Book Chapter

Online climate denialism: Eco-systems and echo chambers



Dinan W, Bernardi C, Esteves V & Harkins S (2022) Online climate denialism: Eco-systems and echo chambers. In: Hansen A & Cox R (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Communication. 2nd Edition ed. London: Routledge.

This chapter reviews scholarship on how and why climate misinformation and disinformation spreads online and seeks to offer an analysis of current and future trends in researching climate denialism. In the last few years, environmental and media watchdogs have been increasingly effective in highlighting and rebutting the claims made by climate denialists on mainstream media. One of the consequences of the decreased opportunity for climate sceptics in popular press and broadcast outlets is the gravitation of these kinds of sources to digital media and online platforms and spaces where editorial standards and controls are not operable. This chapter will focus on two key aspects of this phenomenon in particular: the evolving communication strategies of climate denialist networks and the evolution of audience practices and dynamics in relation to climate denial on social media platforms. In relation to the former, the chapter will explore how self-publishing and promotional work among known climate denialist organisations has morphed with the shift to online platforms. In parallel we will examine the existing research base on the audiences for such misinformation and disinformation, seeking to understand the tropes, tactics and ties that define the online climate denial universe. The chapter will synthesise research from across the social sciences and humanities, as well as research from business studies, computing sciences and informatics, and responsive research being conducted by journalists, factcheckers and watchdog groups to offer a state-of-the-art review of current research and identify likely trajectories of future research to better understand the phenomenon of climate denialism.

Publication date31/12/2022
Publication date online31/12/2022
Publisher URL…ok/9780367634483
Place of publicationLondon

People (3)


Dr William Dinan

Dr William Dinan

Senior Lecturer, Communications, Media and Culture

Dr Victoria Esteves

Dr Victoria Esteves

Lecturer in Creative Industries, Communications, Media and Culture

Dr Steven Harkins

Dr Steven Harkins

Lecturer, Communications, Media and Culture

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