December 29, 2023, by Brigitte Nerlich

Climate change, metaphors and me

We were sitting round the kitchen table chatting after Christmas, reminiscing about last Christmas. I nostalgically said that last year such conversations had sparked my interest in AI in the form of ChatGPT and given me ideas for blogging.

I wondered what I should blog about now. We all agreed that there was always climate change and my son talked a bit about the flood of climate fiction swamping the market. Then, just for a laugh, he asked ChatGPT a question: “Write a paragraph on metaphor and climate change in the style of Brigitte Nerlich”.

This elicited a rather astonishing answer (I have put all the metaphors ChatGPT uses in italics, and the best one in bold):

“In examining the intricate interplay between metaphor and climate change through the lens of Brigitte Nerlich, one delves into a linguistic landscape where language constructs the very fabric of our environmental consciousness. Metaphors, akin to subtle linguistic architects, shape our understanding of the impending ecological challenges. Nerlich’s approach underscores the potency of metaphors in framing climate discourse, revealing a profound influence on public perception. As metaphors weave through discussions of rising temperatures and environmental degradation, they become the scaffolding upon which societal attitudes and policies are constructed. The metaphorical tapestry, carefully curated by language, extends beyond mere linguistic embellishment; it serves as a crucial vehicle for conveying complex scientific concepts and, simultaneously, as a reflection of societal values and priorities. In this symbiotic relationship, metaphor becomes a mirror reflecting our collective responsibility in addressing the urgent realities of climate change.”

I might have written some stuff about climate change and metaphors, but I don’t think I have ever used so many metaphors to write about climate change and metaphors.

ChatGPG seems to have a much more poetic style than I have! I just love the framing of metaphors as linguistic architects that construct and scaffold our understanding of climate change, our attitudes and our policies; and metaphors as weavers of societal fabrics and tapestries and mirrors reflecting our shared responsibilities for the climate. Spot on!

What ChatGPT wrote was great and reflected some of my writing, but, hélas it wasn’t written in my style. Can one say it was written in a better style?

Posted in artifical intelligenceClimate ChangeLanguageMetaphors