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How You Can Educate Those That Wish Not to Be Educated About Climate Change

Posted on the 24 October 2012 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

How You Can Educate Those that Wish Not to be Educated About Climate ChangeClimate change has been all but absent during this presidential election, being only mentioned during the GOP and Democratic national conventions – even eliciting laughter during the GOP convention. Contrary to popular belief among some members of the electorate, climate change is indeed still an issue that needs to be addressed. And even though it appears that the right-wing effort to discredit climate change has worked, there are nonetheless massive amounts of scientific data saying climate change is occurring.

It appears that this isn’t just an issue of the conversation not happening between most self-respecting scientists and the general public, but the apparent misinformation campaign bringing doubt to climate change’s existence means more effort needs to be put into education and identifying misinformation. As I stated in a recent post, I don’t think continuing to berate folks with facts and satellite images of melting ice caps is going to have that great of an impact. What is keeping the doubt of climate change alive isn’t that people haven’t seen these bar graphs and satellite images, its that someone somewhere is feeding them misinformation that somehow disqualifies the irrefutable evidence confirming climate change.
For this reason, I was excited to find a website that has collected all of the myths and misinformation about climate change into one place, and goes through the evidence debunking these incorrect beliefs about climate change. Skeptical Science ( takes 173 different incorrect myths about climate change, ranks them in order of their recent popularity, and provides a brief explanation of how science disproves the myths. You can select to see the “Basic” explanation, which is sufficient for most readers, or an “Intermediate” explanation, which provides more technical details.

This website is useful to the individual trying to weed out the truth about climate change, but what about the individual that wishes to go beyond themselves and influence others that are skeptical about climate change? The website also provides access to two freely downloadable PDFs that can help in debates and identifying misinformation during discussion. The PDFs are named “The Debunking Handbook,” and “The Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism.”

“The Debunking Handbook” focuses on different tactics to communicate correct, truthful ideas that will trump myths. The book examines different ways communication can backfire and reinforce beliefs in myths, and explains how you can avoid making this mistake. When it comes to climate change, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make the truth the focus of discussion. By identifying misinformation, perhaps discussion about climate change can focus on real issues, rather than unfounded skepticism.

The Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism” focuses on the skepticism that is being used to bury climate change. Skepticism is good in science – it’s what keeps wrong ideas from becoming accepted as truth. According to the guide, however, the type of skepticism being used to discredit climate change is a toxic, manipulative version of skepticism. By cherry-picking arguments with little or no merit, deniers are attempting to discredit the entire existence of climate change based on small, illegitimate claims. This guide explains how facts and science are being ignored to downplay climate change.

Finally, a 50-minute video by Dr. Chuck Kutscher of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory goes through the climate skeptic myths, debunking them one by one.

Whether you are an individual trying to sift through the claims for and against climate change in order to learn what the science says, or someone trying to arm themselves with facts and tactics to fight the misinformation campaign, these resources can help jump start movement in the right direction. If people can accept that climate change is true, government and corporations will have no choice to but act under mounting pressure from the general public.

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