The Nature of the Beast: Fossil Fuel Corporations, the Cornwall Alliance, and Climate Change Denial
This project explores the relationship between climate change denialism and evangelical Christianity in the United States, focusing specifically on what Thomas Piketty calls, “apparatuses of justification.” In his work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Piketty states that “if inequalities are seen as justified, say because they seem to be a consequence of a choice by the rich to work harder or more efficiently than the poor, or because preventing the rich from earning more would inevitably harm the worst-off members of society, then it is perfectly possible for the concentration of income to set new historical records” (263-264). The manner in which such notions become widely accepted, he argues, is not merely by chance; rather, it is through the concentrated efforts of government agencies, independent think tanks, popular media, etc. that these ideas become ingrained in the collective consciousness of a society. This paper argues that the characteristics of “apparatuses of justification” also apply to organizations that promote climate change denialism and examines the Cornwall Alliance as one specific example of an apparatus of justification manifest within the context of American evangelical Christianity.
William V. Trollinger
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
"The Nature of the Beast: Fossil Fuel Corporations, the Cornwall Alliance, and Climate Change Denial" (2020). Stander Symposium Projects. 1805.