Why Are People Still Denying Climate Change?


Quick Answer

According to reporters from Think Progress and Bloomberg News, people deny climate change partly because of an echo chamber effect that shuns differing opinions and partly because of aggressive campaigns by the fossil fuel industry. As of 2016, climate change denial is supported by 16 percent of the American public.

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Full Answer

In May of 2015, a study was published that examined why climate change denial remains so popular in the United States Congress, even as climate change denial among the general public has become a minority opinion. The study found a particularly strong echo chamber effect among congressional climate change deniers. This effect boosted the opinions of deniers, creating the illusion of a large number of scientific opinions against climate change.

In addition, Bloomberg News reported that ExxonMobil and the Koch foundations engaged in extensive funding of climate change skepticism in the United states, including funding lobbying campaigns in Congress. These organizations also gave large sums of money to scientific studies that supported skepticism of climate change. This funding has been highly influential in getting opinions against climate change into the mainstream media, thus influencing the public.

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