Climate Change Denial: Why it Exists
Climate change denial is the result of a complex cycle that starts with corporate greed, taps into certain aspects of human psychology, and leads to a powerful cycle. This website is here to provide a view of Climate Change denial that may he lead to solutions that break the cycle. We are also here to hold those companies and leaders who are feeding the cycle due to their own greed and self interest responsible. At some point the problem of climate change will be impossible to ignore, and when that happens we still want people to know how corporate greed can feed a cycle that leads people to deny a major problem. This happened with cigarettes years ago, and will happen again whenever huge corporate profits are facing a threat.
The science behind climate change is settled, and we invite any visitors to go to any number of websites that show that including an article at the popular site Weather Underground that debunks climate change deniers arguments, this article from the United states EPA that answers questions about climate change, and our own Climate Change Facts page. This we are not here to encourage scientific debate and discussion. There is no reason to spend time debating settled science. Instead this web site is designed to try to understand how so many people can be convinced or other wise choose to deny the existence of a problem that could have catastrophic consequences and will be very expensive to fix. In other words, what is it that got us here, inexplicably on the edge of global crisis, and how can we stop that cycle of climate change denial.
Climate Change Denial Cycle
We will explore the cycle of climate change denial that can be simple summed up as follows:
– Step 1 Corporate PR: Some corporations and their interest groups have a strong motivation to promote global warming and climate change denial. We explore the current state of ethics when it comes to big oil and gas producers, as well as manufacturers who seem to be willing to use any means necessary, including spreading flawed data, myths that have no scientific basis, and manipulated statistics. Some business, to their credit, are spending money to debate the fact that many solutions would be too expensive and damaging, which is a completely fair debate. But why does this corporate PR work? How do they make it compelling? The answer is that they know their audience, and this is explored in steps 2 and 3 of the cycle of global warming denial.
Step 2: Organizing the PR into a collection of myths: The intended audience at which the corporate climate change denial campaigns are targeted to like to have a coherent and steady set of “facts” to back the denial and skepticism that is being pushed. This group, as can be seen in step 3, is comforted by certainty and threatened by uncertainty. Thus this group will be susceptible to an unwavering set of “facts”, even if they not based on sound science, because they will give the feeling of certainty that sometimes complex science cannot provide.
– Step 3: Tapping into the psychology of denial: For a certain group of people, a large swath of the population, the global warming and climate change problem taps into a set of deeply held fears” Fears of government taking too much control, fears of expensive solutions, and worries about something that in itself may be uncertain yet dangerous. Thus one reason it is so easy to promote climate change denial and skepticism about global warming is that this group is already looking for psychological relief.
– Step 4 How we can create change: The next step is a new step that is not fully taking place. This step would find ways to effectively break through global warming denial and skepticism – how can we actually promote healthy beliefs
We have stake in the debate beyond worrying about what future generations will have to deal with due to climate change, a desire to play a role in slowing the damage, and having a desire to make sure this type of cycle does not recur the next time corporate greed is out of control. We do not support any particular politician, interest group, or business and we will not be asking for donations.
Help us spread the word about the cycle of climate change denial and how to stop it!
Climate Change Deniers and Skeptics
There are many climate change deniers, and many choose to call themselves “Climate Change Skeptics” because somehow that term has less of a negative connotation. Many of them have truly come to their own conclusions about this problem, but few have not in one way or another been influenced by climate change deniers that are paid in one way or another by corporate money. We want to hold those climate change deniers, so called climate change skeptics, who are being influenced directly or indirectly by corporate money, responsible.
No matter how you fall in the debate about the Supreme Court decision in Citizen’s United – the decision that gave rise to the Super PACs that are funding a huge amount of campaign ads these days – there is one fact that is beyond debate: The new campaign funding system has given corporate special interests more power than ever before. Put differently, while people can debate whether it’s the right thing to do to treat corporations as “individuals” and whether corporate interests should have the right to spend unlimited money in elections, the undeniable fact is that they are spending a ton because that decision paved the way.
Campaign spending actually does little to directly influence the climate change debate by itself. The corporate special interest money in this case will go towards advertisements and other campaign costs and in this cycle climate change is not an issue that will be featured prominently. One could almost argue that perhaps the PR machines of corporate special interests will actually be distracted by the election campaign and lose sight of their goal of propagating climate change denial.
Our concern runs much deeper, however. If their chosen leader is elected with the help of their giant influx of cash, the corporate special interest groups will expect that legislation that follows will be favorable to their interest, perhaps including a weakening of environmental regulation and a lack or pursuit of any tightening of carbon emission controls. The consequences of defying this expectation will be clear – can the politician expect to win without this cash next time? These corporate special interests in the Citizen’s United era have shown that they can switch to a challenger if their candidate defies them, and the whole system has leveled the playing field a bit for challengers.
Once these laws and regulations are influenced, that is where the denial of climate change can switch into high gear. Climate change deniers will be needed to reassure people that these new approaches will not have a harmful effect. The situation is downright scary if you look at the listing of the top donors to Super PACs – you will see a huge number of oil and gas companies, chemical manufacturers, and others who have historically fought to promote denial and skepticism.
Denial of Climate Change: Our Approach
We are a website designed to spread information about Climate Change denial that leads to ideas for addressing the problem. Our aim is to take the approach that solutions need to be fair and thoughtful, but they can only be pursued after everyone involved puts their defenses down and admits we are facing a serious problem. Therein lies a chicken and egg problem in that many with financial interests in promoting climate change denial are concerned about admitting there is a problem because they fear that if they do they will face unrealistic and economically harmful solutions. The problem is that they are right – some who are pushing for corporate interests to stop promoting denial would in fact pursue these exact solutions.
At the Climate Change Journal we feel that there needs to be a reasonable assessment on all sides that includes trust and balance, and each side will have to give in to some degree to the needs of the other – the pursuit of a win will not work. But right now many corporate interests are entrenched in a campaign of pushing denial and not being at all open to compromise and that needs to stop.
We do not have a financial stake in any of this – or at least any more stake than anyone else who might end feeling the effects of glob warming climate change if they are not controlled. We want to build our own credibility as a place for ideas and middle ground solutions be proving that we do not want to side with radical all-or-nothing solutions, or that we feel that corporations can afford to take large financial hits in the process of addressing this problem.
Our theory of a Cycle of Climate Change Denial is one that we feel holds up to scrutiny and explains why the corporations and other groups are so successful at convincing so many people to deny or at least be highly skeptical of the problem. Further, we believe that this cycle has been seen before and perhaps the most startling part about the climate change and global warming cycle of denial is that we have not learned lessons from other similar attempts by deep-pocketed groups to foster doubt.
We are glad you have visited this site today no matter what your opinion of the causes of climate change, and even if we have not changed your mind at all we hope you will remember this site should your opinion change in the future!
All information here at The Climate Change Journal is protected by copyright. Under some circumstances we do allow material to be used elsewhere, but only with proper attribution and prior authorization and consent.
We specifically reserve full rights to our proprietary terms: “Global Warming Cycle of Denial” and “Climate Change Cycle of Denial” and to the process described by these terms.
Your Input on Climate Change Denial
We welcome the input of our visitors and will publish comments and suggestions regardless of whether they agree with our position or not. Unlike many sites that cover climate change denial and Climate Change Deniers, or that challenge business and lawmakers to do their part in prevention, we fully welcome all opinions. We will of course refuse to publish any comments from anyone regardless of their opinion about global warming and climate change if there are any personal attacks or the comment is not related to the topic.
We also welcome input from those who want to correct anything we say or challenge something as not being totally factual. We are very careful about anything we publish and call fact, so we welcome the idea that our readers will help us ensure that everything we present here is based on what has really happened with regard to Climate Change Denial.