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