What is a climate myth?
Climate myths refer to popular misconceptions or distorted facts related to climate change, which mostly circulate the online space. Climate myths can be either purposefully crafted fake news designed with the intent to mislead or simply false information spread on the internet without a clear recipient. Climate myths can be especially dangerous to people lacking critical thinking skills who are not aware of existing fact-checking sites to use in order to debunk the misbeliefs with real facts.
How to detect climate fake news and misinformation?
INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE
FIND BETTER COVERAGE
TRACE CLAIMS, QUOTES AND MEDIA TO THE ORIGINAL CONTEXT
Where did you find the news?
Investigate the source – if it is a website, check the Contact info, read the“About us” section.
Who is the author of the story?
Do they specialize in the field that the article is about? Do a quick background check on the author on LinkedIn or Google.
When is the publication posted?
Check the date and remember that some false stories aren’t completely fake, but rather distortions of real events. They can take a legitimate news and twist what it says — or even claim that something that happened long ago is related to current events.
What about the facts?
Check the sources of the story and the facts it contains. If no sources try to find as much information as you can. Make sure you find at least two other fact-checking sites to verify a story.
Is there a video or are there pictures in the story?
Check them using a reverse image search tool. Remember that photos or video content do not automatically make a publication credible – learn more about Deepfakes.
Does the news seem exaggerated or sensational?
Be cautious if you see provocative headlines with excessive use of capital letters or emotional language.
Does the information seem authentic?
Check for any misspellings, poor language or other indications of an obscure or dubious source.
The SLACC Compilation of climate myths consists of 33 of the most common climate myths along with the real explanations debunking them, accompanied with scientific facts and useful links where the correct information can be found. The myths are categorized in 6 groups depending on the main topic/message of the misconception. Some of the links to the reliable sources are only available in national languages, therefore it is recommended to use the “Google Translate” option of your web browser.