Genevieve Guenther

“Fossil-fuel propaganda is spun out of six key terms that dominate the language of climate politics: alarmist, cost, growth, ‘India and China’, innovation, and resilience. Together these terms weave a narrative that goes something like this: ‘Yes, climate change is real, but calling it an existential threat is just alarmist. And, anyway, phasing out coal, oil, and gas would cost us too much. Human flourishing relies on the economic growth enabled by fossil fuels, so we need to keep using them and deal with climate change by fostering technological innovation and increasing our resilience. Besides, America should not act unilaterally on the climate crisis while emissions are rising in India and China.’ This narrative is designed to encourage the incorrect and dangerous belief that the world does not need essentially to stop using fossil fuels—either because climate change won’t be that destructive or, in some versions of the story, because the world can keep using coal, oil, and gas and still halt global heating anyway.”