Stephan Lewandowsky: Climate denial: drivers and consequences
9:30 AM, Friday 28 May 2021 EDT (1 hour 15 minutes)
I will examine both the “supply side” and “demand side” of climate denial. On the supply side I will report the evidence for the organized dissemination of disinformation by political operatives and vested interests, and how the media respond to these distortions of the media landscape. On the demand side, I explore the variables that drive people’s rejection of climate science and lead them to accept denialist talking points, with a particular focus on the issue of political symmetry. The evidence seems to suggest that denial of science is primarily focused on the political right, acrossa number of domains, even though there is cognitive symmetry between left and right in many other situations. I then examine the role of conspiracy theories on both supply and demand side. I conclude that one major role of conspiracy theories is their deployment as a rhetorical tool to escape inconvenient evidence, and that this deployment is shared by the supply and demand side. Finally, I examine the impact of denialist rhetoric on the scientific community itself.