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Journal Article

Inconvenience versus rationality: Reflections on different faces of climate contrarianism in Poland and Norway


Ceglarz,  Andrzej
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Benestad,  R. E.
External Organizations;


Kundzewicz,  Zbigniew W.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Ceglarz, A., Benestad, R. E., Kundzewicz, Z. W. (2018): Inconvenience versus rationality: Reflections on different faces of climate contrarianism in Poland and Norway. - Weather, Climate, and Society, 10, 4, 821-836.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_22454
There has been increasing scientific evidence related to climate change and its attribution, impacts, and possibilities of mitigation. Yet, climate contrarianism still persists. This paper concentrates on Poland and Norway—two fossil fuel giants that represent essential differences on climate contrarianism. In Norway there is a broad social and political consensus about the attribution and importance of climate change and a motivation to undertake climate change mitigation measures, whereas in Poland the inconvenient truth on anthropogenic climate change remains particularly inconvenient. By taking a qualitative approach, this paper discusses different drivers of climate contrarianism in both countries; provides examples of contrarian attitudes present in society, media, politics, and research; and compares their role in Polish and Norwegian contexts. The findings show the difficulties in defining universal factors determining contrarian attitudes, because their understanding and weight can be different among countries and a more nuanced analysis is needed to scrutinize different national contexts. The conclusion calls for more comparative research, which would combine quantitative and qualitative approaches investigating climate contrarianism.