There is nothing abstract about climate change denial

There is an awful lot of rubbish spoken about climate change scepticism. I have had a very busy week this week: preparing and delivering a Powerpoint presentation to students doing one of the options I did on my MA two years ago; preparing for and going to a job interview; and starting to proof-read the first draft sent back to me by the publisher of my forthcoming book, The Denial of Science: Analysing climate change scepticism in the UK (conceptual design for the book cover is shown here). bookcover3In between all this, I have somehow managed to read and respond to posts on a number of blogs by people who seem to want to insist that there is still some significant room for doubt about whether or not human activity is the primary cause of the climate disruption we are now witnessing. Over on Learning from Dogs this week, Paul Handover has published an interesting series of posts culminating in an open letter to his “sceptical” friend Dan Gomez. My response to this was quite firm (and perhaps a little more polite than those I submitted to the previous posts). However, even this seems to pass some people by; leaving them still claiming that climate science is too abstract for most people to have a settled opinion regarding our current predicament. Perhaps then, the problem is that they are focussing on the science – and feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of it all – when they should be focussing on the track-record that big business has for attempting to discredit science and scientists that threaten the viability and morality of the marketing of their products. For any readers who are not familiar with any of the above, you may benefit from reading the comments submitted in response to all of the posts in Paul Handover’s mini-series (which may be accessed via the link above). However, I am going to simply reproduce here my most recent comment on the unknowispeaksense blog:

That is an illuminating story, Michael. However, with regret, I am bound to point out, as I have done elsewhere, that there is nothing very“abstract” about the ‘The Organisation of Denial’ (Jacques et al., 2008). On the contrary, climate change denial is a morally bankrupt, selfish, self-serving and ultimately self-defeating campaign being waged by the fossil fuel industry to preserve the profitability of its business interests; and delay inevitable changes in energy policy that need to be made ASAP by both individuals and governments.

For those who have not been subscribers to this blog for very long (and cannot wait for my book to be published), you may want to catch-up on the issues alluded to here by reading some or all of the posts below; and pursuing any links (within them) that spark your curiosity: Update: 12 March 2013:   My book has now been published. A kindle version will be available soon. See the book’s Facebook page for more info..


About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Cognitive Dissonance, Confirmation Bias, Denial, Environment, Merchants of Doubt, Politics, Psychology, Scepticism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to There is nothing abstract about climate change denial

  1. jpgreenword says:

    Rick, I truly hope that your interview went well. And congratulations on your book! I had no idea this was in the works. I wonder if that’s because I’ve missed a few of your posts……… Either way, all the best. I hope I have the opportunity to get my hands on a copy.


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