Senator Jim Inhofe brought a snowball to the Senate floor on Thursday, to show in his words that global warming is a “hoax,” and stands as the latest example of policy gridlock on this topic.
But paralysis does not mean all economic actors stand still. Incumbent sectors win, in this case, fossil fuels.
Andy Hoffman of the University of Michigan says climate change “represents a market shift. Some will win, some will lose. Keeping things confused, that’s how you create paralysis.”
Creating paralysis is an active process, says Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes. “A whole network of people who have worked for more than twenty years now to prevent action, because action threatens their interests and it also threatens their ideology,” he says.
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