Building on theories of valuation and evaluation, we develop an analytical framework that outlines six elements of the process of consolidation of an idea in the public sphere. We then use the framework to analyse the process of consolidation of the idea of climate change mitigation between 1997 and 2013, focusing on the interplay between ecological and economic evaluations. Our content analysis of 1274 articles in leading newspapers in five countries around the globe shows that (1) ecological arguments increase over time, (2) economic arguments decrease over time, (3) the visibility of environmental nongovernmental organizations as carriers of ecological ideas increases over time, (4) the visibility of business actors correspondingly decreases, (5) ecological ideas are increasingly adopted by political and business elites and (6) a compromise emerges between ecological and economic evaluations, in the form of the argument that climate change mitigation boosts, rather than hinders economic growth.

Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas, Vesa, Juho, Eranti, Veikko, Kukkonen, Anna, Lonkila, Markku & Luhtakallio, Eeva
Up with Ecology, Down with Economy? The Consolidation of the Idea of Climate Change Mitigation in the Global Public Sphere
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Jan 2018
European Journal of Communication