07 Mar 2022
07 Mar 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

Disentangling the Climate Divide with Emotional Patterns: a Network-Based Mindset Reconstruction Approach

Roger Cremades1,2, and Massimo Stella3,4, Roger Cremades and Massimo Stella
  • 1Wageningen University & Research, Hollandseweg 1, Wageningen 6700 HB, the Netherlands
  • 2Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Fischertwiete 1, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
  • 3CogNosco Lab, Department of Computer Science, University of Exeter, EX4 4QF Exeter, UK
  • 4Complex Science Consulting, Via Amilcare Foscarini, 2, 73100 Lecce LE, Italy
  • Both authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Extreme political populism has been fiercely spreading climate disinformation for years, contributing to a social divide about climate change. In order to profile how both sides of the climate divide communicate climate change, we collected dissemination materials and analysed the mindset of key actors reaching global audiences. Here we show that applying network science to textual content and analysing the emerging reconstructed mindset can support the identification of emotional patterns linked to a quick and pervasive spread of falsehoods — i.e. an infodemic — such as hypercritical scepticism masking falsehoods under a trustful promotion of change. Climate represents a fearsome threat linked to inconsistent science in climate change infodemics. Change represents a reassuring pattern characterized by trust in climate infodemics, low anticipation without risk awareness, except for some fear about policy changes. For climate activism change is linked to high levels of negative emotions like anger, disgust and fear, related to a perception of existential threats. Furthermore, children are an angering concern in climate infodemics, while climate change activism perceives children with trust and joy, but sadness for their anticipated future.

Roger Cremades and Massimo Stella

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esd-2021-71', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Apr 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Roger Cremades, 27 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on esd-2021-71', Mary Sanford, 11 May 2022
    • RC3: 'Reply on RC2', Mary Sanford, 11 May 2022
      • AC1: 'Reply on RC1, RC2, and RC3', Roger Cremades, 27 Jul 2022

Roger Cremades and Massimo Stella

Roger Cremades and Massimo Stella


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Short summary
We analyse the speeches of prominent climate activism and climate infodemic figures, to find that the emotional patterns behind the words reveal more than the words themselves, and show emerging revolutionary characteristics by climate activism and some strange emotional connections by in the infodemics side, where surprisingly there is no worry about change at all.