QAnon conspiracies starting to overlap with climate denial networks

  • Published on September 1st, 2020

Hey champ, got a minute? Grab a seat, buddy, it’s time we have… The Talk. You may have noticed some changes recently in your body politic, like hair-brained conspiracy theories growing in new places, or new feelings about your fellow Americans – specifically their seemingly ever-more-tenuous grasp on reality. Don’t worry, you’re right to be concerned, these things are not in any way normal and in fact pose a tangible threat.

qannon meets climate change denial

By Climate Denier Roundup

We’re talking about QAnon, and if your child (son, most likely) is extremely online and easily influenced by unrealistic stories, or if you have a parent (father, most likely) who’s retired and lonely and also increasingly online, or a regular church-goer, they may already be at risk to be one of the millions of Facebook users swept up in this bizarre alternate universe.

While that’s bad news for you, personally, because you have to deal with them, it’s also bad news for the climate.

Because the same people who buy into QAnon, and believe that President Trump is secretly taking down an elite cabal of cannibalistic Satanic Democratic child sex traffickers, are also increasingly getting into the climate denial conspiracies that an elite cabal of alarmist scientists and Democrats are scaring people about climate change as a guise to seize control of every aspect of your life.

And unlike QAnon, which started in October 2017 with the claim that Hillary Clinton’s extradition was “already in motion” and has yet to be right about anything, there’s actually evidence for the claim that QAnon and climate deniers are converging, according to a new report.

It shows that although professional climate deniers haven’t begun embracing the alternate reality of QAnon — where, as of last summer, JFK Jr. was not dead but actually in hiding for 20 years so that he could reemerge to endorse Trump as his new running mate at a July 4th celebration — QAnon influencers started talking about climate change in May, and since then there’s been an uptick in the overlap between the two camps.

Accounts that share QAnon content are tightly linked and prolific posters, so it’s going to mean quicker amplification when climate denial accounts have something to promote.

One example of the climate denial pickup of Q is Naomi Seibt, the anti-semitc grifter who Heartland is trying to prop up as a counterweight to Greta Thunberg, has started to talk about the QAnon conspiracies.

For their coverage of the report, DeSmog’s Sharon Kelly reached out to Seibt to ask about her forays into the Q-universe in her YouTube videos. Despite the fact that the FBI has labeled QAnon a domestic terror threat, Seibt said that while she doesn’t consider herself “an active part of the QAnon movement”, she does “consider it a positive contribution to the global political discourse.” She did caveat her support though, that it only holds “as long as the QAnon movement continues its peaceful protest against matters of injustice.”

But given that QAnon activism includes kidnapping a child and killing an adult, and that reddit banned its biggest QAnon subreddit two years ago for its constant incitement to violence, it’s clear this was never a “peaceful protest against matters of injustice.”

QAnon is what it has been from the start: a fantasy world, not built from scratch but applied to this existing one. It’s a filter, through which adherents can believe they see the truth that elites are keeping hidden from them, a worldview through which incoming information is either incorporated to support the narrative, or if contradictory, is rejected and twisted such that it, too, becomes proof that “they” are scared you’re on the right track. And of course, at the most basic level, the idea that the elite use their money and power for perverse ends is unfortunately quite far from far-fetched, providing just enough grim reality to make it feel authentic.

Like all conspiracy theories, it sucks in those eager for some deeper meaning and purpose in life, subconsciously seeking a way to regain some sense of autonomy in a world that’s rendered them otherwise powerless.

But in their shared delusion, there is some sense of power that may soon become quite literal, because they’re running for Congressional office — 78 former or current congressional candidates embrace QAnon.

How do people believe something that’s so consistently proven itself wrong?

Turns out, they thought of that, and indicated that some disinformation is necessary, so that those getting arrested in “the storm” won’t see it coming. That means that whatever gets disproven, no matter how seriously they had just believed it, gets written off as necessary misdirection.

And so no matter what happens in the real world, online where anything’s possible, Q-Anon will go on and on an’on….

(Crossposted with DailyKos.)

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