How can you tell if someone is denying scientific evidence?

How can you tell if someone is denying scientific evidence?

There is no doubt that burning fossil fuels is the main cause of global warming.And yet some people nonetheless deny the existence of climate change or that we cause it.

Science denial uses several telltale techniques. Learning how to spot them can protect you against being misled.

One technique of denial is fake experts: spokespeople with no relevant expertise. The tobacco industry in the 1960s rolled out dudes in a white coat to create the appearance of scientific dissent. The same operatives are now working in climate denial and roll out fake experts again.

Another technique involves logical fallacies, such as incoherent arguments. Some people will say that you cannot measure temperature because thermometers aren’t reliable. But a moment later they’ll tell you, don’t worry, it’s been cooling for 10 years. Really? How do you know that if you cannot measure temperature? 

Another technique of denial is cherry-picking, that is focusing on select pieces of data while denying any science you disagree with. Some people point to thermometers in Timbuktu that have been cooling for 3 years while ignoring the billions of data points that consistently show warming.

Knowing these techniques is the first step to giving misinformation the FLICC.

Further reading

“Disinformation 101” (FLICC) Poster:

A history of FLICC: the 5 techniques of science denial:

FLICC-Poster – a successful collaboration between klimafakten and SkS:

“Climate change, disinformation, and how to combat it”

edX Course:

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