Combatting Climate Change Misinformation

April 2, 2024

Discussing the reality of climate change can be difficult, especially because many people perpetuate misinformation about climate change, which is then spread to others. Misinformation is false information, incorrect information that has been spread. This information may be spread intentionally or unintentionally. Disinformation is a type of misinformation that has been created or manipulated and spread deliberately (for example, conspiracy theories). Another important concept in the fight against climate misinformation is media literacy, which is your ability to understand the influence of mass media. 

The Environmental Defense Fund recommends 4 ways to combat climate change myths:  

  1. Ignore online conspiracy theories. Do not like, save or share posts with misinformation.  

  1. Do not repeat climate-related misinformation, as this can amplify it.  

  1. Combat myths with truths. Correct misinformation without repeating the inaccuracy.  

  1.  Use unbiased language and sources.  

With the rise of social media-based news sources, it is important to be media literate. Media literacy refers to how we access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in various forms, such as TV, radio, social media, images, and more. Media literacy allows us to distinguish fact from fiction through critical thinking, but it is a skill that must be developed.  

Some questions to ask that can help boost your media literacy are:  

  1. Who created this message? 

  1. What techniques are being used to grab my attention? 

  1. How could others interpret this message differently from me?  

  1. What values, lifestyles, and points of view are presented or left out of the message? 

  1. Why is this message being sent?  

Answering these questions will allow you to think critically about what information you receive and share with your network. Click here to access a printable version of this checklist for both consumers and producers from the Center for Media Literacy.    

There are many websites you can use to fact-check information you encounter, including: