New analyses show that lies about climate change increased to unprecedented levels. The rise of content that rejects widely accepted climate science, also known as climate skepticism or climate denial, piles on top of growing concerns about misinformation and hate on social media platforms.
According to an analysis done for The Times by City, University of London researchers, there has been an increase in the use of climate-sceptic terminology on the social media site. This year, 850,000 climate-skeptic social media posts have been made, compared to 650,000 in the previous two years.
Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe told The Times that climate denial was like a dumpster fire.
It was already a dumpster fire when it came to climate denial on social media.
The recent rise in climate misinformation can be traced to a single #climatesCAM. Climate-skeptic language makes up around 40 percent of the social media posts this year. Before that, it was just 2 percent.
The top result when searching for "#climate" is "#climatesCAM". There is a lot of misinformation about climate change. There is an image in a popular post that defines "manmade climate change" as "the made up catastrophe the globalists/socialists use to instil fear and guilt to tax, regulate, and remove our freedoms while pretending to be saving the planet."
There is a meme with a picture of a man with his finger in his nose. The meme says that if I eat bugs and pay more money to the government the weather will be better.
Climate change is caused by greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. A major United Nations climate science report published last year concluded that human activity is the main cause of more frequent extreme weather across the planet.
As delegates from across the world met for a key UN climate conference in November, misinformation about climate change exploded on social media. The use of #climatesCAM doubled from October to November. According to an analysis conducted for The Times by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, that was 17 times more than the average monthly use of the #.
Climate misinformation seems to be driven by repeat offenders on social media. A quarter of recent climate-skeptic content was shared on the social media platform. Musk's decision to welcome back people who had previously been barred from the platform has allowed people to return who push content that is contrary to mainstream climate science. Jordan Peterson, a Canadian personality, was thrown off the social networking site in July for a mistake he made. According to research, it is necessary by the middle of the century to prevent global warming from going above 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Climate scientists and experts are considering leaving the platform as it fails to moderate harmful content. The Center for Countering Digital Hate has found a rise in hate speech on social media. The company did not respond to a request for comment, even though it was dissolved during layoffs in November.
Climate scientists say this isn't a good place to have conversations with each other anymore. The head of civic action and education at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue told The Guardian that hate speech and death threats have become lightening rods for them.
The post has been updated with the name and title of the person.