July 20, 2015

Rhetoric and Rupture: The Language and Legislation of Fracking

Ole W. Pedersen, Newcastle University Law School, has published The Rhetoric of Environmental Reasoning and Responses as Applied to Fracking at 27 Journal of Environmental Law 325 (2014). Here is the abstract.
This essay examines in detail the rhetorical means most commonly used in debates on environmental regulation. The article argues that debates on whether and how to regulate in the context of the environment often take the form of a predictable toing and froing between participants in such debates. The primary reason for this is found in the all too common reliance of participants on ready-to-hand arguments. These include: the pertinent point in time argument; the unripe point in time claim; the singular point of response argument; the sufficiency of existing structures claim; the presence of a particular risk argument; the one final measure argument; and the been here done that claim. By way of illustration, the article makes use of debates surrounding hydraulic fracturing in the UK in the form of the recently enacted Infrastructure Act 2015. The article concludes that the reliance on predictable means of rhetorical moves runs the risk of taking place at the expense of attempts to find a constructive middle-ground.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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