CAAD Data Monitor Vol.4: ‘Conspirituality’ and Climate: How Instagram influencers made denialism New Age

At the height of COVID-19, some Wellness and New Age influencers were prominent in sharing anti-vaccine content, with many straying explicitly into conspiracies such as QAnon. In this edition of the Data Monitor, we explore how established climate science and solutions have come under fire within this community, aligning with wider scepticism of ‘the Establishment’ and a belief in ‘higher powers’.

Wellness influencers are using narratives strikingly similar to those explored in previous research on climate mis- and disinformation. This spans everything from outright denial that temperatures are rising, to accusations of elite hypocrisy and falsehoods regarding renewable energies or Electric Vehicles.

This edition of Data Monitor delves into some of the climate-related content promoted by Wellness influencers, revealing recurring themes such as:

  • Many influencers post outright misinformation or denial about climate change, including narratives similar to those explored in previous CAAD research.
  • Arguments are diverse and often contradict one another. For example, some treat climate change as a hoax or conspiracy, while others claim it is evidence of ‘esoteric forces’.
  • Content adopts language highly specific to the community. This increases the resonance for dedicated followers and results in some unique framing on topics such as geoengineering and meat consumption.
  • Climate is inextricably linked to discussions around health and vaccines, with an emphasis on bodily autonomy and personal wellbeing.

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