It has been well documented that Nigel Farage and UKIP have rejected wind power as expensive and inefficient and have argued that the theory of man-made climate change is unproven.
While researching UKIP attitudes to renewable energy projects in rural Britain, Matt Reed uncovered how social media is being used to promote climate change scepticism. In his latest paper, Matt demonstrates how UKIP is part of a wider wave of ‘anti-reflexive movements’, promoting distrust and doubt to further certain political ends.
The paper is entitled ‘This loopy idea’ an analysis of UKIP’s social media discourse in relation to rurality and climate change’ and focuses on the way that United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) attempted to communicate its policies and messages about the topic of renewable energy during 2013–2014.
Renewable energy is a fruitful topic to consider as it has a strategic importance in the discussion of the future of the UK. The emergent theme from the analysis was not only rurality and renewable energy but the connection of the issue to scepticism about climate change. This paper uses the qualitative analyses the social media posts and a sample of the linked materials, with newspaper coverage, to reveal the key themes in the UKIP discourse.
A blog post, which relates to the paper, has also been published on the LSE website. The blog is titled ‘UKIP energy: promoting distrust and climate scepticism on social media’.
An associated blog can also be found on Matt’s personal blog site The Ruralist.