Issues Magazine

Articles about climate change

Livestock, Food and Climate Change

By Carlos Seré

The 800 million livestock keepers of the developing world are among those communities at greatest risk of climate change. They need technological and policy support to produce the greater amounts of milk, meat and eggs needed to feed the world – and to do so more efficiently with less environmental cost.

Agriculture, on which we all depend for our food, is under threat from climate change. There is no doubt that systems worldwide will have to adapt, but while consumers may barely notice in developed countries, millions of people in developing countries face a very real and direct threat to their food security and livelihoods.

The truth is out there - So how do you debunk a myth?

By John Cook

John Cook set out to debunk two climate myths by exploiting the psychology of misinformation.

Debunking myths requires an understanding of the psychological research into misinformation. But getting your refutation out in front of lots of eyeballs is a whole other matter.

Here, I look at two contrasting case studies in debunking climate myths.

If you don’t do it right, you run the risk of actually reinforcing the myth. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to avoid any potential backfire effects.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Science

By Stephan Lewandowsky, Gilles Gignac & Klaus Oberauer

Conspiratorial thinking is a major element in the rejection of a broad range of scientific findings, from climate change to tobacco, vaccinations, GM foods and the moon landing. But why?

Prince Phillip runs the world drug trade, the 9/11 attacks in the US were an “inside job” of the Bush administration, and US President Barak Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate is a forgery. Oh, and climate change is a hoax perpetrated by corrupt scientists who just want more government grant money.

Stephan Lewandowsky is a Winthrop Professor at the University of Western Australia. Gilles Gignac earned his PhD at Swinburne University, and now specialises in statistics and psychometrics. Klaus Oberauer is Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Zurich.

The truth is out there - So how do you debunk a myth?

By John Cook

John Cook set out to debunk two climate myths by exploiting the psychology of misinformation.

Debunking myths requires an understanding of the psychological research into misinformation. But getting your refutation out in front of lots of eyeballs is a whole other matter.

Here, I look at two contrasting case studies in debunking climate myths.

If you don’t do it right, you run the risk of actually reinforcing the myth. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to avoid any potential backfire effects.

Don't let denial get in the way of a good science story

By Ian Lowe

Science communicators have a responsibility to counter a tsunami of misinformation and facilitate community understanding of important issues like climate change and nuclear safety.

There was a time when science was seen as a body secure knowledge, given credibility by the scientific method and peer review.

Back in the 1970s when I was a young lecturer, the task communicating science to the general public was straightforward, at least in principle. I had to understand the science well enough to explain it clearly and simply, then craft that explanation.

If you think King Coal is dead, think again …

By Mike Sandiford

Coal is set to surpass oil as the most important energy commodity sometime this year.

If you are like me, and concerned about the possibility that rising CO₂ levels in the atmosphere are jeopardising climate stability, the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy makes for sobering reading.