For anyone interested in debunking climate change myths, there's a great resource that should be your first read: the Debunking Handbook. It's a short and simple guide on what to do and what not to do when countering misinformation from the masters of myth-busting at Skeptical Science. (For those that want a more advanced course, consider signing up for their MOOC on climate denial.) The main points? Don't repeat the myth, keep the rebuttal simple and work within your audience's worldview.
One person who needs to read the handbook is Hannah Devlin, who has a piece in the "Observer Tech Monthly" special on climate change that attempts to confront some big climate change myths. For some reason, Devlin not only repeats the myths, but does so in ALL CAPS, UNDER BOLD HEADERS. While the following paragraphs attempt to debunk the myth, the reader inevitably walks away with a reinforced memory of the myth, since short simple sentences in ALL CAPS AND BOLD stand out to the eye and are remembered much more than longwinded and technical paragraph text. By making myths stand out in a way that's generally reserved for the most important (and true) information, it reinforces rather than debunks them.
Further, the piece attempts to "explode" some myths on "both sides of the divide," meaning that Devlin unfortunately slips into false balance framing. For example, she discusses the idea that humans face extinction (other animals, yes, humans, not likely) and conflates micro and macro issues by explaining that warming will "be fortuitous for some." Yes, there are a handful of positive outcomes, but those are swamped by the variety and severity of negative consequences.
Overall, please remember that if you want to debunk something, the last thing you should do is make the myth look like THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER by employing the same font or typeface generally reserved for headlines and main points.
One last thing: There's another piece in the Observer Tech special. In it, "naive" Tamsin Edwards comes to the defense of "lukewarmers" (AKA delayers) who accept some climate change science, but, one way or another, always end up arguing against taking swift and meaningful action. Her defense rests on the case for a lowered climate sensitivity, which has been debunked repeatedly. Most recently was Dana Nuccettilli's warning against single study syndrome, published just days before the Edwards piece.
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