Countering deliberate misinformation hasn’t been a big issue for me in 12 years of professional business writing.
Spin? Sure. Advantageous positioning? Of course.
But no outright lying.
Moving into the Sustainability world has introduced me to a new level of complicated. I see fear-mongering, cherry picking, rewriting history, and what looks to me like plain old lying.
Considering what’s at stake, I’m not surprised. The Climate Change conversation combines fantastically detailed subject matter, ferociously entrenched viewpoints, and the howling wind of information overload. There’s a lot of money to be made and power to be retained. Winners and losers.
So what’s a communicator to do? Learn to state a strong case, call bull when I see it, and debunk with civility.
The Debunking Handbook is a guide to debunking myths, by John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky.
The Debunking Handbook, a guide to debunking misinformation, is now freely available to download. Although there is a great deal of psychological research on misinformation, there’s no summary of the literature that offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of myths. The Debunking Handbook boils the research down into a short, simple summary, intended as a guide for communicators in all areas (not just climate) who encounter misinformation.