Abstract

The question at hand is, “Why is there a social counter-movement that rejects climate change?” This article begins by first naming this counter-movement “climate denial” and working through the various apparent options by specifically looking at the scholarship on Holocaust denial for insight. Through this insight, we can understand the counter-movement as a reactionary force working to sow confusion for ideological reasons that promote a specific privilege. At the same time, privilege is also protected by the presentation of climate change science as a binary position of “acknowledgement or rejection” that itself promotes privilege and dysfunction across the intersection of science and society. In the end, at least one answer to the question “why denial?” appears to be “because it is serious and threatening” and this, at least partially, explains the existence of this counter-movement.

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