No one has a better handle on the effect climate deniers have on the socio-political stage than science historian and author Naomi Oreskes.
Her book Merchants of Doubt charts the path of many of the world’s most notorious deniers, skeptics, shills, PR men and experts-for-hire. Plus, as a trained historian and professor of earth and environmental sciences at Harvard, Oreskes has the ability to take a 10,000-foot view when it comes to climate politics and the turning tide of public opinion.
Oreskes recently visited Vancouver to discuss climate change and climate denial in Canada at a talk organized by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.
For Oreskes, understanding how climate denial is active in places like Canada involves acknowledging the expansiveness of climate change as an issue, one that cuts across boundaries between government, society and market power.
We asked Oreskes what she makes of Canada’s current political situation — a situation in which our prime minister announces impressive climate targets on the world stage but then quietly approves B.C.’s first LNG export terminal on a Friday afternoon.
“Of course there is a long road ahead,” Oreskes said. “[Climate change] is a very big issue that reaches into economics, politics and culture.”
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