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The Consensus Handbook

Mar 26, 2018 | All Categories, Handbooks, Reports

Numerous efforts are currently underway to confuse the public about the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming. Various opponents of climate action have submitted legal briefs in a court case over climate change-related costs, attacking the 97% consensus. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt continues to look for ways to ignore or undermine the scientific consensus. And a Heartland Institute spokesman has recently been invited to publicly debate climate change at a Florida university.

Why has manufacturing doubt about the scientific consensus been such a priority for opponents of climate action? What kind of strategies have they employed? Most importantly, how should science-based climate communicators respond?

To answer these questions, 4C researchers John Cook and Ed Maibach in collaboration with colleagues at Cambridge University and Bristol University developed The Consensus Handbook. This concise, practical booklet examines how opponents of climate action have been attempting to misinform the public and policy makers about the consensus for decades, and it explains why. Drawing on numerous scientific studies, the handbook also recommends how to respond to this misinformation campaign by effectively communicating the extent of the scientific consensus, and it provides guidance to climate scientists who are invited to “debate” about climate change.

We encourage you to download and read The Consensus Handbook, and share it with others.