What is it about?

‘Climate change deniers’ are people who don’t believe that climate change is happening, or who don’t accept that it is made worse by human activity. In some cases, this is because they have ‘vested interests’ – they want to continue benefitting from activities that cause climate change. For example, they may work for fossil fuel companies, or be paid by them. In other cases, they are politicians who want to attract votes from other people who don’t believe in climate change. Some of these people spread false information. They are focused on short-term benefits rather than the long-term health of our planet and its inhabitants.

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Why is it important?

Scientists have been warning us about climate change for many years. But because some climate change deniers are in powerful positions, they have been able to slow down or water down government policies around climate change. Many climate laws are compromises that are not strong enough to stop environmental damage. The climate disaster has been getting worse while processes to change laws have been drawn out. KEY TAKEAWAY: Climate change is no longer something we can prevent. There is still time to put policies in place that could reduce its worst effects. But people with vested interests continue to obstruct progress. We need to discredit climate change deniers. We need penalties for spreading false information.

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This page is a summary of: 6. Hypocrisy—Thy Name Is Climate Change Denial, December 2016, Columbia University Press,
DOI: 10.7312/mann17786-008.
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