Clive Hamilton: “Climate science the target in a culture war”

The death threats received by Australian climate scientists such as Will Steffen, Andy Pitman and David Karoly haven’t come out of the blue.

They are an extension of the vicious attacks on climate science and climate scientists that can be found in the mainstream media, mostly news outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch.

The virulence of the recent attacks on Cate Blanchett, who did no more than publicly back a carbon tax, is precisely the kind of rhetoric that encourages threats of violence from climate deniers.

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The conclusion to this piece, full of disturbing details of death threats against US climate scientists, is worth noting.

Like those whose opinions they value — shock jocks and television demagogues — climate deniers are disproportionately older, white, male and conservative —those who feel their cultural identity most threatened by the implications of climate change.

While the debate is superficially about the science, in truth it is about deep-rooted feelings of cultural identity. This makes deniers immune to argument. Their influence will wane only as they grow old and die.

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