The politics of climate change denial, worldwide

From George Monbiot:

Australian politics provides yet more evidence that climate science
divides people along political lines. [Tony] Abbott is no longer an outright
denier, though he still insists, in the teeth of the facts, that the
world has cooled since 1997(5).
Some members of his party go further: Senator Nick Minchin, for
example, maintains that “the whole climate change issue is a left-wing
conspiracy to deindustrialise the western world”(6). (He has also
insisted that cigarettes are not addictive and the link between passive
smoking and illness cannot be demonstrated(7)).
A recent poll suggests that 38% of politicians in Abbott’s coalition
believe that man-made global warming is taking place, by comparison to
89% of Labor’s people(8).

It’s the same story everywhere. At a senatorial hustings in New
Hampshire last week, all six Republican candidates denied that man-made
climate change is taking place(9).
Judging by its recent antics in the Senate and by primary campaigns all
over the country, the Republican party appears to be heading towards a
unanimous rejection of the science. The ultra-neoliberal Czech president
Vaclav Klaus asserts that “global warming is a false myth and every
serious person and scientist says so.”(10) The hard-right UK Independence Party may soon be led by Lord Monckton(11),
the craziest man in British politics, who claims that action on climate
change is a conspiracy to create a communist world government(12).
The further to the right you travel, the more likely you are to insist
that man-made climate change isn’t happening. Denial has nothing to do
with science and everything to do with politics.

Or, as Spencer Weart — who literally wrote the book on global warmingsays: Tell me what you think about government regulation, and I will tell you what you think about global warming.

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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