Rabe addresses climate change conspiracies

February 13, 2023

Climate change deniers are using new strategies to spread their beliefs — namely the conspiracy theory that climate change is a hoax meant to subdue populations. Climate policy expert Barry Rabe talked to Newsweek to break down that myth and its origins.

"It also collides with what I would call a kind of energy nationalism in the United States," he said. "That the U.S. is kind of an island: it can produce lots of energy, and largely set its own course. And so why are you going to worry about these relationships?"

Rabe argued that deniers utilize American exceptionalism to gain support for their theories.

"It's sort of reflected in some of the more nationalistic or even America First rhetoric we've seen in recent years—and really, within both parties," he said. "Even things like the Inflation Reduction Act are designed to encourage development and investment within the United States, as opposed to sharing resources or wealth and new technology with other nations."

When it comes to globalism, Rabe confirmed that "growing numbers of Americans recognize this as a significant problem."

"(When it comes to a solution), do you want the U.S. to just sort of sit on the sidelines, or hide from the rest of the world—or do you want it to engage constructively?" he concluded. 

Read the Newsweek article featuring Rabe.