DECOUPLING AS RHETORICAL STRATEGY IN GOOGLE’S GREEN DISCOURSE
Keywords:decoupling, Google, ecomodernism, platform capitalism, climate crisis
AbstractThis paper examines Google’s green discourse in relation to the ecomodernist movement and $2 . In recent years, tech companies such as Google have taken a more explicit position as actors in the ‘fight’ against the climate crisis. Tech companies often suggest technological innovation as a necessity to deal with the climate crisis, thereby attempting to develop a form of ‘green platform capitalism’ that presents us with a better, greener version of its business model. This paper presents a rhetorical analysis of a selection of the corporate discourse (2019-now) in which Google presents its environmental efforts, in order to understand how the company frames the relation between technology and nature. It argues that technology-nature relations are framed through ‘decoupling’, a term derived from the ecomodernist movement that functions as a rhetorical strategy to highlight positive connections between technology and nature and obscure uneasy connections. Through decoupling, Google is able to present its wish to save ‘nature’ without discussing its use of nature, thus legitimating green platform capitalism. Decoupling, the paper concludes, thus allows Google to create a narrative of green growth as the only logical way for humanity to move forward. While this narrative might be attractive, it does not question the feasibility of decoupling and conflicts with resolutions that centralize degrowth as answer to the climate crisis.
How to Cite
Riemens, R. (2021). DECOUPLING AS RHETORICAL STRATEGY IN GOOGLE’S GREEN DISCOURSE. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12026