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How Misinformation is Blinding Us

Why do some people refuse to believe in climate change? I believe that the answer to this question is simply fear and misinformation. Today there is so much information that is being put into circulation on the Internet that it can be hard to know what to trust and what not to trust. Scientists claim that Earth is round and that they can predict the size of other stars out in the galaxy, yet the average person has not seen this for themselves. It’s easier to come to our own conclusions based on what we can see and reject the claims that others make. In some cases, these conspiracies are harmless, and it leaves room for one to make their own discoveries. However, sometimes misinformation can spread fear and panic. In the end, we end up asking the wrong questions and believing the wrong information.

In the case of flat Earth believers, it is easy to conclude that the Earth is flat because the ground beneath them is flat. Similarly, it’s easier to believe that climate change is not real because year after year, it seems like the climate is consistent. In addition, to accept that climate change is real is to also accept that important changes must be made to help the Earth survive. Some may feel that changes to our current way of living is simply a way of forcing change by injecting fear into the general public. Misinformation like this can be dangerous because it can cause people to panic and make misinformed decisions. In the case of the current pandemic in 2020, many are already making conspiracy theories about this virus becoming an easy excuse to get everyone vaccinated. To many who have knowledge on the basics of vaccines, this may seem absurd, but to the general public this theory could be possible. That small drop of fear is enough to get people to start doubting the experts and this in return affects the rest of the population.

I was tasked to watch a documentary on YouTube called “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. This documentary talked about global warming, from the perspective of skeptics. This was an interesting assignment because it gave us the opportunity to see both sides of the arguments. Watching this document, it was easy to see why some people would become skeptics. The arguments they conveyed were presented in a way that one would easily believe them. It was structured the way any other documentary would be, and with their arguments I began to question if they were right. After watching this documentary, I realized that the reason some people are skeptics is simply because they do not know what they can trust.

“Fake news” is littered throughout social media and Google, making it hard for people to know what they can trust. Even “experts” can have their own opinions and beliefs that they want to prove. The easy solution to this is to do your own research to find out what is right and wrong. Find multiple sources that can give you information and find a common ground that will paint you a picture of what is true. Keep an open mind, and welcome new information while understanding the counter argument. This means that rather than pointing and calling names, understand why skeptics are making their point.

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