Ronny Patz


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The Climate Change Debate and Natural Language Processing
Manfred Stede | Ronny Patz
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on NLP for Positive Impact

The debate around climate change (CC)—its extent, its causes, and the necessary responses—is intense and of global importance. Yet, in the natural language processing (NLP) community, this domain has so far received little attention. In contrast, it is of enormous prominence in various social science disciplines, and some of that work follows the ”text-as-data” paradigm, seeking to employ quantitative methods for analyzing large amounts of CC-related text. Other research is qualitative in nature and studies details, nuances, actors, and motivations within CC discourses. Coming from both NLP and Political Science, and reviewing key works in both disciplines, we discuss how social science approaches to CC debates can inform advances in text-mining/NLP, and how, in return, NLP can support policy-makers and activists in making sense of large-scale and complex CC discourses across multiple genres, channels, topics, and communities. This is paramount for their ability to make rapid and meaningful impact on the discourse, and for shaping the necessary policy change.