Despite a growing number of scientists who question the science of global warming, some people still believe in it. However, fake news may be affecting public support for climate policy.
Science of global warming is suspect
Despite the fact that the human race has been warming up the planet since the mid-1800s, there are still many questions to be answered about the science of global warming. Amongst the list of questions are: what is the best way to combat climate change; what is the best method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and how do we do it? The answers to these questions will help us to better understand the challenges of coping with climate change, and in turn, ensure the safety of our homes and businesses. Besides, the plethora of new technologies such as advanced sensors and computer models are helping scientists do their jobs.
One of the most important things to know is that humans are not the only ones affecting the earth’s climate. The earth is constantly being warmed up and warmed down, resulting in increased rainfall, and an ensuing rise in sea levels. The latest data on greenhouse gas levels shows that the world’s average temperature has risen by nearly 2.5 degrees in the last century.
It’s no secret that the climate change debate has been a divisive topic in recent years, and with a few notable exceptions, a number of scientists and politicians are not on the same page. In this context, the best thing to do is to remain calm, cool and collected.
Economic impact of global warming is unnecessarily severe
Several recent studies have demonstrated that the economic impact of global warming is unnecessarily large. The good news is that these studies have yielded empirical estimates of the total cost of mitigating the effects of climate change. These include the following:
The most obvious cost of global warming is the cost of carbon emissions, but it also includes other social costs associated with the production of fossil fuels, such as pollution and health care costs. Moreover, the impacts of global warming include increased frequency of tropical storms and hurricanes, decreased rainfall, and greater ocean acidification. The latter will cause increased sea levels that will damage farming and fresh water supplies in low-lying regions.
Other notable examples are the financial losses incurred by flooding, and the increased risk of vector-borne diseases such as malaria. In addition, the effects of climate change on the ozone layer will result in more smog, which is bad for our health and the environment. The best way to mitigate these risks is to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Thankfully, the World Bank and other policymakers have recognized this and have set out to implement a carbon price that is both fair and effective.
It is not surprising that the most important economic impacts of climate change will be felt by those with the least. These include low-income countries, indigenous communities, and island nations. Those who have not invested in a sustainable economy will not be well positioned to cope with the inevitable changes to their environment.
Effects of fake news on public support for climate policy
Despite mounting evidence that climate change is real and manmade, many people are still skeptical of the science behind it. This scepticism may be fueled by climate misinformation.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, exposure to fake news about climate change causes people to reframe their perceptions of climate science and subsequently their beliefs about climate change. This could cause confusion and denial, which can stall support for effective climate policy.
There are a number of psychological factors that can explain these effects. For instance, people will give more weight to information they’ve heard before. They will also assume that other people believe the same thing.
Other factors that can affect perceptions of climate policy include media consumption. For example, the news media tends to present conservatives as more conservative than the average person. This can lead Americans to underestimate other people’s support for climate change mitigation policies.
In addition, there are differences in media coverage between liberal and conservative states. Liberal states have lower misperceptions. In addition, there are more climate protests in these states. This is likely due to the influence of local norms, as well as salient information from the news media.
The study also found that people underestimate the support for all climate policies. This underestimation is most pronounced among conservatives . However, it is far outweighed by the overall misperception level.