Explore the latest climate disinfo publications!

AI will help spread climate disinformation.

A new report from the Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD) explores the risks that AI poses to the climate crisis. Do not miss it. Some excerpts:

Disinformation campaigns about climate change have a number  of  new  AI  tools  to  help  them  be  more  effective.

AI   models   will   allow   climate   disinformation professionals and the fossil fuel industry to build on their decades of disinformation campaigns.

Instead of having to draft content one piece at a time, AI can churn out endless content for articles, photos  and  even  websites with just brief prompts.

AI-directed bots can easily amplify climate disinformation and make it increasingly difficult to distinguish bots from humans.

AI offers an easier, quicker, and cheaper way  to automate the content farm process and spin up more climate disinformation sites with fewer resources.

Journalists reporting on climate issues are confronted with serious risks, from physical assaults and detentions to legal intimidation, cyber aggression, restrictions on freedom of movement, and obstacles in obtaining information. These reporters are often singled out by influential entities and state actors who exert considerable effort to preserve their profitable ventures that are associated with activities detrimental to the environment.

This is a direct threat to press freedom and it prevents the exposure of environmental crimes and those who sow disinformation and doubt about the science behind climate change.

Learn more by reading this investigation run by the International Press Institute, “Climate and Environmental Journalism Under Fire”.

A Trojan horse of legitimacy’:Shell launches a ‘climate tech’ startup advertising jobs in oil and gas, write The Guardian and Drilled.

Can we start envisioning a clean energy future?

Despite all the green imagery and language all appears to focus on improving oil and gas outcomes… ventures like this are part of fossil fuel firms.

This KLM’s “Fly Responsibly” campaign was misleading given that all flights generate significant amounts of emissions. The court said some of KLM’s claims about sustainability were too vague, or painted what the court described as “a too-rosy picture” about its measures to scale back emissions. A climate activist says:

Finally we have this very clear decision of the courts saying that it's illegal for companies to claim they are tackling the climate crisis, while in reality they are fueling the crisis.

Stay tuned for enlightening events & announcements!

16 April: Platforms & climate disinformation

Join us for an EU DisinfoLab and Heinrich Böll Foundation webinar, as Devin Bahceci, expert from the Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD), shares his insights on how platforms have responded to the EU regulations to prevent climate disinformation. Mark your calendar – registration opening soon.

The annual EGU General Assembly in Austria will host an expert panel outlining how climate disinfo is created and spread in the digital age and to what extend the scientific community is responsibility of managing and preventing it.

The Youth Climate LAB of Education for climate will organise a conference with two sessions exploring how to transform teaching around AI and climate change into knowledge and skills with a special focus on disinformation, foresight and useful AI tools.

UNESCO will organise a webinar focused on countering climate disinformation from media literacy.

Don’t miss this online course to tackle climate misinformation run by AFP. It is free and in 45 minutes you’ll learn how to verify content and claims about climate change, we’ll talk about “greenwashing”, see what content is not verifiable, identify some types of misinformation and which sources to use.

Climate Action Against Disinformation is recruiting two new positions to join their central coordination team.

Check out our monthly thematic focus!

Denying climate change affects our mental health

Denial is one of the stages of grief. And when it comes to climate, I think most of us are on a spectrum of denial, which makes sense for a lot of social and psychological reasons. But knowing that the planetary emergency is real without acting like it is real is problematic. It’s effectively ignoring the subconscious and unconscious alarm bells that are going off in your brain and body…not to mention ignoring the quickly changing physical reality of the world you live in. This cognitive dissonance (the discomfort a person feels when their behavior does not align with their values or beliefs) is not good for your well-being. It runs in the background constantly and is energetically draining.

Keep reading Why Emotions Are Key to Accelerating Climate Action, by the self-defined ‘sustainability nerd’, Ryan Hagen.

Watch this 12’ video by @AdamClimate and Dr. Gilbz where confessing that they are also fighting climate fears but won’t ever fall on ‘doomism’.

Extract from their conversation, by topic:

Records everywhere

2023 was a particularly difficult year … We saw record ocean heat; we saw Antarctic sea ice do a nosedive unlike anything we've ever seen before and extreme weather events ravaging the globe… There were also studies looking a degree – this crucial threshold –and really calling it into question (…)

Instrumentalised COP

On top of that, the policy around climate change was also pretty bleak to look at, obviously culminating in COP 28 executed by an oil tycoon.

Depressing mode

So, where do we get our motivation and our courage? What do we do to deal with all our climate feelings? My levels of anxiety, my sense of happiness ... The scientific evidence is quite overwhelming... A paper suggested that its collapse is inevitable, not immediately, but over the much longer term. And I found that really depressing...

‘Hopium’

But that can give people the idea that it's game over... Even though it's worse than we would like it to be and it will get worse as long as we keep emitting, that doesn't mean we've lost control. We have the power to stop or and limit most aspects of climate change still. Maybe that is also a reason we get accused of things like “hopium”, because we will point out what's bad while also acknowledging what can still be done to stop things being worse.

Against climate delay positions

I often say, you know, every 10th of a degree makes a difference. So, every action makes a difference and people still say, “No, no, it's totally futile. We might as well give up.” But actually, that in itself is a delay tactic. Climate change is bad enough already. We don't need to make it any worse than it is.

We recommend reading this report published in Nature that explains that six broad-spectrum psychological inoculation strategies are a promising approach to fight climate disinformation. This consist of pre-emptive warnings about incoming disinformation coupled with psychological resources, counterarguments and/or rhetorical techniques to resist disinformation.