Climate change denial is a set of organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming, its significance, and its connection to human behavior, especially for commercial reasons. Usually, these attempts have tried to present themselves at legitimate scientific debate, however these attempts fail to adhere to peer reviewing standards and have been slammed by the scientific community. Peter Christoff, writing in The Age in 2007, said that climate change denial differs from skepticism, which is essential for good science.
Almost two decades after the issue became one of global concern, the ‘big’ debate over climate change is over. There are now no credible scientific skeptics challenging the underlying scientific theory, or the broad projections, of climate change.
The relationship between industry-funded denial and public climate change skepticism has been compared to earlier efforts by the tobacco industry to undermine scientific evidence on the dangers of secondhand smoke. Although there is a scientific consensus that humans are warming the climate system, various conservative think tanks, corporations and business groups have engaged in deliberate denial of the science of climate change since the 1990s. Between 2002 and 2010, it’s alleged that conservative billionaires secretly donated nearly $120 million to more than 100 organizations seeking to cast doubt on the science behind climate change. In reality, the science is in. There is almost complete consensus from the world’s scientific community that human emissions are warming up the planet. This is backed up by The Fifth Assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which said that they are 95% confident that humans are majorly responsible for climate change. Due to vested interest in the media and the intense, well-funded campaign from the fossil fuel lobby, there is a wide gap between the public awareness and the reality of the expert consensus on human-caused global warming. Just like the tobacco lobby, the doubt cast on the debate by people who stand to make a lot of money is incredibly dangerous and will have life-threatening impacts.