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On Interpretive Conflict$
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John Frow

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226613956

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226614144.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Construing Climate Change

Construing Climate Change

(p.165) 4 Construing Climate Change
On Interpretive Conflict

John Frow

University of Chicago Press

Chapter Four discusses the roles played in undermining the science of climate change by the denialist counter-institutions of knowledge funded by the fossil-fuel industries, and particularly the way those institutions have reduced the science of climate change to a proxy in broader economic and political struggles. One of the charges frequently made by denialists is that climate science does not correspond with the observed data. One of the central arguments of this chapter covers the relation between scientific models and a “reality” that is only indirectly available to them and that is configured in a form that is amenable to analysis. The chapter also argues that the epistemic solidity of the craft of modeling can thus not be derived from its access to and reflection of a field of independently given data. Rather, it is a function of a rigorous regime of knowledge and of the convergence of many different models on an explanation of climate change that directly implies the effect of greenhouse gases. More generally, modeling is a convergence of the resources and constraints of the institution of science, which should be understood as a normative apparatus and as a field deeply entangled with the imperatives of capitalism.

Keywords:   climate change, climate change denial, fossil-fuel industries, Koch brothers, climate simulation modeling, climate science, IPCC, institution of science

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