Conspiratory fascination versus public interest: The case of 'climategate'

Stephan Lewandowsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Anderegg and Goldsmith (2014 Environ. Res. Lett. 9 054005) use Google Trends to examine the impact of specific media events - the so-called 'climategate' imbroglio and the glacial-melt error in the IPCCs 2007 report - on public opinion regarding climate change. There has been an overall decline of public interest in climate change after 2007, accompanied by spikes of interest with a half-life of six days for these two media events. The brevity of public interest in 'climategate' stands in contrast to the continued and growing fascination of the 'skeptic' blogosphere with that event. These results document the assertion that conspiratory obsession by a small number of people should not be mistaken for general public interest.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111004
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014

Structured keywords

  • Memory


  • climate change
  • public opinion
  • rejection of science


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