This work seeks to better understand motivations that prop up these stances, such as possible ideological or evidentiary disagreement to the orthodox views of science (a.k.a. scientific consensus), motivation to fulfill the perceived desires of special interests (e.g. carbon-based industry), and/or exhilaration from self-perceived academic martyrdom and more general desires for notoriety. For instance, questions involve: to what extent have their varied interventions been effective in terms of sparking a new and wise Copernican revolution, or do their amplified voices instead service entrenched carbon-based industry interests while they blend debates over ‘climate change’ with other culture wars such as gun control, and abortion?
This paper is also motivated by the interest to better understand effects of this emergent social movement – sharing ideological kinship with the ‘Wise Use movement’ of the 1980s and 1990s – in terms of how it has contributed to (mis) perceptions and (mis) understandings that shape the spectrum of possibility for responses to contemporary climate challenges.