Two leading scholars have written an excellent analysis of what I’ve been calling the Denier Industrial Complex.
Riley E. Dunlap, a sociology professor at Oklahoma State, and Aaron M. McCright of Michigan State call it the “climate change denial machine” in their book chapter, “Organized Climate Change Denial,” for the new Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society.
In a note, the authors explain:
The actions of those who consistently seek to deny the seriousness of climate change make the terms “denial” and “denier” more accurate than “skepticism” and “skeptic,” particularly since all scientists tend to be skeptics.
Some try to downplay the central role of the denial machine in U.S. politics, but the fact is that what the deniers have accomplished in this country is unique in the world, going far beyond the spread of disinformation. They have allowed fossil fuel interests to “capture” almost an entire political party — at least these in national office (see National Journal: “The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones”).
In this country, the power of the Denier Industrial Complex is magnified by the absurd extra-constitutional, super majority “requirement” for 60 votes in the Senate. As long as the machine operates and Republicans in office lack the guts to challenge it, the chances of serious climate action remain severely limited.
Here is the conclusion of this important article: