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Climate change discourses: how UK airlines communicate their case to the publicWhilst there are many arguments and counterarguments surrounding aviation's contribution to climate change, the sector is increasingly scrutinised, especially in regard to tourism mobility questions. This paper identifies, examines and analyses the discourses that airlines choose to communicate via their websites regarding their role, responsibility and their viewpoints about the issues involved in their relationship to climate change. Studying the web is of growing importance: corporate organizations increasingly use the Internet to communicate influential discourses, engage consumers, and inform the media, who themselves use digital systems to form opinions and influence decisions. Drawing on publicly available communications from six contrasting UK airlines, the study seeks to identify their perceived roles and responsibilities as producers. The data are analysed through content and frame analyses. The study concludes, inter alia, that the airlines under study make both justifiable and unjustifiable claims, and use polarised prioritisation, scepticism and uncertainty creation to put forward their case. Airlines are classified into one of six types: (1) continuous committed benchmarkers, (2) realistic technological innovators, (3) minimal practicalities, (4) low-cost innovators, (5) low-cost sceptics and (6) low-cost opposers. The paper uses and adds to an emerging research method, netnography. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Denying bogus skepticism in climate change and tourism researchThis final response to the two climate change denial papers by Shani and Arad further highlights the inaccuracies, misinformation and errors in their commentaries. The obfuscation of scientific research and the consensus on anthropogenic climate change may have significant long-term negative consequences for better understanding the implications of climate change and climate policy for tourism and create confusion and delay in developing and implementing tourism sector responses.
No time for smokescreen skepticism: a rejoinder to Shani and AradShani and Arad (2014) claimed that tourism scholars tend to endorse the most pessimistic assessments regarding climate change, and that anthropogenic climate change was a "fashionable" and "highly controversial scientific topic". This brief rejoinder provides the balance that is missing from such climate change denial and skepticism studies on climate change and tourism. Recent research provides substantial evidence that reports on anthropogenic climate change are accurate, and that human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, including from the tourism industry, play a significant role in climate change. Some positive net effects may be experienced by some destinations in the short-term, but in the long-term all elements of the tourism system will be impacted. The expansion of tourism emissions at a rate greater than efficiency gains means that it is increasingly urgent that the tourism sector acknowledge, accept and respond to climate change. Debate on tourism-related adaptation and mitigation measures is to be encouraged and welcomed. Climate change denial is not.