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Cards of the 12 discourses of climate delay

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The IPCC synthesis work allows us to easily understand the link between human activity and climate change. We know today that there is global warming and that we are responsible for it. Yet, change is slow to take hold.

Indeed, discourses of climate inaction are pervasive in current debates on climate action. These discourses accept the existence of climate change, but justify inaction or insufficient efforts. In contemporary discussions about what action to take, by whom, and at what pace, proponents of climate inaction argue for minimal action or action by others. They focus attention on the negative social effects of climate policies and cast doubt on the possibility of mitigation.

Thanks to a team of researchers, 12 discourses have been identified:

12 discourses of climate delay

In July 2020, I published a response to each of these discourse in an article. It was time to take it to the next level.

In order that this basis of work can be used by as many people as possible, here is a set of cards, based on these 12 discourses.

Objectives: to discover the subject and lead a debate. Then, thanks to collective intelligence, gather and list the best arguments to answer the discourse of climate inaction.

Details of the 12 discourses cards and their use

The use of the cards game is free. This means that you can use them as a support, as a rhetorical workshop, during a climate mural, etc. The objective is the same: to keep the debate and interest on these discourse of inaction alive. Then (and if possible), send back the answers and arguments, in order to improve this card game (there will certainly be updates, thanks to the collective intelligence).

Before using the cards, it is highly recommended:

In addition:

  • The original work of the researchers is only the beginning of an attempt to identify discourse. They have worked on what they believe leads to inaction or hinders/delays action; but they do not say “these arguments are wrong”. This is the complexity of the challenge in front of us!
  • Some inaction discourse has more relevance than others, and will have more relevance depending on the audience reached. This deserves a complete analysis (economic, sociological, psychological, etc.). For example, the punitive ecology discourse is very often carried by the same people.
  • There are surely other types of climate inaction discourse. Feel free to identify them and report them to @BonPote

License and usage rights

The license is Creative Commons BY-NC-ND for non-commercial use.

File:Cc-by-nc-nd icon.svg - Wikimedia Commons

For any commercial use, please contact the author of these cards: or @bonpote on social media. You can also support the Bon Pote activity via TIPEEE.

Thanks to Fabrice Tedaldi for the graphic design. contact :
And thank you to all the people who will use these cards and who are fighting every day to meet the climate challenge!


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Thomas Wagner
Prendra sa retraite quand le réchauffement climatique sera de l’histoire ancienne

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