The Rhetoric of Low Carbon Energy Technology Scientists and Engineers

Nicolas Cesar Hernandez de la Piedra, University of Texas at El Paso


Scholars in the burgeoning field of Energy Communication have successfully contributed to communication studies and environmental communication practice. However, energy communication scholars have largely focused on energy of media coverage, corporate communication and decision making in the context crisis. While rich and informative, this tendency has left quotidian aspects of energy communication rather understudied. As such, this thesis contributes to the understanding of the internal, non-untechnical rhetoric of low carbon energy technology (LCET) scientists and engineers (herein LCET professionals). Textual analysis was used to examine LCET professionals’ internal rhetoric at professional trade conferences and through long form, semi-structured interviews. Wind professionals were found to employ frontier myth imagery in a formative moment for their industry and their identity. Wind and nuclear professionals were found to characterize environmentalists in positive and in negative ways which signal towards ongoing synergies and points of contention which warrant consideration. The insights uncovered contribute theoretical insights into the emergence of LCET professionals’ identity and their perception of environmentalists. Additionally, this thesis contributes practical insight that may further help demystify LECT professionals and providing suggestions for LCET professionals, governmental agencies, and environmental and science communicators to promote and manage healthy relationships between environmentalists and LCET professionals.

Subject Area

Communication|Rhetoric|Alternative Energy

Recommended Citation

Hernandez de la Piedra, Nicolas Cesar, "The Rhetoric of Low Carbon Energy Technology Scientists and Engineers" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI13883467.