James O'Brien's provocative theory on climate deniers

1 November 2021, 16:17 | Updated: 2 November 2021, 17:51

By Seán Hickey

James O'Brien argues that conspiracy theorists in general embrace myth as a form of survival mechanism.

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James O'Brien began his powerful monologue by reminding listeners that people who believe conspiracies are "almost an anorak level of obsession" for him.

Read more: PM lists three cities that could be lost if no climate action is taken

"Whether you're talking about vaccines, whether you're talking about phone masts, whether you're talking about face masks, whatever it it is...the determination of people to believe things that aren't true is obviously disturbing, but clearly very, very dangerous."

His thoughts came as the COP26 climate summit gets underway in Glasgow this week, with PM Boris Johnson warning that the planet must act now to mitigate the worst impact of climate breakdown.

"I have seen many many roads lead back to climate change", James said, referencing his career in broadcasting.

Read more: Truss: Insulate Britain are not heroes and give environmentalism 'a bad name'

Read more: Nick Ferrari takes aim at COP26 mascot Bonnie the Seal

James made the case that whether a person is more susceptible to subscribe to conspiracy theory "has to do with your relationship with chaos". He added that it is fear that underpins one's subscription to conspiracy.

"It's to do with the nature of existence."

Read more: Climate at 'one minute to midnight,' says PM - but China, Russia and Brazil snub COP26

He believed that "the desire to believe that dangers don't exist is probably an evolutionary survival mechanism" and when it comes to climate denialism, ignoring the imminent dangers of climate change is merely a means to cope.

"You don't want to believe that humanity is vulnerable because if you believe humanity is vulnerable, you are vulnerable. Aren't you?"

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