Lies, and other traits, of denialists

Climate Change: the bigger the lie
[Via Greenfyre’s]


FABIAN: If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.

SIR TOBY BELCH : His very genius hath taken the infection of the device, man.

Twelfth Night Act III, Scene 4


It is a perverse fact that often the sheer idiocy of many of the climate change Denier arguments works in their favour.

This is above and beyond the usual reasons some people find ways to believe the climate change Denier deceptions.

I am not referring to the hard core Deniers who write the blogs and spam legitimate climate sites with absurd claims, obvious frauds and largely irrelevant rants. This cadre are & will be the 10% of the population that will never be convinced even as their homes burst into flame.

My concern is the section of the general public who are “in denial” rather than being “Deniers” per se. They are our target for education, but to do that we need to understand why they are in denial and why the lies work on them.

  • Information Deficit
  • Psychology of Denial
    • Motivated reasoning
    • Groupthink
    • Future discounting & the neurotic paradox
    • Belief retention
    • Inferred justification
    • The bigger the lie
  • Beware this boy
  • Links of interest


This is an excellent essay delineating many of the tactics used by denialists and why they are so psychologically attractive to so many. It helps present a possible path to help deal with them and their use of lies, misinformation and other tropes to keep so many people ignorant.