Ideological denial and the climate deadlock

Almiron, Núria & Tafalla, Marta. 2019. Rethinking the Ethical Challenge in the Climate Deadlock: Anthropocentrism, Ideological Denial and Animal LiberationJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 32, 255–267. 

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As critical research has revealed, climate change scepticism and inaction are not about science but ideas, and specifically the ideas that conform our worldview. Drawing on key theoretical approaches to climate change denial from the social sciences and humanities, this paper discusses the ideological dimension and, more especially, the anthropocentric denial underlying our failure to respond to climate change. We argue that the speciesist anthropocentrism inherent in the current dominant ethics is what prevents humanity from reacting to the main human-induced drivers of global warming. Encouraged to do so by current mainstream ethics, humans overpopulate the planet, grow at the expense of other species, and indulge in cruel, unhealthy and unsustainable practices. We counterpose this ethics against the egalitarian, non-speciesist approach of the animal ethics movement, positing that it represents the next radical reflexive movement and could be used to break the climate deadlock. Animal ethics allows links with inegalitarianism and privilege that may help address climate contrarianism and climate inaction much more effectively.