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Free Content The Structure of Climate Skeptical Arguments. Conspiracy Theory as a Critique of Science Die Struktur klimaskeptischer Argumente. Verschwörungstheorie als Wissenschaftskritik

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Questioning and rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change causes, climate skeptics argue that climate science is involved in a global conspiracy, guided by self-interest and aspirations of societal change. On the basis of 97 climate skeptical non-fiction books, this article reconstructs the logical structure of climate skeptical (or denialist) arguments, with a special focus on the construction of the causes for climate change. The analysis shows that climate skeptical arguments are made on three levels: on the level of insight from climate science, on the level of an intuitive sociology of science and on a political/economic level, thus achieving the desired effect of moving the audience emotionally. The reconstruction of arguments may serve as a basis for more quantitative research, but it is also useful for entering the debate with climate skeptics as it allows anticipating climate skeptical objections.

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Keywords: CLIMATE SCIENCE; CLIMATE SKEPTICS; CO2; DENIALISM; ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION; GLOBAL WARMING; SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENCE

Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2014

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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