Cassandra has moved. Ugo Bardi publishes now on a new site called "The Seneca Effect."

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Trump Effect: is Climate Change Denialism on the Rise?

The results of a search for "climate hoax" on Google Trends 

Google Trends shows a remarkable spike in the interest for the coupled terms "climate" and "hoax". Does that mean that people are becoming more skeptical about climate science? Or simply more interested in the subject? On this point, Google Trends tells us that there has been no special change in the level of interest in the general subjects of climate change and global warming. The interest is specific in the coupling of "climate" and "hoax." And, if we couple the terms "climate", "hoax" and "Trump" we see that there is a clear correlation.

So, it seems clear that the rise of Donald Trump has emboldened science deniers, who are more active than before. Qualitatively, it is a trend noted also by "DeSmog" and others. That doesn't necessarily mean a change in the distribution of the opinions on the danger of climate change, still deadlocked in what I termed "trench warfare in the climate wars". Instead, The election of Donald Trump may lead to an even sharper polarization of the US public opinion on climate. Most likely, the virtual trench warfare will continue for quite a while, and we can only hope that it won't become real warfare.


  1. Still, if you search for "global warming myth", or "hockey stick", you get fairly even, oscillating patterns. Could it be that "climate hoax" is also input from climate realists and anti-Trumpers, in order to check what denialists are writing these days?

  2. His vice president is a creationist, need we say more? But honestly I do not know what I prefer. people that are so thickheadedly stupid that they loose contact to reality alltogether, like Trump and his ilk, or the Bush senior administration, who (as we today know from memos) actually understood very well the dangers of climate change and still did all they could to push forward their fossile fuel burning agenda.



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)