2021 Volume 41 Issue 1 Pages 43-64
Climate change responses require a multidimensional approach given the context-specific knowledge of climate change education. Hence, this study investigates the rhetorical style of propagating climate change education in a non-formal setting – a typical agrarian Nigerian community – as enacted in Greg Mbajiorgu’s play, Wake up Everyone. It adopts Olinger’s (2016) socio-cultural approach to style to unpack nuances of social meanings which are negotiated in the process of enhancing the people’s perception and learning of climate change issues in the symbolic rural environment. Four representative extracts which comprise three conversational exchanges among the characters, and the theme song of the environmental activist’s Green Theatre outfit’s play-within-a-play, The New Dawn, were purposively selected to reflect the following issues: improving education and awareness, building human and institutional capacity on climate change, devising adaptation and mitigation strategies to reduce climate change impact, and giving early warning to forestall environmental disasters. The study reveals that the rhetorical strategies and semiotic resources in the dramatic text essentially localise and also demystify the complex science of climate change with the imaginative design of tactical non-formal adult education strategies to appeal to the environmental and cultural sensibilities of the extremely vulnerable local community.