Magenta Nation – Fakchex


This year’s record-breaking heat waves—the hottest recorded in history—only add greater urgency to dealing with the oncoming impacts of climate change. Warnings have been around for years, yet up until now, too little has been done. If we’re already seeing the effects of a changing climate, what’s causing the delay? Why do some people still believe that efforts to fight climate change won’t work, or that it even exists?

The scientific community has been aware of the dangers that emissions pose to the climate for at least a century. By the 1980s, scientists, politicians, and even oil industry leaders had publicly acknowledged the dangers of carbon emissions and their connection to fossil fuels. James Hansen, a leading climate scientist at NASA, testified in 1988 that scientific data had confirmed the part that human action was playing in climate change. Journalists began covering the issue prominently, and both the United Nations and the U.S. started exploring policy solutions to address the threat of climate change.

The fossil fuel industry was well aware of these public statements and findings. Internal documents that have leaked or come out in lawsuits revealed that oil giants including Chevron, ExxonMobil, and more admitted privately that the scientific findings on emissions and humans’ effect on climate was sound at least as early as 1995. Unfortunately, accepting that fossil fuel use contributed to harmful climate change would potentially be bad for business. These documents also revealed the industry launched a massive climate denialism campaign to contradict and distort climate science conclusions, spread misinformation about the issue to the public, and block the development and passage of climate policies and legislation. They employed various tactics including funding independent scientists to question the scientific basis of climate change, establishing industry groups to promote doubts about climate change publicly while hiding their influence, and even forging letters to politicians from non-profits advocating for various groups to urge them against supporting various climate legislation.

That concentrated, coordinated campaign continues today, but the landscape has changed: the effects of climate change in shifting temperatures and more extreme weather events have made it more difficult to outright deny its existence. Rather than admit defeat, however, climate denialists just shifted tactics to spreading false and misleading claims about possible solutions and its true impact. Here are some you may have heard:

  • Renewable energy sources are less reliable than oil and gas.” Actually, oil and gas also experience disruptions caused by geopolitics, weather, and other factors that make prices volatile and threaten supplies, while technological advancements continue to make renewables more consistent.
  • “Renewable energy sources are more expensive than fossil fuels.” In fact, the prices and costs of renewable energy have been falling for years, and already in 2021 new renewable energy products were coming in at cheaper costs than new fossil fuel.
  • “Fossil fuels drive economic growth, so climate action will harm the economy and make people poorer.” Replacing fossil fuels won’t prevent vehicles or factories from working because we have alternative energies to power them now—and analysis estimates that if we do nothing about climate change, the global economy could shrink by as much as 18% of GDP due to temperatures’ and environmental disasters’ effects on people, property, and business.
  • “Global warming is good because it will make colder places more livable and reduce the number of deaths caused by cold.” While colder places will likely become generally warmer, on the other hand changes in temperature may create serious weather changes like increased or extreme rainfall that could affect farming and living. Meanwhile, other places will become uninhabitable due to extreme heat, and increases in heat-related deaths would cancel out lives saved from cold.

The point of this climate disinformation is to discourage people from taking action by convincing them that those actions won’t work or aren’t worth the cost. And unfortunately, it’s been working: policymakers have been slow to take appropriate action partly because climate misinformation has been successful at turning public opinion against climate measures and even inspiring possible violence against pro-climate policymakers.

Pushing back on climate denial disinformation is critical for achieving any real progress in fighting climate change, and there are several ways to do that. As individuals we can fact-check any false claims about climate change we see to debunk misinformation. We can even try to get ahead of climate misinformation by teaching others to recognize its common characteristics of logical fallacies, fake experts, and cherrypicked examples. If we really want to win the battle to save our planet and society, we must win the battle against misinformation too.

Thank you for reading this Fakchex article. Please share this article and join us in the fight to combat disinformation.

Fakchex presents short, fact-based articles and videos on topics about which there is considerable disinformation. It is the only grassroots communication program that helps people personally combat disinformation. Fakchex articles are designed for sharing with people who care about these topics, but may not be aware of the facts OR may not have time to research them on their own. Together, we can combat the powerful forces of disinformation that prevent us from coming together to realistically address our problems and opportunities.

This is a FREE program, open to all.

Subscribe to receive Fakchex articles at:

See videos here: