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Climate Change Fact Sheet: Countering Common Denialist Arguments

Question:

• Students will produce a two-page climate change fact sheet that provides a clear, well-illustrated, thoroughly reference evidence-based argument to a non-specialist audience to counter a key climate denialist statement.
See the module handbook for the assessment feedback sheet and marking criteria that I will use to mark your assessment.

 

Examples* of Common Climate Change Denialist/Contrarian Arguments


• But Earth’s Climate has always changed, it has nothing to do with people.

• Plants need carbon dioxide to grow, so rising atmospheric carbon dioxide is a good thing.

• Look how cold and snowy this winter is…it’s proof there is no global warming!

• The snowfall this winter proves that global warming isn’t real.

• Global warming is due to space weather (sunspots and galactic cosmic rays) not human activity

• Carbon dioxide (CO2) only makes up a small part of Earth’s atmosphere so it can’t have a large heating effect.

• Instrumental records of temperature are unreliable and/or manipulated by scientists. How can we trust them?

• Scientists are alarmists, it’s not as bad or as urgent as they say it is.

• Climate models are wrong and overly sensitive to carbon dioxide.

• Scientists predicted a return into an ice age in the 1970s. That didn’t happen so why should I trust them about global warming.

• Atmospheric water vapour is a heat trapping gas and is primarily responsible for global warming.

• A Grand Solar Minimum is coming. It will counteract global warming.

 • A fact sheet is a display of data and information in a format that emphasizes the key points, usually with the help of tables, bullet points, and headings in a single printed page (either one sided or front and back) or it can be presented digitally.

• It gives useful information about a particular issue.

• It is also called a fact file or one sheet.

• A fact sheet is meant to reach as many people as possible so it needs to be eye-catching, engaging, clear, and to the point.

• A fact sheet provides readers from your targeted audience with convincing and factual information in a clear and concise manner.

• It may be used to inform people about a business, organization, product, service, campaign, event, public health or environmental issue or any other topic.

• Its purpose is to inform the general public about information that is important to them.

• In the case of a climate change, fact sheets are a way to correct widespread misunderstandings and misinformation about the science.

• Key information, facts, and figures around a topic

• Charts, images, graphs that convey the data

• Statistics

• Technical data

• FAQs and lists

• “How-to” or “What can you do” pages

• educational materials

• References/Sources/Resources

 

How many pages is a Fact Sheet?
• They vary in length but are never more than four pages. You have been asked to produce a two-page fact sheet. This is two full A4 sides or a single A4  page front and back. 

• These can be created much like a poster

• You can use Powerpoint or Word or other publishing or webpage software

• There are free templates available online if you wish to use one

• Use headers to organise information

• Write succinctly

• Use and cite the published literature

• Include well-chosen visuals that will both engage and inform your audience (and cite their source(s) as well)

• Use Figure numbers and captions and refer to these where appropriate in the text

• Before submitting your fact sheet, proof read it and put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Your reader may not understand the science of climate change and/or has been told by climate change denialists that climate change isn’t real.

• How will you get through to them?

• Have you explained the science well?

• Have you been respectful to your audience whilst correcting common climate change misunderstandings?

• Have you considered every possible avenue of misunderstanding?

• Are your arguments clear, strong, and supported by reputable, peer-reviewed research?

• Share your fact sheet with others before submitting to make sure that you have achieved what you set out to achieve.

 

Summative Assessment Deadline
Submit your 2 page fact sheet to the Summative Assessment portal on Blackboard Ultra  on or before the deadline of:

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