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Images are used to generate narratives, understandings, meanings and knowledge of a range of events, phenomena, and practices. Visual images have played a crucial role in raising awareness of the climate crisis especially by the environmental movement (Doyle, 2007). The visual framing choices made by NGOs and activists reveal agency and the pivotal role of social media in shaping understandings and ascribing meaning to the unfolding climate crisis. It has been noted that the environmental movement has harnessed a future oriented pessimism with activists deploying negative affect such as fear in order to raise awareness of impending climate disaster (Cassegard & Thorn, 2018). Yet, research has also shown that positive affect such as hope, compassion and love can be just as persuasive in raising awareness (Ojala, 2012). Diverse messages are communicated visually such as apocalypse, devastation, individual and collective agency, collective responsibility, future generation, urgency, danger, and blame. Drawing on visual data scraped from Twitter, this presentation begins by outlining the dominant visual discourse during the California wildfires of 2020-2021 before examining the visual repertoires deployed by environmental NGOs (mostly based in California) as they communicate arguments and attempt to shape narratives. As a crucial step, environmental activists attempt to link the California wildfires to broader climate change debates and lay the blame at the feet of politicians and the oil/coal industry. 

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