For decades, the urgent need for climate action was stymied by what came to be known as “climate denialism” (or its more mild cousin, “climate skepticism”).
In an effort to create public confusion and stall political progress, the fossil fuel industry poured tens of millions of dollars into the pockets of foundations, think tanks, lobby groups, politicians and academics who relentlessly questioned the overwhelming scientific evidence that human-caused climate change is real and requires urgent action.
Thankfully, the climate deniers have now mostly been exposed and repudiated. Relatively few politicians now express misgivings about the reality or science of climate change (the current Republican nominee for U.S. president being a notable exception, along with some other conservative bright lights like Sarah Palin and Canadian MP Cheryl Gallant).
That’s the good news.
The bad news is we face a new form of climate denialism — more nuanced and insidious, but just as dangerous.