What Drives Climate Denial?


13-03-2023: As war and economic crisis grips much of the world, climate disasters can struggle to attract headlines. Yet they continue at an alarming pace. On the 1st of March the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu was struck by a Cyclone Judy, only to be hit hard barely 24 hours later by Cyclone Kevin. Both were Category 4 cyclones, which brought down trees blocking roads and cut power lines across the 13 main islands, affecting hundreds of thousands of people.[1] Two cyclones 24 hours apart is unprecedented, even in the Pacific. The situation is critical for some 58 000 children, especially from  the worst affected provinces of Tafea and Shefa, with many having lost both their homes and their schools.[2]

In Australia, on the 5th of March, far North Queensland was once again deluged with floodwaters after some areas received 300mm of rain, with major roads cut off due to resultant landslides.[3] The next day, the rural fire service in central Western New South Wales was battling an out-of-control bushfire which had ravaged 267 hectares in Tambaroora, north of Bathurst. The fire service issued a warning to residents that it was “too late to leave” your home, for risk of being burnt to a cinder by the fire front.[4] In Australia during the 2019-2020 summer, the country was scorched by bushfires which razed 46 million acres – an area the size of the country of Syria.[5] Devastation followed during the year 2022 in Australia, this time with flooding in February/March and October/November cascading through 25 000 homes and businesses.[6]  Stating the obvious, one result of climate fuelled disasters in Australia is having to somehow deal with vast fires and floods simultaneously.

Denialist “explanations”

Despite ongoing dangerous and extreme weather events battering the planet, climate denialism in some quarters remains rife. Denial of climate change was in decades past the preserve of the right-wing and conservative pundits, but today this includes some who firmly identify with the political left as well as those who operate as alternative media/alternative analyses. It is also rampant within the freedom movement. Global warming and climate change is a hoax, they say, it is just the media running a scare campaign. Or, they claim climate change is a false façade designed to hand ever more control over your lives by the globalists such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) and neoliberal politicians masquerading as social justice warriors.

In the face of rather obvious climate collapse, where it cannot be denied that weather patterns are drastically changing for the worse, climate denialists are somewhat forced to produce other explanations as to what is happening. One they offer is that weather modification is taking place through contrails, the trails of condensed water from aircraft travelling at high altitudes. The contrails, they claim, are actually chemtrails which contain chemicals designed to harm humans, modify the weather and/or for mind control and/or for population control and so on.[7] Yet this is very difficult to prove, and often the only “proof” offered of this is photos of the sky with unusual cloud formations. Certainly cloud seeding has been used by various governments for decades, in an effort to create precipitation (rain) in arid climates. Today this continues, even with the application of cutting edge nanotechnology to this process.[8] Yet, to say the least, it is implausible to go on to claim that efforts at cloud seeding by various governmental bodies can cumulatively or deliberately cause the never before experienced levels of flooding that is repeatedly afflicting human populations in many different countries. It is also rather disempowering. If the government has the power to change the weather and even deliberately trigger massive “natural” disasters, then we as mere mortals are powerless to prevent such carnage.

Another rather reflexive explanation for climate collapse is solar activity. Some denialists claim that a “Grand Solar Minimum” began in 2020 and will continue until 2070. According to this theory, during such a period, the sun’s magnetic field is weak, which allows extra cosmic rays into the solar system. This apparently means that this will result in an increase in the intensity and numbers of: storms, hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, downpours, blizzards, tornados, flash flooding, earthquakes and….global cooling.[9] One must observe that this pseudo-explanation is just all too convenient. At the very time when over 250 years of serious environmental pollution since the industrial revolution combines to begin triggering dangerous climatic events, we have an “explanation” which allows us either to simply sit back and live with the danger – or wait until 2070 !!

Another deflection type denial is the one that says that carbon dioxide doesn’t cause global warming at all, and that in fact, more carbon is needed to feed plant life.[10] Patently, those who claim this are confusing the carbon dioxide which is part of an environmental cycle, and the carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuels for energy, particularly coal, oil (as petrol or diesel) and gas. The carbon dioxide that humans and animals breathe out is transformed into oxygen and energy in the form of sugar by plants and trees through the process of photosynthesis.[11] This carbon can be absorbed by vegetation easily as humans and animals are themselves part of the natural environment.

However, the carbon produced by machines burning fossil fuels is plainly not part of any natural cycle – and this is what is being pumped into the atmosphere with no offset. Today, industrialisation means that some 50 billion tonnes of carbon are emitted each year, which is 40% higher than what was the case in 1990, at 35 billion tonnes.[12] When scientists first became aware of the carbon which was being released into the atmosphere via industrial activity – over 100 years ago – many assumed that the oceans would simply absorb the excess. Later, it was discovered that the oceans only absorb about 30% of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and this obviously leaves about 70% which cannot be absorbed. Excessive carbon in the atmosphere dissolves into seawater, but with the end result of acidification, which has a drastic effect on sea life. The consumption of carbonate ions impedes calcification,[13] which means that shelled animals (shrimp, crabs, lobsters, oysters, snails etc.) cannot grow their shells. The dire effect on the entire marine ecosystem is plain to envisage. Climate denialists offer no solutions to problems such as these, or the plethora of other misfortunes greenhouse gas emissions fuel.

 Alt media

It is not just carbon on its own, when released in a non-natural cycle, which is the problem. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas, but there are around 10 others, including nitrous oxide – which is mainly sourced from chemical fertilisers used for large scale agriculture.[14] Climate denialists are scarcely able to meaningfully engage with such information. A number of alternative media organisations and websites, who provide a vitally important counter to the corporate media on a range of issues, unfortunately put blinkers on when it comes to climate change. The UK based Off-Guardian, for example, was more or less founded as a much needed alternative to the ruling class propaganda for its war of regime change against Syria from 2011. Later, to their credit, they correctly identified Covid hysteria as being a cover for a different political agenda entirely, and exposed it mercilessly. They don’t openly state that “climate change is a hoax”, but strongly suggest that climate change is just another set of false ideas used to instil fear in the population.[15]

The Global Research website, which is solidly anti-war and anti-imperialist, also exposed the unprecedented Covid corporate media barrage as having virtually no scientific validity whatever. They don’t appear to have a unilateral editorial line, and often publish articles from both sides of an issue. However, they have highlighted a number of pieces which explicitly deny any climate emergency at all.[16] Similarly, the Signs of the Times (SOTT) website has provided a sterling service in ridiculing and condemning the extraordinary political repression meted out by many states throughout the world under the rubric of “Covid”. They see straight through anti-Russia propaganda, and are generally objective about anti-China narratives also. At the same time, they are explicitly denialist when it comes to the smallest suggestion that the climate distortion might present an issue which could mean significant problems in food production, housing and other vital parts of civilisation.[17]

These alt media platforms and “left-wing” climate denialists generally make the error of conflating junk Covid “science” with elementary climate science, which has been known for more than 100 years. The “science” of Covid was certainly corrupted[18] and distorted beyond recognition. The reasons for this should be apparent, in that it was necessary to provide a political cover for the fascistic removal of elementary democratic rights to enable partial economic destruction for 2 to 3 years. Capitalist ruling classes can only attack the working class and the oppressed when they enter a crisis. “Covid-19” was the false guise under which this brutal assault took place. The ruling bureaucracy in the People’s Republic of China also took such measures (apart from vaccine mandates), which was utterly unnecessary, but provided some political cover for the treacherous Stalinist government caste.

Climate distortion movement hijacked

The global ruling classes cannot simply invent a storyline about climate change overnight, as they did with Covid. This is because scientific awareness of the dire effects of carbon and other greenhouse gases on the climatehas been accumulating for more than a century. The elite have used other tactics to direct the working masses away from the root source of the problem – private capitalist ownership of the means of production. One of the first attempts to divert people away from climactic problems is the buying off and corporate co-optation of the environmental movement itself. Given that the environmental movement is classless – both billionaire fossil fuel company owners and low-income employees can agree on “save the planet” – this is relatively easy to do. The Wrong Kind of Green website has expertly exposed how “Big Green” NGOs such as 350.org has absolved capitalism of any responsibility for climate dangers.[19] Alt-left climate denialists are correct to reject the Greta Thunberg phenomenon, which likely has huge corporate backing. Greta may be correct to highlight the problem of the climate, but given her anti-Russia and anti-China politics, it is a sinch for big capital to purchase her for their own uses.[20]

Climate denialism is unfortunately boosted by the desperately misguided politics and tactics of the Extinction Rebellion (XR), which burst onto the scene in 2019. XR was bourgeois philosophy turned inside out,[21] born of demoralisation with the endless and failed attempts to politely lobby politicians and governments to take climate action.[22] The disruption tactics of XR, such as blocking traffic, had the effect of turning working class people away from a cause they may well otherwise support – measures to protect the natural environment. Many were so repelled from these actions, which often had the effect of blockading ordinary people rather than corporations or governments, that they probably gave up on the idea of even recognising environmental problems themselves. Most working people will understand a protest marching through traffic on its way to a destination. But it is another thing entirely to deliberately block and prevent people from going about their daily business, getting to and from work, collecting children from school and so on. To do this understandably invites fury, rather than a rethinking of a political issue. Arguably, XR’s deliberate disruption actions had the opposite effect of their intention, as it may well have created more climate denialists.

For socialism

Climate denialists throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is healthy to reject the ruing elite when they talk of Covid as a rationalisation for vaccine mandates, facemasks and lockdowns. However, it is distinctly unhealthy, and unintentionally right-wing, to reject climate science altogether. The politicians lied about Covid, but in relation to climate change they lie about what should be done. They can pretend they care about the climate while doing nothing, or doing the opposite. This does not mean that pollution – for this is really what climate change is about – is not a serious problem which needs to be addressed urgently. Granted, climate alarmism may not be helpful. Yet dangerous weather events are here, they are causing damage and taking lives, and they are getting worse.

Climate collapse is itself perhaps the strongest argument for socialism. The major means of production on a worldwide scaled need to be publicly owned, and held in trust by the working class, to really make inroads to a planned transition to zero carbon energy, let alone the myriad of accompanying environmental crises. While actions to protest environmental destruction remain important today, ultimately the billionaire corporate class must be expropriated if we are to have a chance at a future. The real urgency is the building of Marxist vanguard parties to help lead the working class to power. 



E: workersleague@protonmail.com

[1] www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/3/4/state-of-emergency-declared-in-vanuatu-as-second-cyclone-hits (08-03-2023)

[2] www.matangitonga.to/2023/03/07/vanuatus-children-need-help-recover-after-twin-cyclones (08-03-2023)

[3] www.abc.net.au/news/2023-03-06/flooding-in-far-north-queensland-cuts-roads-causes-landslides/102057794 (08-03-2023)

[4] www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/dubbo/tambaroora-hazardous-bush-fires-sparks-emergency-warning/news-story/ (08-03-2023)

[5] www.disasterphilanthropy.org/disasters/2019-australian-wildfires/ (08-03-2023)

[6] www.housegrail.com/flood-statistics-aus/ (08-03-2023)

[7] www.u.osu.edu/vanzandt/2019/04/18/the-governments-hidden-agenda-a-look-inside-chemtrails/ (08-03-2023)

[8] https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/03/28/1048275/scientists-advance-cloud-seeding-capabilities-with-nanotechnology/ (08-03-2023)

[9] www.strangesounds.org/2021/04/grand-solar-minimum-cycle-duration.html (08-03-2023)

[10] www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2009/10/07/scientist-carbon-dioxide-doesnt-cause-global-warming (08-03-2023)

[11] www.education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/photosynthesis/ (08-03-2023)

[12] www.ourworldindata.org/greenhouse-gas-emissions (08-03-2023)

[13] www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections/ocean-coasts/ocean-acidification (08-03-2023)

[14] www.byjus.com/biology/list-of-greenhouse-gases/ (11-03-2023)

[15] www.off-guardian.org/2021/08/16/the-ipcc-report-the-pivot-from-covid-to-climate/ (11-03-2023)

[16] www.globalresearch.ca/1500-scientists-say-there-no-climate-emergency-real-environment-movement-hijacked/5809791 (11-3-2023)

[17] www.sott.net/article/477995-New-scientific-evidence-suggests-temperatures-have-been-stable-in-Greenland-for-60-years-save-for-a-sudden-1C-jump-in-1994 (11-03-2023)

[18] www.redfireonline.com/2020/06/06/covid-19-the-corruption-of-science/ (11-03-2023)

[19] www.wrongkindofgreen.org/the-group-of-ten/ (11-03-2023)

[20] www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/greta-thunberg-climate-action-three-years-movement/ (11-03-2023)

[21] www.redfireonline.com/2019/10/07/xr-the-faux-rebellion/ (11-03-2023)

[22] www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/09/extinction-rebellion-xr-climate-protesters-march-london-hyde-park (11-03-2023)

Photo: Burketown, in Far North Queensland, Australia, immersed in floodwaters as seen by air in early March, 2023. http://www.floodlist.com

5 thoughts on “What Drives Climate Denial?

  1. This is a very poor article indeed so poor one cannot know where to start and finish from. Taking into account you are based in Holland and there have been massive protests by farmers who are being told to reduce production due to ‘climate change’ then clearly an understanding of the 4th Industrial Counterrevolution and the depopulation agenda…
    There is no ‘climate crisis’ there is an ongoing capitalist meltdown, an attempt to reduce population (indigenous primarily), consumption, energy etc.


    1. The poor understanding is on your side. You missed one of the essential points. The ruling elite can use climate change to deceive everyone else in order to further capitalist attacks. This is happening in Holland and in most other Western countries. Climate collapse is a part of the capitalist meltdown, it cannot be separated from it.


  2. Most city centric deniers don’t have a fucking clue.
    We live in a rural farming area in Australia. In the past twenty five years we have witnessed record floods, record droughts and record firestorms.
    The first ‘Greenhouse warming’ sceptics in the 1970s and 1980s were oil and gas corporations and their political puppets. Now they’re faux Green. Doesn’t that seem just a tad suspicious to the new deniers?
    FFS. Take a trip out of the suburbs and see the climate chaos. It’s happening right now.


  3. What you have essentially missed is the role of geoengineering to maintain high prices within the EU and at the same time to hide the agricultural mountains in butter, fruit wine etc. by blaming ‘extreme weather conditions’.
    Capitalism itself is engineering a ‘climate collapse’ by using latest inventions in technology. By destroying local produce they subsidise producers out of existence and import from the third world.
    Until 1980 Greece was based on 40% agriculture now it’s less than 10%.
    By the end of the decade will be less than 5%. The June storms prevalent in the last decade that wipe out tonnes of agriculture are engineered by companies that exist publically and fly planes specifically for that purpose.
    Those who pretend terrorism is real ie 9/11 call those who don’t buy the propaganda ….deniers.
    It’s no coincidence the same phrase is being used now ie ….climate deniers….


  4. ‘Geo engineering’?
    They can’t even get consistent or predictable results with cloud seeding after more than seventy years of trying.
    Do you realise how vast the atmosphere is?


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