Climate Change Denial

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May 31, 2006


George Marshall @ 9:20 pm

About George Marshall

George_marshallI have seventeen years experience in research and campaigning and outreach for environmental and indigenous rights organisations. I have worked as a senior campaigner for Greenpeace and the Rainforest Foundation, and as a policy consultant to the German and Papua New Guinean governments. I am founder of the Climate Outreach and Information Network and live with my wife Annie and two children in alow energy house

Before joining COIN I was one of the founders and co-ordinators of Rising Tide, a national network of grassroots climate change campaign groups.

Please feel free to contact me at

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7 responses to “About”

  1. Jo Foster says:

    I like your blog – well-written and interesting. My neighbours are on the point of adding a huge anti-mast campaign to their current anti-CPZ one! It’s disappointing that more people will act anti-something than pro-something positive.

  2. Bill Dowling says:

    As a FOE local group co-ordinator I cant help but like your blog. I think I understand why we are doing so little, but I am not sure that helps achieve anything.
    The blog I am actually looking for is one that suggests how we can get some urgent action on this!

    My view is – as Al Gore says -it is an “inconvenient truth.”
    People believe what they choose to believe, until the truth impacts on them more directly, particularly when they have a vested financial or lifestyle interest in the status quo.
    More importantly, one powerful country exists that supports an opposing view. One that virtually created the sort of lifestyle that has been held up for about a century now as an example to follow – that which is creating the problem!
    This confuses them at the very least, and conveniently excuses them from responsibility and taking any action.
    Unless and until we can get the USA signed up to Kyoto all of the “true believers” efforts to stop climate change are like a drop in a bucket with a big hole in it.
    Presumably this will not happen until the flood waters from the melting icecaps are lapping at the entrance to the White
    House, or some other equally significant environmental catastrophe impacts on that country?
    We desperately need the USA to take the lead (or at least join in!)this battle – as it has on terrorism and democracy.
    Is a major demo. in the USA, or a UN mandate called for, or what?
    With the permafrosts in Siberia and Alaska now melting in a self fueling cycle – have we any time left for the lead by example of such small fry to take sufficient effect on such a big fish swimming in the wrong direction – and leading other large fish to follow its example?

  3. Mel Strawn says:

    I’m astonished to read the dates of the (only?) two comments on this bog site–8+ years ago!
    I’ve just finished reading “Don’t Even Think About It…” by George. I am co-chair of 350CentralColorado (yes, a chapter of The book is about our use of language in the fight. Thumbs up on that! –––But, on that, I have to wonder if this blog’s name itself is not a bit self-defeating. “climatedenial” seems to me to invite denialists to join THAT choir….
    Maybe there are other, more current archives at this address???
    But thanks to George for a great and readable book!

    • Good point Mel…I would probably call it something different if I started it now. I realise “denial” is a bit poisoned, so I avoid it, but when I named the blog I was thinking mainly of denial in the psychological sense of avoiding sommething

  4. David Eagar says:

    Making the final corrections to a Bangor University MPhil thesis entitled ‘Environment as creative inspiration: the British climate play’.

    It contains a new play called ‘Cumulus and Cirrus’, and commentary on eight ‘climate’ plays (written or devised for the stage), four of which have published scripts.

    Have included reference to ‘Don’t Even Think About It’.

  5. Roger Wehage says:

    I just joined a facebook group that calls themselves Climate Change: Science, Mitigation & Adaptation. I was hoping, from the title, of finding people who take climate change seriously and are ready to take action on climate change mitigation. But I’m finding here as everywhere else I’ve searched that people are interested only in talking about climate change and doing nothing about climate change mitigation. When it comes to climate change, I classify people as agreers and doers. As far as I’m concerned, climate change agreers who do nothing about climate change mitigation are the same as climate change deniers. Only doers will I classify as the people who will make any difference in climate change mitigation.

    I posted the following in the group and got mostly yawns and a hear-hear. It is clear that almost no one is interested in disrupting their lives to save future generations from unimaginable suffering. I’ve been visiting quite a few discussion groups the past few weeks and discovered what people want when they set at their computers for hours on end. They either want to be carefree and happy or they want to be aggressive and argumentative. The two group-types are like oil and water. People in the two group-types won’t tolerate each other. The problem is, the type of people I’m trying to interact with are not in either group.

    No one wants to make the extreme sacrifices necessary to avoid the catastrophy of runaway global temperatures and rising ocean levels. The enthusiastic ones, like sheep, want to follow a leader, and they are really excited about Senator Bernie Sanders. But their number will be insufficient to beat Hillary Clinton, I’m afraid.


    I am appalled that roughly 99% of Americans don’t want to hear about climate change mitigation, and roughly 99% of Americans don’t want to do anything about it. Time is running out. If the world continues with business as usual, I have no doubt that the arctic tundra will thaw, doubling or tripling our atmosphere greenhouse gasses and melting the 7 million cubic miles of land-based ice. It may already be too late to stop this disaster.

    One percent of the people who care about this issue can either continue to worry and discuss this issue or they can start immediate action. Scientists don’t know exactly what to expect from the CH4 and CO2 release from the tundra, so it is unknown how much time remains to mitigate climate change. But the flywheel effect is known, which means that atmospheric CO2 will continue to increase for decades, even if all greenhouse gas emissions were to stop today.

    Scientists are saying that we must immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-90% if this impending disaster is to be avoided at all. That is a huge undertaking, especially when few people want to hear what must be done and few people want to take action. We have no choice but to start now, and I am appealing to everyone in this group to put their creative minds together and solve this problem.

    I believe our first task is to generate a detailed list of all sources of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, big and small. Then we must dissect each item in the list and work out procedures to either eliminate it completely, reduce it in magnitude, or replace some or all of it with non greenhouse gas emission methods. We need to think outside the box here. Much of what is proposed will require dramatic changes in our lifestyles, community, recreation, travel, etc.

    I am a mechanical engineer with virtually no experience when it comes to sociological or psychological issues. For example, if Dr. George Marshal

    is not a member of this group he should be invited. He is very knowledgable and is aware of my concerns regarding this critical issue.

    I am an old guy with not so much stamina anymore, and I have a lovely 4-year-old granddaughter that I want to see grow up in a friendly environment, as I know everyone of you want to see your loved ones grow up in a friendly environment. That is why it is so important to act immediately. I hope that the younger and more energetic of you will take over this call to action and make it a success. Getting this job done will be an uphill battle all the way, just as Senator Bernie Sanders becoming our next President of the United States will be an uphill battle all the way. He is the best champion of your cause. Time and again I have begged Hillary Clinton to listen and act, but she is one of those 99%. My vote is for Climate Change mitigation.

    I am counting on this group coming together in a big way and moving fast on the critical tasks ahead of us. I firmly believe that the wellbeing of all future generations depends on what we do right now.

  6. I am also surprised by the lack of responses here.
    You successfully manage to combine two hugely important topics, cognitive bias and climate change.
    I work as a science teacher and have been trying to persuade CIE (Cambridge exam board) to include some of Kahneman’s work in their ‘Environmental Psychology’ option for their A2 exam. Instead, they have decided to drop that option entirely, replacing it with ‘Consumer Behavior’ (which, ironically, does have a mention of Mr K. – the anchoring effect in sales!).
    Three of my colleagues are climate change cynics, two of whom are happy to tell students ‘it all a matter of opinion. Things got quite heated last year and I expect this to continue – thanks for the ammunition!

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