Many forms of denial

1 Leon Festinger, A Theory ofCognitiveDissonance, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1957.

2 C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, 1970.

3 See Peter Jacques, Riley E. Dunlap and Mark Freeman, 'The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism', Environmental Politics, vol. 17, no. 3, June 2008.

4 See Timothy W. Luke, 'A Rough Road out of Rio: The right-wing reaction in the United States against global environmentalism', Department of Political Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, nd (1998?). Luke writes: 'the split over international ecology agreements, like those propounded at the Rio Summit, express some of the most fundamental divisions now splitting the American body politic during the post-Cold War era.'

5 Quoted by Luke, 'A Rough Road out of Rio'. This opinion has been echoed more recently by Czech President and climate sceptic Vaclav Klaus: 'The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.' Quoted by Charles Krauthammer, 'Carbon chastity', New York Times, 30 May 2008. Krauthammer adds his own take: 'Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual left was handed the ultimate salvation: environmentalism. Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but—even better—in the name of Earth itself.'

6 Richard Darman, President Bush's chief of the Office of Management and Budget, quoted by Luke, 'A Rough Road out of Rio'.

7 Interviewed on Frontline, Public Broadcasting Service (US), 3 April 2006.

8 Quoted by Jacques et al., 'The organisation of denial', pp. 362—3.

9 Myanna Lahsen, 'Experience of modernity in the greenhouse: A cultural analysis of a physicist "trio" supporting the backlash against global warming', Global Environmental Change, vol. 18, 2008, pp. 204-19.

10 Lahsen, 'Experience of modernity in the greenhouse', p. 211.

11 Lahsen, 'Experience of modernity in the greenhouse', p. 214.

12 Interviewed on Frontline, Public Broadcasting Service (US), 3 April 2006. The first part of Seitz's statement is true. A survey of members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that 55 per cent of scientists identified as Democrats and only six per cent as Republicans, with the balance Independents (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 'Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media: Scientific Achievements Less Prominent Than a Decade Ago', 9 July 2009).

13 Lahsen, 'Experience of modernity in the greenhouse', p. 212.

14 Nicholas Dawidoff, 'The Civil Heretic', New York Times Magazine, 29 March 2009.

15 Simon Baron-Cohen et al., 'Autism occurs more often in families of physicists, engineers, and mathematicians', Autism, vol. 2, 1998, pp. 296-301.

16 Seitz wrote of 'the scientific base on which our current civilization rests' (Lahsen, 'Experience of modernity in the greenhouse', p. 214). Civilisation is built not on political rights, or a commitment to social welfare, let alone the arts, but on scientific progress of which he and his colleagues are the custodians.

17 Lahsen, 'Experience of modernity in the greenhouse', p. 216.

18 Lahsen, 'Experience of modernity in the greenhouse', p. 210.

19 Mark Hertsgaard, 'While Washington Slept', Vanity Fair, May 2006. When asked about funding for the Marshall Institute by oil companies, including Exxon, Seitz said: 'There's nothing wrong with oil money', having previously argued that all funding is without strings: 'When money changes hands it's the new owner that decides how it's used, not the old' (Frontline, Public Broadcasting Service (US), 3 April 2006). Other prominent deniers, such as Fred Singer and Sallie Balliunas, also gravitated to the Marshall Institute.

20 http ://www.marshall. org/category.php ?id= 6.

21 Aaron McCright and Riley Dunlap, 'Defeating Kyoto: The conservative movement's impact on U.S. climate change policy', Social Problems, vol. 50, no. 3, 2003.

22 Chris Mooney, The Republican War on Science, Basic Books, New York, 2005.

23 McCright and Dunlap, 'Defeating Kyoto'.

24 George Monbiot, Heat: How to stop the planet burning, Allen Lane, London, 2006, pp. 31 ff. See also Clive Hamilton, Scorcher: The dirty politics of climate change, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2007.

28 Mark Hertsgaard, 'While Washington Slept'. When asked about the ethics of his position Seitz said: 'I'm not quite clear about this moralistic issue . . . I'll leave that to the philosophers and priests.'

29 McCright and Dunlap, 'Defeating Kyoto'.

3 0 http ://www. onenewsnow. com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=210502.

31 Kate Galbraith, 'Michele Bachmann Seeks "Armed and Dangerous" Opposition to Cap-and-Trade', New York Times, 26 March 2009.

32 In a survey across 30 countries, three quarters of respondents said there should be a legally binding international agreement. Of the 92 per cent of Americans who had heard of global warming, 88 per cent supported the Kyoto Protocol. Anthony Leiserowitz, Public Perception, Opinion and Understanding of Climate Change— Current Patterns, Trends and Limitations, Occasional Paper for the Human Development Report Office, United Nations Development Program, 2007.

33 Jacques et al., 'The organisation of denial', p. 352.

34 Jon A. Krosnick, Allyson L. Holbrook and Penny S. Visser, 'The impact of the fall 1997 debate about global warming on American public opinion', Public Understanding of Science, vol. 9, 2000, pp. 239-60.

35 Riley Dunlap and Aaron McCright, 'A Widening Gap: Republican and Democrat views on climate change', Environment Magazine, vol. 50, no. 5, September/October 2008.

36 Edward Maibach, Connie Roser-Renouf and Anthony Leiserowitz, Global Warming's 'Six Americas' 2009: An audience segmentation, Yale Project on Climate Change and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, 2009.

37 Maibach et al., Global Warming's 'Six Americas'2009, p. 24.

38 Data are from Maibach et al., Global Warming's 'Six Americas' 2009, Table 20, p. 113. Note that I have reversed the order of the Cautious and Disengaged samples given by Maibach et al. Among both groups only 49 per cent agree that most scientists think global warming is happening (Table 1). The Cautious are a little more likely than the Disengaged to believe that warming is happening (Table 1), but less likely to support policies and personal actions to reduce warming (Table 2).

39 Maibach et al., Global Warming's 'Six Americas' 2009, Table 21, pp. 114-15.

40 Maibach et al., Global Warming's 'Six Americas' 2009, Figure 32, p. 37.

41 Maibach et al., Global Warming's 'Six Americas' 2009, Table 28, p. 128.

42 Hamilton, Scorcher, Chapter 10.

43 Anon., 'Telegraph YouGov poll: Labour leads Conservatives, Telegraph, 12 April 2008. Twenty three per cent disagree.

44 Jonathan Fowlie, 'Majority opposes B.C. carbon tax', Vancouver Sun, 17 June 2008.

45 Leiserowitz, Public Perception, Opinion and Understanding of Climate Change.

46 Maibach et al., Global Warming's 'Six Americas' 2009, Table 21, p. 116.

47 Leiserowitz, Public Perception, Opinion and Understanding of Climate Change.

48 Levels of concern in the United States rose to almost 50 per cent in 2006, but they rose too in other countries.

49 Leiserowitz, Public Perception, Opinion and Understanding of Climate Change, p. 9.

50 Leiserowitz, Public Perception, Opinion and Understanding of Climate Change.

51 David Lester, 'National differences in neuroticism and extraversion', Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 28, issue 1, January 2000.

52 Brendan O'Neill, 'Stupid, feckless, greedy: that's you, that is', Spiked, 16 March 2009. In another article, editor Brendan O'Neill describes environmentalism as 'a largely elitist project, beloved of politicians, priests and prudes keen to control people's behaviour and curb our excessive lifestyles' (Spiked, 4 March 2009). The RCP diverges from most Trotskyist groups which accept the science and campaign on global warming.

53 Frank Furedi, 'Climate change and the return of original sin', Spiked, 25 February 2009.

54 Writing on Spiked, some of Furedi's colleagues have characterised climate science as the 'New Scientism', science that is perverted for political purposes, made incontrovertible, put on a pedestal and then used to close down debate (James Woudhuysen and Joe Kaplinsky, 'A man-made morality tale', Spiked, 5 February 2007).

55 Anon., 'Global warming labeled a "scam"', Washington Times, 6 March 2007. Its director, Martin Durkin, characterised global warming as 'a multibillion-dollar worldwide industry, created by fanatically anti-industrial environmentalists, supported by scientists peddling scare stories to chase funding, and propped up by compliant politicians and the media'.

56 Brendan O'Neill, 'Apocalypse my arse', Spiked, 9 March 2007.

57 The links between Furedi, Durkin, Against Nature and the RCP were first made by George Monbiot in 'The Revolution Has Been Televised', Guardian, 18 December 1997.

58 The far-right conspiracist organisation established by Lyndon LaRouche actively promoted Swindle on university campuses.

59 O'Neill, 'Stupid, feckless, greedy' (emphasis added).

60 To avoid the grievous charge of 'self-plagiarism' I declare that this paragraph is similar to one in my book Scorcher.

61 A raging climate denialist, Phillips also stands for moral absolutes against 'the prevailing amorality and nihilism which is now promoted by the Gramscian left', reminding her readers that 'I have been banging on for the past two decades about our de-moralised society, the way morality has been turned into a dirty word through non-judgmentalism and moral relativism which have inverted right and wrong, good and bad, truth and lies, and the terrible damage to individuals and society which has resulted from the collapse of moral responsibility' ('A moral revival?', Spectator website, 8 July 2008).

62 This point is made by Bruno Latour, 'Why has critique run out of steam? From matters of fact to matters of concern', Critical Inquiry, vol. 30, no. 2, Winter 2004.

63 Ian Plimer, Heaven and Earth: Global Warming: The Missing Science, Connor Court Publishing, 2009; Barry Brook, 'Ian Plimer—Heaven and Earth', 23 April 2009, www.bravenewclimate. com.

64 See, for example, Ross Gelbspan, Boiling Point, Basic Books, New York, 2004. The most detailed and revealing study of the power of the fossil fuel lobby has been told for Australia by Guy Pearse in High & Dry, Penguin, Camberwell, 2007.

65 Tim Kasser, Steve Cohn, Allen Kanner and Richard Ryan, 'Some Costs of American Corporate Capitalism: A Psychological Exploration of Value and Goal Conflicts', Psychological Inquiry, vol. 18, no. 1, 2007, pp. 2-3.

66 Ian Langford, 'An Existential Approach to Risk Perception', Risk Analysis, vol. 22, no. 1, 2002. The other main defence is a belief in some form of ultimate rescuer.

67 The seminal article in this area is George Lowenstein, Christopher Hsee, Elke Weber and Ned Welch, 'Risk as Feelings', Psychological Bulletin, vol. 127, no. 2, 2001.

69 Anthony Leiserowitz, 'Climate Change Risk Perception and Policy Preferences: The Role of Affect, Imagery, and Values', Climate Change, vol. 77, 2006, pp. 45-72.

70 Maibach et al., Global Warming's 'Six Americas'2009.

71 Pew Research Center, 'Jobs Trump All Other Policy Priorities in 2009', 22 January 2009.

72 See especially Andreas Homburg, Andreas Stolberg and Ulrich Wagner, 'Coping With Global Environmental Problems: Development and First Validation of Scales', Environment and

Behavior, vol. 39, no. 6, November 2007; Kari Marie Norgaard, '"People Want to Protect Themselves a Little Bit": Emotions, Denial, and Social Movement Nonparticipation', Sociological Inquiry, vol. 76, no. 3, August 2006. In August 2009 the American Psychological Association released a draft report containing a compendious review of relevant research (Janet Swim et al., Psychology and Global Climate Change: Addressing a Multi-faceted Phenomenon and Set of Challenges, A Report by the American Psychological Association's Task Force on the Interface between Psychology and Global Climate Change (Draft), 2009, www.apa. org/science/).

73 Clive Hamilton and Tim Kasser, 'Psychological Adaptation to the Threats and Stresses of a Four Degree World', A paper for 'The World at Four Plus Degrees' conference, Oxford University, 28-30 September 2009.

74 Tom Crompton and Tim Kasser, Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role ofHuman Identity, WWF-UK, Godalming, 2009.

75 Anna Freud, The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence, International Universities Press, New York, 1967.

76 Discussed especially by Norgaard, 'People Want to Protect Themselves a Little Bit'.

77 Homburg et al., 'Coping With Global Environmental Problems'.

78 Anthony Leiserowitz, 'Climate Change Risk Perception and Policy Preferences'.

79 Tal Eyal, Michael Sagristano, Yaacov Trope, Nira Liberman and Shelly Chaiken, 'When Values Matter: Expressing values in behavioural intentions for the near vs. distant future', Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 45, 2009, pp. 35-43.

80 Quoted by Ciar Byrne, 'Scourge of the greens: Clarkson branded "a bigoted petrolhead"', Independent, 31 May 2006.

81 Donald MacLeod, 'Denise Morrey: Engineer steps up a gear', Guardian, 20 December 2005.

82 See, for example, M. Finucane, P. Slovic, C.K. Mertz, J. Flynn and T. Satterfield, 'Gender, race, and perceived risk: The "white male" effect', Health, Risk & Society, vol. 2, no. 2, 2000; Paul Kellstedt, Sammy Zahran and Arnold Vedlitz, 'Personal Efficacy, the Information Environment, and Attitudes Towards Global Warming and Climate Change in the United States', Risk Analysis, vol. 28, no. 1, 2008.

83 A website called '500 Places to See Before They Disappear' was created to enable 'passionate travelers and the eco-conscious to learn about and plan a visit to see rare cultural, historic, and natural places before they are irrevocably altered or even gone forever' (

84 Homburg et al., 'Coping With Global Environmental Problems'.

85 Norgaard, 'People Want to Protect Themselves a Little Bit', p. 379.

86 Kraig R. Naasz, 'Climate Change and the Energy Industry—the Role for Coal', Address to the USEA, 16 January 2008.

87 Crompton and Kasser, Meeting Environmental Challenges, pp. 20-1.

88 http ://www.rap tureready. com/faq/faq9 0 .html.


90 James Lovelock, The Ages of Gaia: A biography of our living Earth, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1989.

91 In fact the original story was of 'Pandora's jar', but 'jar' was mistranslated as 'box' in the sixteenth century.

92 In some versions of the myth Pandora, whose name means 'all-giving', is a goddess similar to Gaia who rises out of the ground and is the source of all fertility.

93 Renée Lertzman, 'The myth of apathy', The Ecologist, 19 June 2008.

94 Joanna Macy, 'Despair Work', in World As Lover, World As Self, Parallax Press, Berkeley, 1991, p. 15.

95 Norgaard, 'People Want to Protect Themselves a Little Bit'.

96 See Christopher Peterson, 'The Future of Optimism', American Psychologist, vol. 55, no. 1, January 2000, pp. 44-55, who considers the 'uniquely American brand of optimism'.

97 Peterson, 'The Future of Optimism'.

98 Shelley Taylor, Positive Illusions: Creative self-deception and the healthy mind, Basic Books, New York, 1989.

99 Taylor, Positive Illusions, p. xi.

100 Homburg et al., 'Coping With Global Environmental Problems', p. 774.

101 Sheena Sethi and Martin Seligman, 'Optimism and fundamentalism', Psychological Science, vol. 4, no. 4, July 1993.

102 Taylor, Positive Illusions, p. 33.

103 Taylor, Positive Illusions, p. 32.

104 Taylor, Positive Illusions, p. 64.

105 N.S. Jacobson, C.R. Martell and S. Dimidjian, 'Behavioral activation treatment for depression: Returning to contextual roots', Clinical Psychology: Science & Practice, vol. 8, 2001, pp. 255-70.

106 Taylor, Positive Illusions, p. 36.

107 Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism, Knopf, New York, 1991, p. 292.


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