Brexiters, Climate Deniers and Trump: A Small World

Brexiters, Climate Deniers and Trump: A Small World
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This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup originally published at DailyKos

On Friday, we made a joking reference to how right-wing politics and climate denial operate within a single, metaphorical room. In light of the Brexit vote, it seems appropriate to remind everyone how climate denial in the UK is similarly closely tied to other politics, by operating out of literally the same building. 

Last January, Kyla Mandel at DeSmog UK made the initial connection, showing how many climate deniers are campaigning for England to leave the EU, including many names common to this column, like Matt Ridley and James Delingpole. Then the building where these two policy circles intersect was mentioned last February, when the Independent revealed that the Global Warming Policy Foundation/Forum is one of many groups that call a single townhouse at 55 Tufton Street home. 

More recently, Mandel used the very neat LittleSis mapping tool to visualize the close relationship between the various anti-climate and pro-Leave organizations and their leadership. She even included a floor plan for the building, which reinforces just how cramped those quarters are. 

The overlap of climate denial and EU rejection is likely in part organic. Polling described by Assaad Razzouk in The New Statesmen indicates that “Leave” voters are more likely to be science deniers of various stripes, as half of those who wanted the UK to exit “agree that those who question evolution ‘have a point’.” The Leavers also had trouble getting other facts straight, for example about NHS costs falling upon the UK’s exit. 

Overall, according to Razzouk, “The Leave campaign would never have been able to make many of its claims if more voters were prone to fact-checking and less prone to fear-mongering.” 

Speaking of fear-mongering, Donald Trump landed in Scotland shortly after the votes were counted and tweeted that Scotland was “ going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back.” Which is some nice rhetoric, but as was quickly pointed out, in need of fact-checking, since 62% of Scotland’s voters wanted to stay in the EU

Brexiters, Climate Deniers and Trump: A Small World

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