelse 2011 and Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report – Summary for Policymakers. By doing so I engage in a discussion about the consequences and results of a certain naturalistic ontology that divides the world in two uncomparable spheres of being – that of nature and that of society. Further, I examine whether it can be said that the documents represent an approach towards climate change that focuses on technical fixes and mitigation rather than structural changes and adaptation. This analysis is executed in order to examine whether there is reason to suggest, that the ontological foundation is determinant of the ways in which we adress the challenges of climate change. As a part of this analysis I examine which actors are included and which are not, as well as how they are allowed to act within the particular constructions of the climate change issue as it is presented in the documents. In the thesis, I find that there is indeed an evident leaning towards technical solutions to the climate change challenges and that the authors express a naturalistic ontology that stands virtually unchallenged. Likewise I find that there is reason to believe that the naturalistic ontology is connected to this predominantly technical way of addressing climate change issues. Based on these findings, I suggest that our knowledge of the diversity and interconnectedness of actors relevant to issues such as climate change, as compared to the framing of the problem in the documents, points to a potentially harmful discrepancy between actions and knowledge. This discrepancy allows an approach to climate action that at the same time balances a strategy that relies on the infallibalism of climate science, with an action-poor, but awareness-filled public. Last, I suggest that a continuation of the nature-society divide can be a challenge to democracy due to an underrepresentation of human and non-human minorities and that this risk is highly present in the climate change debate.

UddannelserFilosofi og Videnskabsteori, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatSocialvidenskab, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato28 apr. 2015
VejledereKlaus Rasborg


  • Nature
  • Ontology
  • IPCC
  • Ecology