hope is crucial to most political activism, but when the situation is dire, watch out for the “hope industry.” It’s made up of institutions and people who send out messages of false hope, stoking collective ignorance, soothing consumers’ consciences, and revving up the climate change engine.

In the age of climate change, false hope is everywhere. It takes two main forms: denial and necessary illusions.

The denial message is spouted and funded by the core of the U.S. hope industry: the big energy companies and the Republican Party. Some peddlers of denial say climate change is not happening. Others acknowledge its existence but say humans did not cause it. And yet others within the corporate hope industry say climate change is real but deny its gravity, telling us that smart companies can solve the problem. Hey, no worries. Because the problem doesn’t exist or...

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