“Avarice, ambition, lust, etc. are species of madness.”-Baruch Spinoza
Climate denial in the United States is, at minimum, a five-billion dollar industry. There are industry leaders, many of them registered as non-profits, who churn out material, send out lobbyists and organizers daily, and target climate scientists and activists with malicious intent. The entire project is funded by the Fossil Fuel Industry. The mechanics of the climate denial industry are essential reading for anyone looking for accurate information on climate change.
The Fossil Fuel Industry is worth an estimated ten trillion dollars (or $10,000,000,000,000). With trillions of dollars at hand, a $5 billion investment (between 2000 and 2016) in stopping climate change legislation in the United States is a relatively inexpensive fix. Climate change legislation would force the shift from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy such as solar, wind, and geothermal. Further, concurrent legislation would ban the creation of disposable plastics, which are also petroleum products. Regulatory action would raise vehicle efficiencies and eliminate gasoline engines. Climate change legislation and regulation are a valid economic threat to the status quo methods of doing business for fossil fuel companies.
However, their method of doing business is killing the planet quickly. The explanation of the climate denial industry is a story of rampant greed and deliberate myopia. The industry as a whole ignores the consequences of their business behaviors.
The fossil fuel industry follows a well-known playbook of deliberate and public denial. The Tobacco Industry knew as early as 1953 that cigarettes cause cancer, but they were not stopped until 2006 when tobacco companies were convicted of racketeering. They were able to sell cigarettes with impunity for another fifty years because of their denial campaigns. The fossil fuel industry knew definitively by mid-1970’s that oil and natural gas were heating up the planet and that continued burning would bring great harm to every corner of the globe. By using the same playbook as the tobacco industry, they have escalated the quantities of fossil fuels being burned each year across the globe. Looking at their business plans as opposed to their public relations campaigns, they are seeking to burn even greater quantities in the next ten years.
Most Americans have now experienced some or all of the Climate Denial tactics. The earliest and still pernicious campaign is to deny that climate change exists. When denial is not as effective, the next set of tactics include attacking personally and professionally anyone who promotes science education and climate change advocacy, including clergy. Charges that the science is flawed or that scientists are biased float freely through the public square.
The final set of tactics is to delay legislation and the implementation of climate change solutions as long as possible. Their minions will broadcast that climate change is not that important or even if it’s real, there is nothing that needs to be done about it. Climate change is good for the economy, they will argue. They will twist technological developments to argue that climate change cannot be solved.
As the pressure mounts and more people press for action on climate change, they will proclaim that too much time has passed, and nothing can be done – just keep the world economy as it is. Each and every step is lies and deceit.
Climate change denial is about greed and that is all it is. Review this article on railroad corporations for an insight into another pot of the billions of dollars.
If you would like to see the almost two hundred arguments that the climate denial industry has produced, you can go here: https://skepticalscience.com/