Those who deny climate change are often funded by the fossil fuel industry. These companies spend over $200 million a year in lobbying the government to delay or prevent action on climate change. Yet, recent polls show that over 75 percent of Americans believe that humans are responsible for climate change. So why do some people continue to deny this? How do we get rid of climate deniers? Let’s look at the facts behind this controversial movement.
The fossil fuel industry’s response to climate change was to attack the scientific data, attempting to create a false world where the rising CO2 levels and temperatures were not related. In addition, they claimed that climate change scientists with ulterior motives were spreading misinformation. This worldview is appealing to left-leaning people but unpopular among right-leaning individuals. Denial has its reasons. In an age where deceptive information spreads faster than the truth, deceptive information represents a person’s worldview. Whether the information is real or not, people may simply not acknowledge the problem.
In addition to arguing that the scientific case for climate change is flawed, denialists often cite local issues as a valid reason to resist action. This argument is problematic because many climate change solutions improve the lives of normal people, such as reducing air pollution by switching to alternative energy sources and electric cars. Developing a green economy offers economic benefits and jobs, while improving the environment helps people to protect themselves from extreme weather events and provide food and water security.