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author's profile photo Bärbel Winkler

Coffee Corner Meet-up: Bring Your Own ... climate myth! (November 25)

Due to the long Thanksgiving Weekend celebrated in the United States, the Coffee Corner Meet-up #7 will already happen on Wednesday, November 25. I'm happy to host this meet-up's breakout-session and to most of you it won't come as a big surprise that the topic will be related to climate change (here is a thread explaining why).

Even though this year's typical gatherings during November and December will most likely be a lot toned down due to COVID-19, there's still a small chance that discussions might turn towards the topic of climate change when you meet - even if virtually - with family members, friends and colleagues. 2020 after all saw record-breaking fires in many countries and states and a record number of hurricanes formed in the Atlantic this year.

The case for human-caused climate change is by now as clear-cut as it can be, but I'm fairly certain that you've nonetheless heard or read various myths and misinformation about it. Please come prepared with a climate myth you've heard somebody - perhaps a "cranky uncle"? - utter somewhere and I'll try my best to debunk it in real time with the help of some resources I'll share with you. If you'd like to give me a heads-up of what you plan to "throw at me", please mention it in the comments.

The session might be worthwhile to join even if you are not all that interested in climate change, as many - if not most - of the debunking resources, tips & tricks I'll share apply to other topics like COVID-19 as well. They are important tools to be aware of in a time where we are not just living through a pandemic but also experience what some have called an "infodemic".

Hope to meet many of you on Wednesday, November 25th at 7:00 p.m. CET (1pm EDT). Registration for the Zoom-Call is available on the event page.

Cheers

Bärbel

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1 Comment

  • 13 hours ago

    Thanks for joining today's breakout session! As promised during the Meet-Up, here is the list of resources I briefly mentioned:

    The Debunking Handbook 2020

    The handbook is a consensus document that was created by an innovative process that involved a series of predefined steps, all of which were followed and documented and are publicly available. 19 co-authors were invited by the three lead authors based on their scientific status in the field, and they all agreed on all points made in the handbook. We therefore believe that the new Handbook reflects the scientific consensus about how to combat misinformation.

    https://sks.to/debunk2020 (and https://sks.to/debunk2020-de for the German translation)

    The Conspiracy Theory Handbook

    Conspiracy theories attempt to explain events as the secretive plots of powerful people. While conspiracy theories are not typically supported by evidence, this doesn’t stop them from blossoming. Conspiracy theories damage society in a number of ways. To help minimise these harmful effects, The Conspiracy Theory Handbook, by Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook, explains why conspiracy theories are so popular, how to identify the traits of conspiratorial thinking, and what are effective response strategies.

    This handbook has been translated in several other languages, all of which are available at https://sks.to/conspiracy

    The FLICC Poster

    Disinformation campaigns use these same five tricks time and again ­– not only on climate change, but on many other science-related issues. Within the five categories, further subtypes of tricks can be found, more than twenty of which John Cook has now described. Once you have seen through the basic strategies, says Cook, alongside other communication psychologists, you are much less susceptible to further attempts at disinformation – you are basically immunised against their spread.

    https://klimafakten.de/FLICC (or https://klimafakten.de/PLURV for the German version and https://sks.to/flicc-poster for an account of the collaboration between Skeptical Science and klimafakten.de to create the poster)

    History of FLICC, the techniques of science denial

    https://sks.to/flicc (or https://sks.to/plurv for the German version)

    Cranky Uncle

    Resources to combat science denial by John Cook whereever it shows up with a focus on both climate science and COVID-19 denial. Here are just a few:

    (Hopefully) soon available Cranky Uncle app to learn recognizing science denial techniques and fallacies quickly.

    Cranky Uncle cartoons available in a PPTX-file

    For some presentations done by John Cook himself (where some slides will look "somewhat" familiar!) check his events page.

    Coincidentally, John published an article in The Bulletin of Atomic Scienctists today which makes for a great wrap up for this comment:

    Making sense of your climate-denying cranky uncle

    Cheers

    Bärbel

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