The Human Truth Foundation

Climate Change Deniers

By Vexen Crabtree 2022

#climate_change #climate_change_deniers #environmentalism #misinformation #petrol_lobby

Some of the most vociferous deniers of anthropogenic climate change come from (1) petroleum and energy companies, who have funded huge volumes of misleading 'research' and slick misinformation campaigns,1, (2) the powerful and the rich who have vested interests in avoiding disruption to the economic status-quo2,3, (3) a few maverick scientists who have been swayed by poor research, or are being funded by petroleum companies, and who are often campaigning on fields outside of their area of expertise,4 (4) conservative and nationalist political parties and governments who receive funding from polluting industries, (5) Christian conservatives, based on biblical statements that God won't cause any more global floods and, rather, that the Second Coming of Jesus will be what ends human society5 and (6) a large number of misinformed citizens who obtain misinformation from the other sources listed here and from conspiracy websites and anti-establishment sources who routinely oppose almost any government-approved projects. Together, these groups are injuring humanity's future quality of life, causing needless suffering and strife, and reducing the chances of us living well with nature.

1. International Statistics on Climate Change Denial


Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)6
AreaHigher is better
North America54.2%
South America63.8%
The Middle East...35.1%

Rational beliefs on the environment are counted as the percent of national populations that believe that humans are causing climate change multiplied with the belief that it is a serious threat. The regions whose populations are best educated on climate change are South America (63.8%), North America (54.2%) and Africa (38.3%)6, and the worst are Australasia (28.0%), Europe (33.6%) and The Middle East (35.6%)6. The populations that are most concerned about the environment and believe that we humans are damaging it can be found in Argentina (78.3%), Greece (77.6%) and Brazil (77.1%)6; and those who are least likely to believe the science are in Turkmenistan (8.6%), Albania (9.4%) and Haiti (10.0%)6. The presence of Haiti in the list is surprising, as most other small island nations are four times more likely to believe in the seriousness of anthropogenic climate change, as they experience the oceans directly.

Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)6
Pos.Higher is better
4Trinidad & Tobago74.5%
5Costa Rica74.2%
9S. Korea70.7%
15El Salvador66.8%
Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)6
Pos.Lower is worse

2. The Petroleum Industry: Abuse of News Outlets With Fake Science and Fake Lobby Groups

#climate_change #corruption #environmentalism #fake_lobbies #petrol_lobby #saudi_arabia #USA

Oil and petrol lobbies have spent fortunes on climate change denial since the 1980s. They put on fake conferences, produce pseudo-scientific reports that look and sound like science and they excel at manipulating social media and news outlets with slick and subtle campaigns. One technique is to fund research by a large number of scientists, and then to disregard all of the ones that come to the 'wrong' conclusions, and publish only the information that suits the petroleum industry. The intention is to convince as many people as possible that climate change isn't real, or, if it is real, that humanity isn't causing it, or that we don't need to (or can't) do anything about it, or, if it actually can be averted, that petrochemicals aren't actually a major factor, and therefore, the oil industry should be left alone.7,8,9,10

It is an industrial-scale long-term misinformation campaign, funded, often collaboratively, by Exxon, Ford, Texaco, General Motors (GM), British Petroleum (BP), and DaimlerChrysler amongst others. They, along with many rich and influential oligarchs, especially from the USA and oil-exporting countries such as Saudi Arabia, pour millions into corrupting politicians and contributing to outfits that are willing to deny anthropogenic climate change.7,8,9,11. The money spent on this denial dwarfs any of the budgets of scientific or governmental bodies that attempt to educate the public and it represents the single biggest self-destructive endeavour our species has pursued so far.

For more, see:

3. Turning a Blind Eye: Corporate and National Greed12

Book CoverThere is no scientific debate between denialists at their conferences; when one attendee questions if climate change is happening at all, it pleases the crowd. When another tries to explain that it is happening, but, it is a result of fluctuations in the sun's activity, they're all equally happy. When a third states, just as factually as the others, that there is a slight temperature increase but we don't need to do anything, none of the others point out that he contradicts the other speakers. They're all happy, as long as the message is the same: climate change isn't real, and if it is real, it isn't caused by human, and even if it is caused by humans, we don't need to do anything, and, even if we do have to do something, what we choose to do shouldn't impact on America, and in particular, we shouldn't (for the love of the children) do anything that allow sales of American SUVs to slow. (Naomi Klein, 2014)2

At the World Economic Forum in 2019, Greta Thunberg, the infamously blunt voice of climate change, told those present that there is a new generation who no longer trust in the actions of the vast majority of the rich, powerful and corporate-led world. The message that "everyone is to blame" masks the truth that there are very specific large-scale, industrial wheels that keep turning due to the specific choices of those involved.

Book CoverSomeone is to blame. Some people - some people and some decision-makers in particular - have known exactly what priceless values they are sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. I want to challenge those companies and those decision-makers into real and bold climate action. [...] I don't believe for one second that you will rise to that challenge.

"No-One is Too Small to Make a Difference"
Greta Thunberg (2019)3

[Another] denier strategy [is] to spread fear - to send a clear message that saying anything at all about climate change [in the media] was a surefire way to find your inbox and comment threads jammed with a toxic stream of vitriol.

"This Changes Every Thing: Capitalism vs. the Climate" by Naomi Klein (2014)2

4. Maverick Scientists

Some maverick scientists, such as Frederick Seitz, Fred Singer, and a few others, have conducted "a thirty-year campaign against a wide range of environmental issues", and have been given a hugely disproportionate quantity of air-time on news outlets4. Together they denied - along with a few institutions that use them as their sources, and their fans - that man-made acid rain was the result of our smokestack emissions, that smoking causes cancer, and that the hole in the ozone layer was caused by CFCs, and that human activity is causing climate change. The fact that they campaign on one hot-topic after another says one thing; that they're consistently wrong say another, but the dreariest worry of all, is that they continue to have influence amongst fans and followers that are too happy to be led astray.

5. Political Parties and Governments

#australia #Brexit_Party #British_National_Party #canada #china #climate_change #climate_change_deniers #environmentalism #germany #new_zealand #norway #pollution #Reform_UK #russia #saudi_arabia #spain #sweden #UK #UKIP #USA #usa_republican_party

The first three reports of the IPCC attracted a wave of political climate-deniers; "a handful of countries were the source of almost all of the objections: Saudi Arabia, the United States, China, and Russia - [who are also] the biggest producers and consumers of hydrocarbons [and] Schneider also reports that many of the members of the official U.S. delegation admitted privately that they agreed with the majority of scientists there but were under different orders from their bosses in Washington"13. The power and wealth of polluting industries is immense, and they are often key funders of political parties, in particular, the traditional Conservative parties of the west, most notably, the USA's Republican Party. When democracy is corrupted by political parties that are financially pupeteered by rich industry no matter the cost to wider humanity, frequently the only thing that can change the formula is massive and consistent public outcry - the long-term kind that effects the ballot box.

There are hardly any mainstream parties that deny the importance of tackling climate change. For example, Sondre Båtstrand at the University of Bergen in Norway studied the policies of conservative parties from Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand,Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA14. The only conservative party that denies climate change in their official manifestos or policies is the USA's Republican party15; their Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush wanted to simply remove USA climate policies15 although luckily his campaign didn't endure, it was truly concerning that the Party supported someone with such an anti-climate stance. The USA's most powerful party sits in such an extreme and worrying position because of the political influence of its fossil fuel industry15.

Canada:: Although Canada performs well with regards to the environment, not everyone is convinced. In 2015 it was noted that the Conservative Party of Canada only pays "lip service" to preventing climate change, but at least, it does this in the face of its large tar sands oil industry15. In 2021, things got worse, not better, when party members voted not to recognize the climate crisis as real16.

Australia: Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott was, almost, a denialist, witnessed by his government's Direct Action Plan, described accurately as simply "impotent"15 (his 'Liberal Party of Australia' is a misleadingly-named conservative party). The wider population are often just as bad; 31.8% of Australians have rational worries about the environment, but this is fewer than the global average of 39.9%6. News outlets are to blame. Although a few broadcasters have readers who are well educated on the climate, the most popular news producers tend to push their consumers towards climate change denial: Whilst 94% of Huffington Post readers say climate change is somewhat or very serious, "nearly 30% of readers don't believe climate change is a serious issue (compared to 35% of those who watch Sky News TV), and we see News Corp websites dominate the news sites whose readers most deny climate change"17.

UK: Taking into account the long-term costs of climate change, it is the Green Party in the UK that are pushing for the most sensible policies on combatting climate change. Equally unsurprisingly, closest to them are the centrist Liberal Democrats. Unfortunately, these two parties do not enjoy a great many voters. Although the Labour Party do have some good policies, it's the Conservative party, which has been in power more than any other party in recent decades, that sets the rules. They are held back by leadership that lacks an ethical framework, and, a large number of climate skeptics. Many of its politicians are influenced directly by fossil fuel contributions to the party and some of these congregate in the backwards "Global Warming Policy Foundation", members including climate idiots such as Nigel Lawson and Steve Baker18.

The Conservative Party, in power since 2010, have presided over the missing of almost all of the last batch of 10-year climate targets set in 2010. It is 'failing to protect threatened species, end the degradation of land, reduce agricultural pollution or increase funding for green schemes, [... and] is not ending unsustainable fishing"19.

Even worse than the Conservatives are the UK's true denialists, who can be found in fringe parties such as UKIP20, the racist British National Party (who describe the global evidence for climate change as a 'left wing conspiracy')20 and Reform UK (a rebranding of the Brexit Party). Thankfully these parties have little influence.

USA: In the 1970s the USA was a world leader on serious long-term environmental issues, and its scientists rang many of the first alarm bells regarding side-effects of industrial chemicals. The USA joined many groups in protecting endangered species, oceans and fisheries. Much of this continued into the 1980s. But, this didn't last. The USA drew worldwide criticism for failing to adopt the greatest international agreement for the reduction of some greenhouse gases, the Kyoto Protocol, which was accepted by nearly every other country. This is despite the fact that the USA is by a very wide margin the world's biggest polluter over time, and very disproportionately so for its population; in 2000, it had 4% of the world's population but produced 25% of the worlds' pollution21. Starting with President Bush, it has been Republican Party policy not to combat climate change and to deny the scale of the problem.

Despite the failure of USA politics, its scientific institutions have been effective in pursuing sustainable goals, led by high quality and serious university-led research, managing to co-operate at state and local levels to improve the USA's impact on the world.

6. Religion, the Environment and Climate Change

#buddhism #climate_change #environmentalism #religion #religion_and_environment

Religion is a contributing factor in the social response to climate change22 and the contribution of religious organisations and leaders has a potential to be helpful, but historically has also been problematic23. Over the last century the secular world has realized that our behaviour so far has been far too destructive, selfish and irresponsible, and has been engaged in an attempt to educate and encourage religious leaders to teach not necessarily the science, but, the need for us to be responsible towards the Earth, even if it's not strictly part of some major religions' doctrines. Conservative Christianity has, in particular, been particularly damaging towards our long-term future on this planet. Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Interior declared confidently that "we don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand"24 and in 2010 the Republican politician John Shimkus argued that we can't be in danger from sea levels rising because God said in Genesis 9:11 that It wouldn't flood the Earth again (also see ). Mary Evelyn Tucker, one of the most respected authors in the studies of religious responses to the environment, writes that religious world views need to be "re-balanced" to help bring Human-earth relations into a more sensible state25. Although religions like Buddhism are strongly environmentalist in nature, there is still a lot of work to be done to bring religious worldviews on the environment into a place where they are helping, and not hindering, our balancing act with nature.