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CSSN Scholar Publications

Obstruction, delay, and transnationalism: Examining the online climate change counter-movement

August 27, 2021

New research from CSSN scholar Ruth McKie examines the climate change counter movement through hyperlink analysis.


In this article, we provide a preliminary exploration of the Climate Change Counter Movement Hyperlink Network. Recognising the international growth of the Climate Change Counter Movement, we use a hyperlink analysis to 1) identify if the counter movement uses this platform, 2) identify the structural dynamics of the hyperlink network, and 3) if and how do movement organisations connect across countries. Our findings reveal that a combination of USA and non-USA actors are operational in the hyperlink network, where climate delaying and obstruction discourse can diffuse across countries. In addition, we found cohesive subgroups illuminating an alignment of interests between think tanks across countries on climate change, a distinct role played by blogs, and a small group of connected coal-related organisations promoting information on clean coal technologies. Lastly, we observe an alignment between climate change counter movement organisations and representative organisations of the traditional Wise Use Movement. These findings provide an intriguing account of the operations of a counter movement hyperlink network, expanding our knowledge on the transmission of counter movement across countries and what this means for further developments in this area of scholarship.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Den Rise