Denial 101X: An online course combating climate change denial. [video]

In the arena of climate change, I’d like to spend as little time as possible on the subject of deniers. Denying the proven scientific reality of climate change is an immoral and emotionally bankrupt strategy for dealing with the serious environmental problems from greenhouse gas emissions. But there are still deniers out there, and denial does pose a live threat to governmental and non-governmental efforts to combat climate change. So unfortunately we must deal with it.

I really like the way University of Queensland (Australia) has chosen to deal with this thorny problem. They’ve produced and put online, free, a whole host of videos–the equivalent of an online university-level course–to explain the science behind climate change and tear out the bad wiring in people’s heads that fosters denial of scientific fact. Above you’ll see the introductory video to this program, which is called “Denial 101x.” This is a project spearheaded by the University and also by various scientists and popular science writers behind the extremely effective website Skeptical Science, which is a clearinghouse for refuting popular climate change denial myths. That it’s now in video form can only help its reach.

I definitely do not recommend trolling climate change deniers by throwing this video in their faces, but for ordinary people who want to understand both climate science and the psychology of denial, I think this is a great tool. If you like it, you can check out all of the Denial 101x videos on the project’s YouTube channel, here.

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7 Comments

  1. “I definitely do not recommend trolling climate change deniers by throwing this video in their faces.”

    Unfortunately I have never come across a way to really communicate with a hardcore denier. It’s hard to, when everything you have is dismissed as a conspiracy theory.

    1. Quite right. At least at the grass roots level, climate change denial is actually a conspiracy theory. It’s sowed by fossil fuel industry propaganda, but the reason ordinary people buy into it is the exact same reason many people believe conspiracy theories. You can’t reason with anyone who thinks the moon landing was faked or Obama was born in Kenya.

      1. I’m ashamed to admit it, because I don’t want to be lumped into the fake moon landing crowd…but when it comes to certain subjects I’m a conspiracy theorist as well. Don’t get me started on UFO’s!

        But the global warming issue…no conspiracy theorist has ever been able to explain to me why I can clearly remember this being taught in my grade 10 geography class curriculum. It wasn’t nearly as controversial back then if it was at all! But there it is, in my grade 10 textbooks — the mechanism of how trapped co2 reflects more heat back to the earth etc. What the world may look like in 2050. All in a grade 10 textbook from a few decades ago. So when did this change to a “hoax”??

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