Firstly, I'd like to say that this is an opinion piece rather than a research article, although I have tried to reference academic expertise for anyone who would like to delve more deeply into this. Climate change denial is not my area of expertise although I'm fascinated with communication around climate issues and the key role conversations and media portrayals have, in tackling what is not just a scientific problem, but a social and economic problem.
 EPA: Climate Change in the Irish Mind
|Artwork by Michael Sloan|
'a well-oiled, complicated, cultural and political machine of the right wing of the conservative movement.'
'Science denial causes a range of damaging impacts on society. This is particularly the case with climate science denial, which has resulted in strong polarization around a non-controversial scientific issue, and prolific dissemination of climate misinformation.'
Cook discusses the term 'climate sceptic' which he critiques as being invalid, as true scepticism involves an evidence based approach, as opposed to climate denialism,
'which involves denial of inconvenient evidence and eager adoption of pseudo-scientific arguments if they support preconceptions.
He goes on to discuss the connection of acceptance of climate science with political affiliation, which he says has a greater influence than other factors, such as gender, race or economic status, and outlines that:
'Climate science denial is not a coherent, evidence-based worldview—rather, it is a collection of rhetorical arguments pursuing political objectives.'
Countering this denial and misinformation is not an easy task. For some people the misinformation becomes an integral part of their world view, and trying to dislodge this can have a negative effect. Cook suggests than critical thinking and inoculation are useful tools.These perhaps are not so useful in day to day conversations (see original article for details) but are probably techniques that should be employed widely in educational settings.