Climate change denial and white nationalism – allies in conspiracy madness

  • Published on August 27th, 2018

On Tuesday, Anthony Watts ran an announcement on his climate denial website WUWT about a new Norwegian study of “cool dudes” – the characterization of the typical old white conservative male denier. Coinciding with study’s publication, the study author will lead a new research hub in Sweden, the Centre for Studies of Climate Change Denialism, to explore the relationship between the rise of climate denial and right-wing nationalism. (Needless to say, we’re really excited about this!)

climate denial and fake news

By Climate Denier Roundup

This new project will map how far-right nationalism in Europe uses climate change denial arguments, do a version of the ExxonKnew-type investigation into Sweden’s industries (sidenote: see DeSmog’s latest on what Shell knew), and map out how conservative think tanks in Sweden communicate and lobby around climate change.

Unsurprisingly, the WUWT headline for its write-up of this reasonable project is “Eye-roller study: ‘Climate change denial strongly linked to right-wing nationalism.’” Watts simply copy and pastes the press release, adding a single line of commentary: “From the ‘Nuttier than Lewandowsky’ department.”

For those not keeping track at home, Watts here is referring to Australian psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky. Deniers love to attack Lew because of his research showing climate change deniers are given to conspiracy theories. (Oh, and Lewandowsky published a piece in the Conversation yesterday about the overlap between conspiracy theories and creationism. Coincidence, conspiracy or divine intervention?)

The day after he mocked the new research and took a shot at Lewandowsky, Watts posted about going live on an online radio program to talk about wildfires and climate change. We didn’t bother listening, but boy are we glad we clicked over to the online radio’s website, The Micro Effect.

Aside from hocking a “Youngevity” product to “re-mineralize your body,” about halfway down almost every page on the website are two of their “favorite YouTubes.” The first is an animated libertarian slideshow: The Philosophy of Liberty. Fairly standard stuff.

The second one is… amazing. “Disney Illuminati Satanism & Sex symbols Exposed” is an 11 minute video with over 10 million views about how Disney is “controlling your thought process by supernatural means or demonic means.”

The video’s evidence for “the Satanic Luciferian Illuminati indoctrination of our children through subliminal messages in Disney movies,” consists of:

The video’s most unforgivable offense, though, is the slut shaming of the Little Mermaid for wearing a bikini top (as opposed to, what, something like a wetsuit from head to tail?) The narrator asks if this is “what Jesus Christ would have you wear, ladies?” Apparently, Jesus hates clamshell bikini tops.

What does this have to do with climate change? Nothing. Just pointing out that Anthony Watts said research into the connection between right-wing nationalism and climate denial is “nuttier” than a researcher who points out the real and credible links between climate denial, conspiracy theories and creationism.

Then Watts went on a radio station whose favorite YouTube is about how Disney cartoons are a “Satanic Luciferian Illuminati” conspiracy.

(Originally appeared at DailyKos. Image by Tom Toles at GoComics.)

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