Discover more from Sustainability by numbers
Climate deniers and climate doomers are more alike than they’d like to think
Their input messages might be different, but both lead us to inaction.
If you’ve read some of my other work, you might have heard me say that climate doomers can be as bad as climate deniers. At least when it comes to driving positive action on climate change.
This pisses some people off, but I’ll say it again, because it’s true. Much to their discontent, deniers and doomers achieve the same thing: inaction.
I made a quick visualisation to show this.
Most of us see deniers and doomers as being at opposite ends of the spectrum. That’s how they see themselves too. That’s shown in the top panel.
But they’re not as different as you – or they – might think. Sure, the input messages they promote are opposites. Deniers say there’s no problem. Doomers say the problem is so big and hopeless that it’ll be the end of us. But the outcome and what they ultimately achieve are almost identical. Both tell us that we should do nothing. This is shown in the lower panel.
Climate deniers want us to choose to do nothing; that it’s not a problem and doesn’t require any action. Climate doomers tell us that we don’t even have a choice to do something; we’re already screwed and it’s too late to act. Follow either and we end up in the same place of inaction. That’s a place that we can’t afford to be.
In the end, doomerism is no better than denial. And from my experience (which is an n=1, sorry!), outright climate denial is shrinking while climate doomerism is on the rise. That’s why we need to focus as much – if not more – attention on tackling the latter.
Subscribe to get new posts in your inbox.