Male white nationalists are deniers as a tribal requirement

Michael Barnard
Nov 20, 2018 · 4 min read

Over the past few years, it’s become clear that maladjusted conspiracy theorists were very likely to be climate change deniers. Just when those who thought they were normal people but merely skeptical were beginning to think that maybe that was just a blip, strong evidence has emerged from multiple peer-reviewed and published studies that if you scratch a white, male, far-right nationalist, you’ll find a denier of climate science as well.

That conservative white males in the USA are more likely to deny anthropogenic global warming is well documented, as is the increase in that denial over the past decade. A study published in the journal Global Environmental Change found:

The US study was replicated in Norway and found that in that country there was evidence that climate change denial was merging with right-wing nationalism and become a focal point of agreement in those groups.

A German study found solid evidence of climate change skepticism being prevalent in far-right communication and that it often overrode values related to preservation of nature.

Results courtesy Pew Research

Pew Research has done extensive polling on opinions related to climate change in the USA and documented the clear split between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of global warming.

While the Republicans have not in the past been readily described as a right-wing nationalist party, the most recent administration has certainly pandered to that subset of populace and Trump’s remarks after the Charlottesville white supremacist march of 2017 and the death of Heather Heyer were widely interpreted as supporting the white nationalists.

Similarly, Pew has documented the gender split in climate change skepticism, with men in multiple countries much less likely to accept the science.

It’s also worth looking at the gender split in voting for radical right-wing parties. Research has shown time and again that most right-wing nationalists are men.

So we have multiple lines of evidence which support the idea that white, right-wing, nationalist males are likely to not accept the incredibly well-supported science of anthropogenic global warming and climate change. As with conspiracy ideation, white racism’s lack of rational and empirical support is a strong indicator of other failings.

With this data and evidence of climate-change denial policies explicit in nationalist parties, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden is establishing a research project to assess this.

There will be more and more published data on this in the coming years. For lay people, it’s sufficient to know that one of the groups where global warming denial is strongest is male white supremacists. That should give pause to others considering skepticism to be a reasonable position.

That is in some ways a positive, as a limited study found 17% of former climate change deniers had changed to acceptance of the science in part due to the credibility of the people around them. When your fellow ‘skeptics’ are tiki-torch Nazis, it’s probably hard to accept that they are rational about everything else except that.


Studies:

The Future is Electric

The Future is Electric is the house journal of TFIE Strategy Inc, a firm which assists global clients to future proof themselves in our rapidly changing world of business and technical innovation, and geopolitical and climate disruption.

Michael Barnard

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Chief Strategist, TFIE Strategy Inc. Business and technical future-proofing. Top Writer Quora since 2013. CleanTechnica, Forbes, Quartz+ more. In 4 books.

The Future is Electric

The Future is Electric is the house journal of TFIE Strategy Inc, a firm which assists global clients to future proof themselves in our rapidly changing world of business and technical innovation, and geopolitical and climate disruption.

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