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Climate Change Emergency: Denialism

"I am now substantially more pessimistic about the future . . .  While there have been positive shifts, such as declining coal use in some countries and cheaper renewable energy, these are dwarfed both by rising emissions and an alarming trend towards denialism. By this I don't just mean the overt climate denial of some US politicians stupid enough to call global warming a 'hoax' on Twitter. . . . I'm talking, in addition, about the kind of denial that we all practice, the 'implicatory denial' of climate change that allows us to keep on living our lives as usual despite the obvious implications of what climate scientists are telling us. It's as if we don't really believe them" (xi).

Lynas, Mark. Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency. 4th Estate, 2020.

"So far, we have relied on scientists and investigative journalists to keep us informed and to rally us to action. But their work has induced a curious, counter-intuitive phenomenon: the domestication of horror. Scientists study and measure; journalists interpret and report. The better job scientists and journalists do in analyzing and explaining things, the more they tame the horror of what is coming. Furthermore, they teach us to approach the Anthropocene as observers, but this is problematic: no one will be an observer at an increase of 3° C. We must move from a cognitive, observer understanding of our situation to a felt embodiment of our predicament, from intellectual knowledge to bodily acknowledgment" (496-7).

Schenck, David, and Larry R. Churchill. "Ethical Maxims for a Marginally Inhabitable Planet." Perspectives in Biology & Medicine, vol. 64, no. 4, Oct. 2021, pp. 1-18.

"Because these numbers [i.e. degrees Celsius] are so small, we tend to trivialize the difference between them—one, two, four, five. Human experience and memory offer no good analogy for how we should think of those thresholds, but, as with world wars or recurrences of cancer, you don't want to see even one" (12).

Wallace-Wells, David. The Uninhabitable Earth: Life after Warming. Tim Duggan Books, 2019.

"[I]dentity protective cognition drives individuals who inhabit ideological communities where scepticism about climate change has become a badge of group identifcation to avoid acquiring any knowledge that might lead to exclusion or ostracism — that might lead them to lose this badge" (7821).

"When it comes to issues such as climate change, individuals have little practical incentive to hold true beliefs because as individuals they have a negligible impact on both the climate and political decision-making concerning the climate. . . . By contrast, forming true beliefs can be extremely costly if such beliefs happen to constitute heresies in the ideological community that one inhabits and values" (7822).

Williams, Daniel. "Motivated Ignorance, Rationality, and Democratic Politics." Synthese, vol. 198, 2021, pp. 7807-27.

"[S]kepticism toward issues such as climate change . . . may be caused in part by the unique implications climate change solutions hold for certain individuals' ideological values, rather than just simply a blanket tendency for certain individuals or groups to dislike science or deny catastrophe and problems" (820-21).

Campbell, Troy H., and Aaron C. Kay. "Solution Aversion: On the Relation between Ideology and Motivated Disbelief." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 107, no. 5, Nov. 2014, pp. 809-24.