Hotcold Take: The Three Forms Of Climate Denialism

This is an interesting take, as part of it is attempting to blow up the Skeptic argument that yes, climate change is happening, it’s just that it is mostly/solely caused by Nature, and turn it sinister. In a way that only a cult/pseudo religion can do

There are three types of climate change denier, and most of us are at least one

Last week, amid the cacophony of reactions to Greta Thunberg’s appearance before the United Nations Climate Action Summit, a group of self-proclaimed “prominent scientists” sent a registered letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The letter, headed “There is no climate emergency”, urged Guterres to follow:

…a climate policy based on sound science, realistic economics and genuine concern for those harmed by costly but unnecessary attempts at mitigation.

The group, supported by 75 Australian business and industry figures, along with others around the world, obviously rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. But this missive displays remarkably different tactics to those previously used to stymie climate action.

The language of climate change denial and inaction has transformed. Outright science denial has been replaced by efforts to reframe climate change as natural, and climate action as unwarranted.

However, this is just another way of rejecting the facts, and their implications for us. Denial can take many forms.

I love that the article includes the angry, unhinged photo of St. Greta.

In his book States of Denial, the late psychoanalytic sociologist Stanley Cohen described three forms of denial. Although his framework was developed from analysing genocide and other atrocities, it applies just as well to our individual and collective inaction in the face of the overwhelming scientific evidence of human-induced climate change.

The first form of denial is literal denial. It is the simple, conscious, outright rejection that something happened or is happening – that is, lying. One Nation senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts, among others, have at one time or another maintained this position – outright denial that climate change is happening (though Senator Hanson now might accept climate change but denies any human contribution to it).

It is tempting to attribute outright denial to individual malice or stupidity, and that may occasionally be the case. More worrying and more insidious, though, is the social organisation of literal denial of climate change. There is plenty of evidence of clandestine, orchestrated lying by vested interests in industry. If anyone is looking for a conspiracy in climate change, this is it – not a collusion of thousands of scientists and major science organisations.

The second form of denial is interpretive denial. Here, people do not contest the facts, but interpret them in ways that distort their meaning or importance. For example, one might say climate change is just a natural fluctuation or greenhouse gas accumulation is a consequence, not a cause, of rising temperatures. This is what we saw in last week’s letter to the UN.

Almost no one is saying that the climate hasn’t changed. It has. But, this is positioning it as people being Evil for denying that it is mostly/solely caused by Mankind (interestingly, the people who aren’t “deniers” are doing almost nothing in their own lives).

The third and most insidious form is implicatory denial. The facts of climate change are not denied, nor are they interpreted to be something else. What is denied or minimised are the psychological, political, and moral implications of the facts for us. We fail to accept responsibility for responding; we fail to act when the information says we should.

Well, that is interesting, because, getting beyond the squishy feelings involved, wouldn’t this be the position of most Warmists, who fail to act within their own lives to give up their own use of fossil fuels and make their own lives carbon neutral? This is what AOC referred to as climate delaying.

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6 Responses to “Hotcold Take: The Three Forms Of Climate Denialism”

  1. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    As we’ve said before, Stage 1 denial is to deny it’s even warming. Most deniers have moved past that, even Tony Wuwt.

    Stage 2 is to recognize that it’s warming but that it’s not man-made.

    Stage 3 recognizes both warming and the CO2 cause, but denies there’s anything to be done. Either it can’t be done, or it’s too onerous or too expensive.

    • formwiz says:

      Stage 1 is people are in their right minds.

      Stage 2 and 3 is for Lefties.

      • Professor Hale says:

        He skipped right over:
        1. Any warming is too small to matter for a very long time. Future people can worry about it.
        2. Any CO2 is too small to matter for a very long time. Future people can worry about it.
        3. A small amount of warming would actually be beneficial to life on this planet. Future people can thank us for it later… in the future.
        4. How does taxing all energy use and giving a cut to Al Gore make the planet cooler/less “gassy”?
        5. Tell us, please, exactly what the right temperature for the planet is supposed to be and how much normal variation it is allowed to have.

  2. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    TEACH types: (interestingly, the people who aren’t “deniers” are doing almost nothing in their own lives)

    How does he know that?

    • formwiz says:

      Because they have nothing to do but protest?

    • Kye says:

      He knows that because they are pompous, loud-mouthed virtue signaling self important narcissists and if they were actually doing something about “climate change” they would be screaming it aloud at the top of their lungs to tell the world; “Look at what I’m doing, I’m better than you”.

      Trump 2020 Let’s end the DemCom coup!

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