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Climate CulturesAnthropological Perspectives on Climate Change$
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Jessica Barnes and Michael R Dove

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300198812

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300198812.001.0001

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Digging Deeper into the Why

Digging Deeper into the Why

Cultural Dimensions of Climate Change Skepticism Among Scientists

(p.221) Chapter 9 Digging Deeper into the Why
Climate Cultures

Myanna Lahsen

Yale University Press

Based on ethnographic and archival research focused on U.S. climate science politics since the early 1990s, this chapter analyzes “contrarian” and more moderate, mainstream critics of the science underpinning concern about anthropogenic climate change. It suggests that whatever the truth-value of their criticisms, competition for status and research funds are an important subtext, as are experiences of marginalization and alienation in relationship to changes associated with the rise of concern about new environmental problems in the 1980s and an associated new emphasis on environmental sciences and simulation techniques. The positions of these scientific subgroups reflect reactions to these changes, reactions that are cultural in nature. As such, it is necessary to probe beyond individual characteristics to identify important factors shaping scientists’ perceptions related to climate change and the nature of their engagements with public debates about climate science.

Keywords:   Climate science debates, Climate change contrarians, Climate change scepticism/denialism, Scientific culture and climate debates

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