A Comparative Sentiment Analysis of Climate Change Discourse in the United Kingdom and Italy

Gaia Anna Rosaria Lo Giudice


Supervised by Alun D Preece; Moderated by Nervo Verdezoto Dias

The damage misinformation and conspiracy theories can cause has risen to prominence in recent years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, conspiracy theories spread via social media have led to numerous disruptive events including attacks on 5G towers and direct action by anti-vaccination groups. In the political arena, QAnon conspiracy theorists were involved in the January 2021 attack on the United States Capitol, threatening the legitimate democratic process of a major nation state.

In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared climate change as one of the tenth major threats to global health. Nowadays, when we mention ‘climate change’, we refer to alterations in the Earth's climate resulting from human activities. Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change, climate change denial remains a problem. Climate change conspiracy theories can have a negative impact on public trust in science and policymaking, posing a substantial difficulty for governmental and environmental entities striving to persuade individuals to combat global warming. By comprehensively understanding the landscape of climate change conspiracy theories and their impact, we can better equip ourselves to challenge and mitigate their consequences. The potential for this research to inform and improve countermeasures is of great significance to the global effort to combat climate change and ensure a sustainable future.

This project is centred around the comparative analysis of climate change discourse on YouTube in the United Kingdom and Italy. The project involves: -- The collection of YouTube comments. -- The use of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to interrogate the data. -- The use of data visualisation techniques.

Final Report (17/11/2023) [Zip Archive]

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