This paper argues that the resistance to climate science from so-called deniers cannot be explained by drawing an imaginary line between two fields of science and politics and then investigating each for malfunctions. Instead, there is a need to understand the co-evolution of scientific knowledge and political norms more holistically, and to identify how simple classifications of right and wrong reduce discussion about climate risks and policies. This paper makes three recommendations. First, the debate about climate denial is a question of how science and politics connect, rather than a moral choice in accepting or rejecting science. Second, different ideologies (including “deniers” or “acknowledgers”) will always make simplistic statements about climate science. Third, there is a need to open up the discussion of climate risks beyond one master statement that humans have caused global warming to consider how to reduce emissions and vulnerability, which can include industrialization in developing countries.

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