Who is (not) afraid of climate change? Science, essays, and fiction in the battle for saving earth, the planet of man (essay)

Agnieszka Jezierska-Wiśniewska

University of Warszawa (Poland)


This article aims to distinguish and describe the suppression strategies used towards anthropogenic climate change. The obstacles to understanding the threads of climate change are desensitization to the phenomenon of catastrophe, the elusiveness, vagueness, and messiness of global warming, and the lack of a clear tipping point or clearly visible symptoms. People also tend to underestimate risk; they believe in human adaptability skills, and technical capabilities, such as geoengineering.

The opposite reaction is climate depression. A crucial differentiating factor is where one lives: the Global North is in a privileged position compared to the impoverished Global South. Literature and art seem to be a privileged medium for communicating the dangers of climate change, sensitizing people to climate injustice, and through emotional engagement, they can encourage people to change their habits and take real action to address e.g. climate inequality.


climate narratives, climate change denialism, catastrophe without event, climate injustice, climate depression


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Jezierska-Wiśniewska, A. (2023). Who is (not) afraid of climate change? Science, essays, and fiction in the battle for saving earth, the planet of man (essay). Transfer. Reception Studies, 8, 245–266. https://doi.org/10.16926/trs.2023.08.13


Agnieszka Jezierska-Wiśniewska 

University of Warszawa Poland


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