The new climate denial: climate economics
A conversation with economist Noah Kaufman
I always thought that the increasingly undeniable physical impacts of climate change would eventually lead climate deniers to accept the science. Of course, I was wrong. They’ll never do that because their objection was never actually the science — instead it is about the politics.
Rather than accept the science, deniers have adapted by coming up with an entire new set of objections. From Heatmap:
The climate denial movement has entered a new phase, suggests new research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). The study analyzed transcripts of more than 12,000 climate-related YouTube videos posted since 2018 and found evidence that “old denial” narratives (Global warming isn’t real! Humans have nothing to do with it!) are becoming less common as the effects of climate change become undeniable.
I’ve talked about these new arguments before. For example, I wrote previously about how climate deniers now make a general argument that “there is no evidence that climate change is not an ‘emergency’”, a claim which confuses moral judgments with scientific analysis.
More generally, climate deniers now focus much more on economics and energy, rather than science:
In particular, economic arguments against action on climate change have become prominent. It is focused on economic models that predict that a few degrees of climate change will have a minimal impact on our economy, suggesting that climate change is not something we should worry our prettly little heads about.
But not all economists agree with this. I talked to one recently, Noah Kaufman, an economist at Columbia. Despite having a Ph.D. from the Univ. of Texas, Noah is one of my favorite economists on Twitter. He joins me to talk about a new paper he wrote with colleagues from Columbia on how economics can help us solve the climate problem. Watch the interview here:
Thanks for reading The Climate Brink! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.