Understanding and countering misinformation about climate change

Jun 7, 2019 | All Categories, Journal Articles

While there is overwhelming scientific agreement on climate change, the public has 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 through outlets such as social and mainstream media. In order to effectively counter online misinformation, we require foundational frameworks that provide a comprehensive understanding of the techniques employed in climate misinformation, as well as inform evidence-based approaches to
neutralizing misinforming content. This chapter reviews analyses of climate misinformation, outlining a range of denialist arguments and fallacies. Identifying and deconstructing these different types of arguments is necessary to design appropriate interventions that effectively neutralize the misinformation. This chapter also reviews the research into how to counter misinformation using communication interventions such as inoculation, educational approaches such as misconception-based learning, and the
interdisciplinary combination of technology and psychology known as technocognition.

Keywords: Misinformation, Denial, Skepticism, Inoculation, Climate Change, Global Warming,
Misconception-Based Learning, Technocognition