Climate denial can be defined as ‘the refusal to accept the existence or validity of climate change‘.
It is also well known that the ‘climate denial industry‘ plays an important role in preventing climate action and illuminates a certain corrupt political power which influences the public opinion for the benefit of their own agenda.
Obviously a focus on economy is beneficial for a country as it grants resources and influence in order for problems to be solved. However, environmental issues are often ignored or rejected as the focus of this corrupt political power tends to lean more towards an individualised interest centred around a select few. For example, the actions of Donald Trump or Jair Bolsonaro fit this description quite well.
Motivations behind climate denial:
- Large government projects interfere with individual life and people are not willing to change and make sacrifices .
- Those invested in the oil and gas industry want to continue to profit from their exploits e.g. ExxonMobil $16 million misinformation campaign (these misinformation campaigns are often compared to the tobacco industry’s campaigns in the 20th century due to their similarity in scale and funding).
- The trouble with fake news and social media producing unreliable sources of information creates an attitude amongst people when presented with factual and reliable statistics.
- Refusal to accept facts in order to protect ourselves from uncomfortable truths – standard coping mechanism which can be seen throughout a lot of human psychology e.g. when dealing with addiction or trauma.
How climate denial prevents climate action:
Often it is corporations invested in the fossil fuel industry, as an attempt to keep their head above the water, actively persuade public opinion to prevent climate action.
‘These organizations, which disguise themselves as advocates for the rights of average people, are just extensions of the fossil-fuel industry’s recklessly anti-regulation agenda‘
‘Funding groups like these is ultimately how Big Oil, Big Coal, and Big Gas continue obstructing urgently-needed emissions reductions – all while remaining hidden behind the scenes’
Not necessarily because they want to watch the world burn but because countries are slowly waking up to the fact that carbon emissions and fossil fuels are no longer sustainable, these corporations will no longer be useful. The simple fact of trying to preserve their own livelihood and continue their corporate greed for more money and power is the exact reason why companies like ExxonMobil will spend $16 million to sway public opinion inline with their own agenda. They don’t care about you or your country, as long as the oil money keeps flowing they are happy preventing climate action progressing for another several decades, which by that point it will be too late.