How to deliberate with people who believe in climate and energy conspiracy theories: An explorative study for the TU Delft Energy Transition Lab.

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Abstract

Conspiracy theories on climate change and the energy transition have found a stronghold on the Internet. Many online discussions are dominated by a few users with extreme beliefs, such as attributing secret agendas to powerful elites, governments not telling the truth, or sinister intentions of activists and lobbyists. As such beliefs largely dominate online discussions, they do also disadvantages other, more average, and less vocal users. Studies have found that people who were exposed to conspiracy theories about climate change reported less intention to reduce their carbon footprint, because the effect of these theories sparked not only feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty towards climate change, but also feelings of disappointment in climate scientists. Conspiracy theories play thus also an increasing role in slowing down the energy transition and have even led to violent and destructive behaviour. This explorative study provides an overview of the occurrence of extreme beliefs regarding climate change and energy transition.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTPM Energy Transition Lab
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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