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Climate denial in Canada and the United States

Faculty Advisor




climate change, soft denial

Abstract (summary)

One type of climate change denial is the belief that climate change is naturally occurring instead of human caused; this form of denial is known as attribution skepticism or soft denial. While considerable research has addressed outright climate change denial, little research has focused specifically on soft denial and its complex and politicized relationship with science. We examine this form of denial using original survey data collected in 2017 in the United States (n = 1510) and in 2019 in Canada (n = 1545). Contrary to expectations about the United States being more divided by political ideology on the topic of climate change, we find that – after accounting for trust in political leaders – Canadians’ views are driven more by ideological position than those of Americans. In the United States, climate denial is related to trust in President Trump as a source of information about climate change. The study of soft denial is important as it undermines the rationale for climate change solutions.

Publication Information

Boulianne, S., & Belland, S. (2022). Climate denial in Canada and the United States. Canadian Review of Sociology, 59(3), 369-394.


Item Type





Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)