The psychodynamics of climate change denial – Professor Paul Hoggett


UWE Bristol

Published on Sep 10, 2015

It is now common for experts to talk about people ‘being in denial’ about climate change. But what do we mean by denial here? There is a danger that we psychologise and think of this purely in individual terms. The term denial is so significant precisely because it is a key dimension of a perverse culture in developed societies. This lecture looks at what one some have called ‘denialism’, that is the hard core denial lobby who are supported by oil, coal and right wing think tanks. Denialists deploy a perverse logic which, for example, insists that if something cannot be proved beyond doubt then it cannot be true. But science doesn’t proceed in this way, all scientific communities are faced by evidence that does not fit with the emerging scientific consensus. No science is beyond doubt but climate change ideologists, like creationists, use this to question the entire truth value of the scientific outlook.

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