TALKING CLIMATE

Although contested by many climate deniers, 97% of the world’s scientists have determined climate change is real and that humans are primarily responsible. In September 2020 a record number of Americans (72%) were determined to believe in climate change, and Yale published a detailed and highly interactive Climate Opinion Map detailing how climate change beliefs vary across the country. Unfortunately, billions of dollars have been poured into misinformation campaigns to inhibit climate change progress and the country remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels.  The prominence of denialism in our national conversation about climate change is a product of these campaigns and continues to stall progress.

What is the first thing we need to do to address climate change? Simple: we need to understand it, accept the science, and act. This section provides resources to help you communicate with people who are still skeptical about the reality of climate change. You might want to start with a 2019 video from Climate Crocks.

Accurate information is the foundation of a functioning democracy. A website called Climate Feedback is a worldwide network of scientists sorting fact from fiction in climate change media coverage. It is highly recommended if you find yourself unclear about something you have read in this time of so much misinformation.

There is also a useful history answering the questions of “What did we know and when did we know it?” found at Science Feedback.

And, sometimes it is interesting to check your own climate knowledge. Here’s a good quiz from the Washington Post.

The 97% Consensus on Climate Science

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KEY RESOURCES

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Understanding and countering misinformation about climate change

While there is overwhelming scientific agreement on climate change, the public have become polarized over fundamental questions such as human-caused global warming. Communication strategies to reduce polarization rarely address the underlying cause: ideologically-driven misinformation disseminated…
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Debunking Handbook 2020

The Debunking Handbook 2020 summarises the current state of the science of misinformation and its debunking. It was written by a team of 22 prominent scholars of misinformation and its debunking, and it represents the…
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Climate Insights 2020: Synthesis Report

The synthesis report of the Climate Insights 2020 survey, a joint effort to examine American attitudes on climate change by researchers at Stanford University, Resources for the Future, and ReconMR, provides insight into what Americans…

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