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“Hypocrite’s Trap” examines the coal industry’s response to the fossil fuel divestment movement. Using a realist style of rhetoric, the coal industry and its allies in the oil and gas industry, conservative think tanks, and conservative media set a rhetorical trap for divestment advocates, the “Hypocrite’s Trap.” Three moves set the trap: establishing ignorance, exposing complicity, and naming hypocrisy. Industry advocacy characterizes the divestment movement as idealistic and unrealistic, elitist and dangerous, and hypocritical and immoral. In so doing, the hypocrite’s trap thus reinscribes divestment activists as individual consumers, rather than members of a collective movement. It also positions itself as a heroic provider of energy for the poor. This strategy positions the advocates of divestment as hypocrites but also reasserts the neoliberal reality, reasonableness, and virtue of the market.
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- The Hypocrite’s Trap
Peter K. Bsumek
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Chapter 5