The Tired Rhetoric of Denial

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that with the new administration in Washington, and real national action happening on the climate crisis, there still exist hard-core climate crisis denialistas and people who are willing to fund them. Mitchell Anderson over at the DeSmogBlog has written a couple of pieces (Part One and Part Two) about three recent Heartland Institute ads that ran in the Washington Post. Anderson is critical of the ads and of the Heartland Insitute for good reason: the claims made in the ads are sometimes unreasonable and often outright lies. I wanted to direct readers over to Anderson’s critique of the claims made in the ads (so have a look).

But I also wanted to note how surprising it is to see these ads still trying to frame the issue as a scientific debate by using the trope of uncertainty. I mean most climate crisis deniers have fallen back to the bogus economically-framed argument that addressing the climate crisis will cost too much and hurt the economy. And talk about your visual clichés: closed doors, a blackboard, and the image of earth from space. The rhetorical techniques in these ads are as tired as the ideology behind them. Good thing for the planet. What do others think?

Closed doors...a blackboard...and the whole compelling!

Closed doors...a blackboard...and the whole compelling!

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About Mark Meisner

Executive Director of the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA). I also research, teach, write about, and speak on environmental and sustainability communication, media, culture, and policy. Facts are usually facts, but opinions and sense of humour are always my own.
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