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The colour of risk: an exploration of the IPCC's 'burning embers' diagram

Mahony, Martin; Hulme, Mike

Authors

Martin Mahony

Mike Hulme



Abstract

This article tracks the historical emergence of a new visual convention in the representation of the risks associated with climate change. The “reasons for concern” or “burning embers” diagram has become a prominent visual element of the climate change debate. By drawing on a number of cultural resources, the image has gained a level of discursive power which has resulted both in material mobility and epistemic transformation as the diagram itself has become a tool for a variety of actors to reason with. The case brings to light a number of challenges associated with attempts to know and visualize abstract concepts such as risk and danger, including the social organisation of knowledge production and the role of expert judgment in contexts where science is asked to retreat from normativity.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Spontaneous Generations : Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science
Electronic ISSN 1913-0465
Publisher University of Toronto Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 1
APA6 Citation Mahony, M., & Hulme, M. The colour of risk: an exploration of the IPCC's 'burning embers' diagram. doi:10.4245/sponge.v6i1.16075
DOI https://doi.org/10.4245/sponge.v6i1.16075
Publisher URL http://spontaneousgenerations.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/SpontaneousGenerations/article/view/16075
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Mahony and Hulme 2012 The colour of risk.pdf (692 Kb)
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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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