The Battle Against Misinformation on Climate Change

by Kaushal Kumar

The fight against climate change is one that our world is going to have to fight against for years, and it is essential that people have an honest understanding about what climate change is and its implications so they can understand the severity of the issue. This is why it is so important that when people are exposed to the topic of climate change, the information that they are exposed to must be logical and factually correct.

Recently a nonprofit called “Greenpeace” has called out YouTube for promoting ads that deny climate change or promote misinformation about climate change on their videos. The nonprofit claims that not only are the ads misleading, but YouTube is drawing revenue by displaying the ads, and are in turn making money off of the spread of untrue claims surrounding climate change (NBC).

But the ads are not the only place where climate change deniers go to spread misinformation. According to Time, when searching “Global Warming” on YouTube more than 15% of the top 100 video responses are some form of climate change denial, or attack against the idea of climate change.

So What?

These ads and videos have a bigger impact than a company generating revenue off of lies, and that is the effect that they may be having on the audiences of the videos. 81% of parents say that they let their children watch videos on Youtube. This means that there is a large audience of impressionable kids who cannot discern between the lies that these advertisers are spreading and the truth about these topics. By exposing children, and even unknowing adults to this misinformation, YouTube is helping fuel these fraudulent campaigns, making it harder and harder for our world to win its fight against climate change, one that we cannot afford to lose.