Climate change denial as Far Right politics: how abandonment of scientific method paved the way for Trump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

In this article I show that the form of argument put forward by the climate change denial movement in the United States (US) closely resembles that used in Nazi Germany with regard to Nazi racial definitions. Each involves a rejection of scientific method. This rejection inherently lends itself to far-right politics, which is a philosophy of prejudice. The prevalence of such a philosophy in contemporary American political culture, exemplified through climate change denial, has arguably opened the door for a president of Trump’s type. Nevertheless, the US Constitution is far more difficult to suspend than that of the Weimar Republic. As a result, US institutional safeguards against a philosophy of prejudice are likely to hold against a short-term assault on environmental justice in a way that the Weimar Republic’s constitutional order did not against Nazism’s assault on civil rights. The greater threat to environmental protection in the contemporary US situation is the slow erosion of democratic norms by the Trump administration.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30–60
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Human Rights and the Environment
Volume11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Nazism, climate change denial, Donald Trump, scientific method