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Climate Change and SocietySociological Perspectives$
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Riley E. Dunlap and Robert J. Brulle

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199356102

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199356102.001.0001

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Challenging Climate Change

Challenging Climate Change

The Denial Countermovement

Chapter:
(p.300) 10 Challenging Climate Change
Source:
Climate Change and Society
Author(s):

Riley E. Dunlap

Aaron M. McCright

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199356102.003.0010

An organized campaign to deny the reality and significance of climate change has worked to undermine the claims of the scientific community and block efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This chapter outlines the historical and cultural conditions that have provided fertile soil for climate change denial’s emergence (most notably, the rise of neoliberalism as hegemonic ideology). It explains the denial countermovement’s strategies of manufacturing uncertainty and controversy, which substitute ideology for science and put our societal resilience at stake. The chapter describes the key components of the U.S. countermovement: the fossil fuels industry and corporate America; conservative think tanks and foundations; contrarian scientists; front groups and “Astroturf” campaigns; conservative politicians; and conservative media and the denial blogosphere. The chapter also documents the international diffusion of climate change denial, indicating that the countermovement is evolving into a global force designed to combat the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and international climate advocacy network.

Keywords:   denial countermovement, conservative think tanks, contrarian scientists, neoliberalism, manufacturing uncertainty, international diffusion

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