'Global Warming is a headf**k': using cultural journalism and oral history to engage with the lived experiences of climate change

Tom Doig


Climate change is arguably the most mind-bendingly complex of all conundrums the world has to contend with. It presents an urgent, yet paralysing, situation that simultaneously demands and eludes all manner of totalising solutions. Even the phrase ‘super wicked problem’ with its hyperbolic compound adjective, however, fails to fully convey the visceral and ambivalent effects/affects that climate change provokes in people on a daily basis. Using long-form cultural journalism, oral history and case studies as the primary methodological practice, this paper investigates climate change responses from interviewees belonging to the segment of society that Leiserowitz et al describe as ‘the Alarmed’ (5). Furthermore, I contend that there is a vulgar neologism that better captures how ‘ordinary people’ often experience the super wicked problem of life under climate change: headfuck.


Climate Change; Journalism; Oral History

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