If you want to get people to tune out and turn off news and information about climate, keep doing this. Per the peer reviewed literature, the claim highlighted above is bull shit. People see that – and not the facts – and just turn it all off. This is not how to present concerns about climate.
A classic illustration of how exaggerated, hyperbolic and untrue statements about climate lead to people conclude that projections of human-induced climate change are not true. Our own thesis is that improved communication comes from honest and accurate presentation of facts and logical arguments. Unfortunately, the climate communications community has, rather consistently, engaged in increasingly shrill propaganda messaging that eventually results in the “The boy who cried wolf” phenomena where no one believes anything anymore. This item illustrates how climate communications has backfired, circled back on itself, and produced an outcome opposite to what was intended.
Two professors took a look at how the media has reported on the topic of climate and found that almost all news reports leave out critical and basic facts about climate. A corollary is that instead of reporting facts and the use of logic that supports anthropogenic climate change, most turn to propaganda methods such as appeal to authority, fear, name calling (“deniers”), get-on-the-bandwagon and so on. Incredibly, as I was writing this post The Nature Conservancy sent an email fundraising solicitation which illustrates the point: the first sentence of the email makes 4 demonstrably false claims to create fear about changes in climate. “Factfulness” teaches us how to detect when we are being misled – this turned out to be classic example of a charitable organization making exaggerated claims not supported by reputable science organizations (IPCC, NOAA, The Royal Society).
This post may be the first of several on how climate communications has been badly bungled by reliance on propaganda methods, rather than sticking with facts and logic.
The illustration graphic is false, although you might believe it is true because most of the news media reported this topic, as illustrated in the graphic.
The reported information, however, is 100% false and is readily shown as false by a simple example (click through to read why its false). This incorrect information was widely reported and established as a fact. This occurred either because reporters had no understanding of what they report on (far too often to be the case) or because they deliberately misled their readers and viewers.
Reporter and their layers and layers of fact checkers, misquotes a Kaiser Family Foundation study by a factor of 1,000 – changing MILLIONS to BILLIONS. The only appropriate word for this is idiocy.
Social media is a frictionless platform for the dissemination of propaganda messaging. Seeing what just took place in the past few days, can you imagine the firepower about to be unleashed during the next national election in the U.S.? The brutal propaganda messaging on social media threatens to take down democracy.
Social media idiocy reached new highs of absurdity the past few days – the Amazon fire hysteria was a big fat social media scam. But it seems no one shouting on social media is hearing that message.
Social media has gone utterly insane about fires in the Amazon region of Brazil-virtually all of them contain false information. NASA points out that over their 15 year satellite-based observing history, the fire situation in the Amazon is average. But the falsehoods have blown up to the point that internationally known politicians are calling for action!
Social media is a bonfire of idiocy.
Portland has become “ground zero” in the use of street violence against those holding views that others disagree with. Right wing hate groups, like Proud Boys, deliberately come to Portland with a goal of instigating violent uprisings. Portland is ground zero for a movement informally referred to as “Antifa”.
Antifa has no specific ideology but believes in the use of violence (vigilante and mob justice) against anyone they disagree with. While this example was about a right wing hate group, Antifa is all over the map in terms of what they do not like, and then applying violence to those targets. Both groups are filled with angry people, consumed by outrage, and not just inflamed by social media propaganda, but using social media as their platform to encourage more conflict, more outrage and more violence. None of these activities are leading to solutions – they lead only to more violence and more outrage.
This item was shared into my FB feed today, claiming these two were killed in Afghanistan in June of 2019. In fact, the photo is copyrighted with all rights reserved, and is from 2011. The purpose is to emotionally hook viewers into sharing it, thereby getting exposure for their online business. The page appears to be maintained in Kosovo, and their organization’s address for their Pet Cemetery in New York City is that of a college student housing dormitory.