Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy
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Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy

Edited by David M. Konisky

A comprehensive analysis of diverse areas of scholarly research on U.S. environmental policy and politics, this Handbook looks at the key ideas, theoretical frameworks, empirical findings and methodological approaches to the topic. Leading environmental policy scholars emphasize areas of emerging research and opportunities for future enquiry.
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Chapter 24: Denialism: organized opposition to climate change action in the United States

Robert J. Brulle


Despite their knowledge of climate science, a number of corporations and trade associations involved in the production or use of fossil fuels, acting in coordination with conservative think tanks, foundations, and public relations firms, have mounted a long-term effort to oppose action to mitigate carbon emissions. Viewed as a struggle to maintain political and cultural hegemony, this chapter shows the origins of this effort in the conservative and anti-environmental movements, aided by the development of public relations techniques applied to the management of environmental issues. This has resulted in a complex climate change countermovement, conducted by multiple organizations at different time scales and utilizing a wide range of tactics. This effort has successfully influenced cultural perceptions of climate change, leading to the continued obstruction of climate action.

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