Research Feature: Environmental Rhetoric of Barack Obama

ARGUMENTATION AND ADVOCACY 48:3 (Winter 2012) features research on President Obama’s rhetoric on global warming and other environmental issues. Titled Salience Over Sustainability: Environmental Rhetoric of President Barack Obama by Brett Bricker, you can access the full text online from Communication & Mass Media Media Complete.

Environmental policy was a core component of the first 17 months of the Obama administration. From global warming legislation to the BP oil crisis, Obama responded to a range of environmental concerns with a variety of rhetorical strategies. This article examines the first 40 environmental speeches delivered by President Barack Obama.I find that Obama primarily used economic and national security arguments to justify his environmental policy. Scholars’ work on definitional argument provides an analytic framework that supports my claim that although the approach of privileging economic and national security benefits is politically salient in the short-term, it undercuts
long-term public support for environmentalism.

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