If social media has taught us one thing, it’s that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Still, in the last few years fake news has been spiralling out of control online, thanks mainly to social networks – Facebook, we’re looking at you.
After revelations of data breaches and rumours that they’re spying on their users, this week parents of Sandy Hook victim Noah Poezner wrote an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, begging him to change his policies regarding conspiracy theories and “alternative facts.” Zuckerberg has previously promised to do more to fight the spread of misinformation on the platform, but posts still keep popping up.
Donald Trump’s war on the mainstream media has encouraged the rise of fake news. The president has inspired distrust in traditional news outlets, meaning fake news is being treated as fact despite the lack of reliable sources. Hence the recent onslaught of flat earthers, doomsday prophecies, and climate change deniers.
Well, whether you want to believe it or not, climate change is real, but that hasn’t stopped a video from going viral on Facebook claiming otherwise.
Created by climate change-denier Marc Morano, the clip boasts that its disproved the science behind climate change, but fortunately British newspaper The Guardian is putting it’s foot down. The publication launched an investigation into the claims made in the video, proving it to be factually incorrect.
In the clip, Morano denies the 97% consensus that human action causes global warming, saying the study sample size was too small. However, this was one study amongst multiple that agree man-made global warming is real. Morano also claims that we’re not experiencing the hottest period on record, and that any words to that effect are “political statements,” but 2014 to 2017 really were the hottest years ever recorded.
Finally, Morano ends the video by declaring that “the most outrageous myth of all is that carbon dioxide is somehow the control knob of the climate change.” This is despite the fact that in 2010, Nasa published a paper called ‘Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature,’ that said just that. Morano also states that carbon dioxide levels are “one of these factors that gets essentially drowned out, and you can’t distinguish its effect from natural variability.” This is also false, with global warming now well outside the range of natural variability. In fact, temperatures are now warming up 20 times faster than naturally possible.
If you want to learn more, you can read The Guardian’s full report here, but sadly, much more needs to be done to stop fake news from spreading.