The concerted effort to discredit the scientific agreement over man-made global warming has been continuing for two decades in the United States and shows no sign of weakening. It is very often described as an attempt on the part of corporate America, most notably the fossil fuel industries, to hinder governmental regulations on their activities.
While emphasizing this dimension of the US climate denial movement, this article also aims to show the complexity of the movement, rather than the mere defense of the narrowly-defined and short-term economic interests of the oil and gas industries, by shedding light on two additional factors which have been instrumental in blocking strong climate action. First, climate denial stems from the strong ideological commitment of small-government conservatives and libertarians to laisser-faire and their strong opposition to the regulation.
Second, to disarm their opponents, US climate deniers often rest their case on the defense of the American way of life, defined by high consumption and ever-expanding material prosperity.
Google has made “substantial” contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington despite its insistence that it supports political action on the climate crisis.
Among hundreds of groups, the company has listed on its website as beneficiaries of its political giving are more than a dozen organizations that have campaigned against climate legislation, questioned the need for action, or actively sought to roll back Obama-era environmental protections.
The list includes the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative policy group that was instrumental in convincing the Trump administration to abandon the Paris agreement and has criticized the White House for not dismantling more environmental rules.