Dana1981 asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 9 years ago

What do we do about conspiratorialist global warming deniers?

There's been some research lately finding that people tend to form opinions on subjects based on their ideology, and then adjust their interpretation of the facts to fit their ideology. A great example is the "birther" movement, where something like half of Republicans had doubts that President Obama was born in America despite the plethora of evidence that he was.

Obama recently released his long form birth certificate, which the conspiratorial birthers claimed was what would convince him. A new poll found that 10% of Republicans thought it was a forgery and another 18% still have doubts on the subject.

Basically they don't want to accept the reality that Obama is president, so they create this conspiracy theory whereby he's a fraud who they just have to unmask to make their preferred reality come true. If you present them with evidence they're wrong, they just wrap it into the conspiracy theory (the certificate is a forgery, the Hawaiian secretary of state and the media are in on the conspiracy, etc.).

Of course we see the exact same behavior from global warming deniers. There's nothing new about this psychology, but the difference now is that they can get on the internet and surround themselves with like-minded deniers in the blogosphere and right-wing echo chamber, whereas in the past, conspiracy theorists were constantly confronted with reality. Now they have their own denial bubbles.

I don't know what we do about this. It's been suggested that we need to convince these folks that conspiratorial thinking is irrational, but that's like convincing a Catholic that there is no god. But since facts and reality have no impact on this psychology, a different tact is necessary. Any thoughts?


Thank you jim for exemplifying what this question is about absolutely perfectly.

18 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The internet does allow people who would otherwise be isolated individuals, to group together and be among their own kind. That's the reason I believe there is an atheist movement gaining strength in society all over the world. But in that case, reality is the fringe and the delusion of religion is predominant, at least in America.

    I think the side with the truth on it, tends to win out in the long run. The problem here is that the side that produces all the delusions is the side with the money, and they have bought an entire political party. Most of the world sees the American right as a circus side show, so score one for reality, but that doesn't help those who live in America, and does even less for those who like America and want to see it succeed.

    The entire republican party has gone done lost their minds. They are willfully ignorant, hear no evil see no evil, only "evil" is actually truth, which makes sense because the bible tells us that truth is evil, you know, the forbidden fruit malarkey.

    So the only solution I can think of is to pour money into it, and buy some advertising and some legislators in Washington, like the other side does. But if you have the money to pour into it you probably take the side that protects your interests as a rich person.

    I think America is just broken, and there's no way we will be able to take a leading roll in fighting AGW. Maybe if some other countries go first, the truth will have a little more power.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I saw some thread from an evangelical some years back when George W. Bush was president. He basically refused to beleive that Saddam Hussein was dead. People of this mindset are part of the "fringe society". They are ever-alarmist and always looking for the end of the world to occur any minute. To them, everyone is a liar who isn't to be trusted.

    To some extenet, you can apply this mindset to those who don't want to even consider that global warming might be real. If your company was Duke Power (to name just one major utility company), would you want to hear that smokestack emissions contribute to global warming? Of course not. Moreover, Americans for the last thirty years have been consumers extraordinaire. Most don't have a care in the world about the larger issues facing society--so long as they can trot off to Wal-Mart and get something on sale. They complain about the government being too big, but then want the government to take care of the problems they had a hand in creating in the first place.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • john m
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Propaganda at it's best Donald Trump IS a joke and a EGO tripper he needs to get a hair cut and a real job If he gets elected the u.s will never be taken serious again It shows if your got the money you can be just as destructive as constructive when it comes to PROPAGANDA Your Fired Trump is what Americans should be yelling lol

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 9 years ago

    There are different categories of them, some are clearly deluded, while others of them are dishonest. Both types have already answered this question. Having science backgrounds, you and I are used to dealing with people that are basically (1) rational, and (2) honest, and it's very hard to accept that people could fail to be both of those. I find the dishonest ones harder to deal, and generally more despicable, because they have CHOSEN to be liars.

    There's really little point in getting involved in discussions with either type, although make that mistake repeatedly, vainly hoping that they will become either rational or honest, just this once.

    EDIT: jim z, please show us your degree in geology. I mean, if you really have one you won't mind posting evidence of it for those that you don't respect, will you? Unlike the birther whack jobs, I'll be satisfied if you post a scan of it on here.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • One thing I have tried is by asking them. "If it is a natural event, shouldn't we still do something about it? We fight fires and floods that are caused by nature don't we?" They don't even try to answer that one. They just go on and on with the same old denial rant.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Not a hell of a lot we can do. Often both believers and skeptics have a bad habit of "knowing" the answer and looking for evidence to support their answer, no matter how flimsy it is.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • JimZ
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Obama could have shown his birth certificate when Hillery called him on it. Why didn't he? The reason is because he is a two bit politician that plays with the truth. Speaking of truth, Do you know what a Truther is. Obama hired a truther as one of his czars.


    Why would Obama appoint a nut job like this to his green energy czar. You of all people should be outraged yet because you are so political, you are probably immune to any outrage. You have a problem with a few nut jobs who aren't in power. I have a problem with the nut jobs that are in the current administration.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 9 years ago

    @Jeff M

    "People who deny the truth don't want to learn the truth if it does not support their own beliefs."

    Nice thought. However, in that very concept there lies the method by which you can make people more receptive to the truth as you see it.

    Quoting Dana:

    "Basically they don't want to accept the reality that Obama is president, ..."

    Okay, so one way that Obama might make Republicans more receptive to the notion that he was born in America would be to resign.

    Is there an example of where someone tried this? Dana provides us an example:

    "... convincing a Catholic that there is no god."

    What do Catholics get from believing in god?

    - Community

    - A social network to support them if their crops fail, or they get sick.

    - A belief in life after death.

    We cannot provide all of those things outside of religion, but the social safety net can be provided by socialist governments. Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Bavaria, and the Netherlands are all Catholic states that went socialist after World War 2, and did this have any effect on their Catholics believing in god? It seems so. http://www.profes.net/rep_documentos/Noticias/Jove...

    So, what do we do about conspiratorial global warming deniers?

    Easy! Here are the things that make people politically resistant to accept the Anthropogenic Theory (AGW), and what can be done to make people less resistant to the AGW.

    1) Kill the Kyoto Protocol and replace it with a meaningless agreement. http://www.pointcarbon.com/aboutus/pressroom/press...

    2) Close down the Chicago Climate Exchange. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Climate_Excha...

    3) Kill the Energy Bill that would mandate carbon emission regulations. http://saintpetersblog.com/2011/04/jd-says-the-ren...

    4) Stop Pushing Nuclear Power

    5) Either stop it with the high mileage requirements, or show us a reasonably priced vehicle that meets your requirements and is fun to drive. http://www.toyota.com/prius-hybrid/

    6) Show us a safe economical form of energy that can be reliable and versatile to replace our fossil fuels with. http://pesn.com/2011/04/07/9501805_Rossi_Cold_Fusi...

    If you can do all of that, I will reconsider my position. Oops! My links prove you have already done that! Is it too late to take back my offer?


    "Regarding Obama's birth certificate, the burden of proof is on those who claim that it is a forgery. Until someone comes forth with evidence to the effect that it is a forgery, we must presume that it is authentic."

    No Problem:

    - Forgery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMERdJjsVyk

    Youtube thumbnail

    - Discrepancies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6n86XAjKcs

    Youtube thumbnail

    - Details http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eOfYwYyS_c

    Youtube thumbnail

    BTW: I do not get why the burden of proof should be "on those who claim it is a forgery". Is it unreasonable for Republicans to insist that vetting for holding the office of president of the USA be equal to that of getting a US passport?

    Okay, here is the science.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • BGS
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Set the Illuminati onto them.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 9 years ago

    You are describing global warming believers actually. :) They are like birthers.

    They have personally hurt my family financially, I strongly dislike this cult. I hate paying pagan pennace.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.