Did you know despite decades of scientific evidence that humans cause climate change, people and politicians continue to reject its existence?

While the vast majority of individuals claim to be concerned about the environment, a large percentage of people also ignore, minimize, turn off, or separate themselves from appropriately addressing the issues.

With climate-by-climate movements, protests, climate emergencies, and extensive media coverage on the internet, local television improves the climate; there is a new optimism on this issue.

A protest on the current climate change Denial
A protest on the current climate change Denial from a radical environmentalist

But with optimism comes pessimism as many people deny climate change protests and make fun of people who actively want to change. These people are termed ‘climate sadists’ who mock young people for protesting and actively alert the people on global warming.

Here are the ten reasons why people deny climate change! 

Table of Contents

1. Psychological Denial

Our human brain is one of the main parts of our body to determine rational and irrational thoughts and logic. The emergence of climate change issues creates a disbalance amongst our minds on the daily activities that one is carter to believe. According to George Marshall, 2014 he describes the psychological denial in three businesses, which are:

Confirmation bias

It is the tendency to search, interpret and recall information in a way that confirms support to one’s beliefs and values. As climate change has no beginning and ending, it makes things difficult for the mind to process it and believe that climate change is real.

It does not align with our beliefs and values, causing a lack of conformity and denying global warming. 

Availability bias

Available evidence tends to make up people’s minds. This nonbelief causes ignorance of the proof resulting in suppressing their views on global tactics and believing that global warming is not genuine. This incomprehension can affect climate activists as much as deniers and drive both further apart. 

Rational and Emotional brain

The rational brain is based on logic and reason, whereas the emotional brain communicated through emotions, storytelling, and images. So, the emotional brain is poorly suited to digest threats in the long term.

The rational brain intervenes in planning and forward-thinking; it can sometimes actively interfere, just as what we do, both personally and culturally, with climate change.

The rational brain is strongly advocated by theories, graphs, projects, and facts. It allows us to assess the facts and, for the most part, identify that there is a significant problem.

2. Political Denial 

Rex Tillerson on the prediction of greenhouse gases.
US Secretary of the State Rex Tillerson on the prediction of greenhouse gases.
  • All countries are equally guilty of producing carbon dioxide and encouraging climate change, most developed countries like China and the United States of America. Developed countries have had the most significant amount of natural gas and oil for decades than developing countries.
  • Have you heard 25% of the US’s human-produced CO₂ is generated in the atmosphere, the EU produces another 22%? Africa produces just under 5%. As the United States is the largest producer of natural gas and oil.

States such as Texas and Virginia are high producers of natural gas. It makes it politically difficult for conservative governors and politicians to support regulation that could put nations in 1.2 million dollars of fossil fuel jobs in jeopardy.

  • The free market, anti-regulatory sentiment, and vast oil and gas resources may have made American politicians and citizens uniquely susceptible to climate denial. Encouragement of political leaders’ influence on denial of climate change and greed on economic power generate anti-climate change activists to believe it’s not real.
  • Political leaders such as Inhofe cautioned America to fight with all fear and hysteria created by phony sciences in a speech on the Senate floor in 2003. He also believed that it is artificial global warming, a hoax perpetrated on the American people. Furthermore, this influences more people to disregard climate change and its effects in the next 30 years.

3. Denial of science

  • Most of the deniers on climate change give a blind eye to the graphs and facts that global warming is increasing. They deny that scientific proof is fake or based on conspiracy theories that climate change is not genuine and is a natural part of the human cycle.
  • Deniers suggest carbon dioxide (CO2) is such a minor component of the atmosphere; it cannot have a significant heating effect. Alternatively, climate scientists may be fabricating data to make it appear as if the earth is warming (a global conspiracy that would take thousands of scientists in more than 100 countries to pull off).
  • These claims are untrue, and scientists have reached a strong consensus on the causes of climate change. Despite the enormous increase in complexity, climate models that anticipate global temperature rises have been remarkably consistent over the last 30 years, demonstrating that science has produced a reliable result.

4. Misinformation on climate change

Misinformation from the scientist that climate change is not genuine causes negative impacts to the public. It fosters misconception and denies scientific shreds of evidence on global warming. It also affects how the public talks about climate change.

Early work focused on scientific topics, with Rahmstorf (2004) listing three types of skepticism:

  • Trend: – The internet and influencers consider it a trend that causes people to believe that global warming isn’t happening.
  • Attribution: – Most political leaders believe that climate change is somewhat artificial and humans aren’t causing global warming. This supremacy withholds deniers to change their perspective on global warming.
  • Impact: – In the next 50 years, the collision on the production of natural gas, use of fossil fuels don’t play a role in global warming, and climate impacts aren’t significant.

5. Conspiracy Theories

  • The conspiracy theories involve secret plans and research conducted by the government for an ulterior motive. The influence of conspiracy theories only adds dangers to the people and stimulates the denial of climate change.
  • The latest conspiracy theory is “Climategate,” referring to an incident in 2009 when climate scientists’ emails were stolen and claimed to prove that scientists were fraudulently manipulating climate data to deceive the public. Climategate may have contributed to the decrease in public concern about climate change over that period.

6. Fake Experts

7. Economic Denial

Climate change and its changes in the last 50 years.
The description of climate change and its changes in the last 50 years.
  • The use of technological innovations on renewable energy sets an immense expense on slowly stopping usage of fossil fuels which contributes to the denial of climate change. Spending 1% of the global GDP, Economists believe that we could address climate change right now.
  • It might be considerably lower if the cost savings from improving human health and expanding the global green economy are included. However, if nothing is done now, it will cost more than 20% of world GDP by 2050.
  • Deniers point out that plastics have changed the perspective on living. Take a look around you – how many plastic items do you see now? You’re probably holding something made of plastic right now.

Plastics, of course, have their drawbacks, primarily when used as a single-use item and then discarded. Plastic would not exist without fossil fuels and is utilized to create the bulk of plastic items today.

  • Deniers claim that Fossil fuels are inexpensive. These fuels are relatively easy to source and generate, and there was an ample supply. Furthermore, fossil fuels have fuelled our society for 250 years, the infrastructure to transport them affordably is already in place.

8. Unattainable expectations 

  • Weather Conditions: –  Climate change deniers raise the fact that scientists are unable to predict the longer impacts of climate change. When the weather can’t be anticipated for the next day, deniers believe that climate change for the next ten years is an impossible expectation to predict. In weather conditions, one cannot anticipate the exact route for a storm or a hurricane but can only forecast the temperature that ceases to exist the next day.
  • Technology Modules: – Deniers point out that with climate change models, the models are ever-changing with the development of time that includes process, rely on few approximations, and increase their resolution as technology develops.

9. Humanitarian Denial 

  • Climate change deniers believe the temperature rise is good for the summer to grow more crops. The effects of higher temperature on each given yield will determine the crop’s optimal temperature for growth and reproduction.
  • In Tropical locations, warming may benefit the types of crops that are commonly cultivated, or farmers may be able to switch to crops already grown in warmer climates.
  • But with heatwaves as a frequent occurrence, it causes more loss in agricultural sectors. High nighttime temperatures, for example, impacted maize yields across the Corn Belt in 2010 and 2012, and premature budding generated $220 million in Michigan cherry losses in 2012.
  • Deniers believe while increased carbon dioxide (CO2) encourages plant growth, it also lowers the nutritional value of most food crops. When atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise, most plant species, wheat, soybeans, and rice, have lower protein and critical mineral concentrations.
  • This direct effect of rising CO2 on crop nutritional value poses a possible health risk to humans.
  • Deniers of climate change will argue that more people die from the cold than from the heat. Thus, warmer winters would be beneficial. It is quite deceptive as vulnerable people to cold could pass away due to substandard housing and the inability to heat their homes. They are killed by society, not by the weather.

10. Denial of crisis

  • It is no coincidence that our earth is facing global changes every day as we speak, yet it also questions whether that political, economic, and humanitarian denial exists. There is a lack of acknowledgment and refusal that global warming will become a disaster in thirty years.
  • Denial of climate change declares that scientists are not so accurate concerning change in the climate.
  • Moreover, climate change denial resembles past biases such as slavery, women’s right to vote, colonial control, discrimination, and criminalizing homosexuality.

Strengthening workers’ rights and environmental rules, permitting same-sex weddings, and prohibiting smoking was done in the past and brought forward. The ever-increasing changes in technology and generational eras over the years can tackle Climate change.

Wrapping Up

Despite the ever-changing evidence and facts showing climate change is genuine and not a joke, people still deny this change today. The media are the impactful brainwashers, fostering people’s belief in climate change as a hoax.

(Last Updated on September 1, 2021 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Thinley Doma Ghale holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Kathmandu University. She enjoys writing articles on climate change animals and loves to travel and experience new ideas, places, meeting people, and learning from them. As a social science student, research has always been her area of interest.