Energy

Academics: We Need ‘Mental Vaccine’ Against ‘Fake Global Warming News’

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Academic psychologists at several universities are studying how to”inoculate” the public against “fake news” about global warming.

Researchers from Cambridge, Yale and George Mason University added a small dose of “misinformation” to statements about global warming, which they say helped make subjects more aware of “distortion tactics used by certain groups.”

“We wanted to see if we could find a ‘vaccine’ by pre-emptively exposing people to a small amount of the type of misinformation they might experience,” Dr. Sander van der Linden, a University of Cambridge professor and the study’s lead author, said in a press statement. “A warning that helps preserve the facts. The idea is to provide a cognitive repertoire that helps build up resistance to misinformation, so the next time people come across it they are less susceptible.”

Researchers tested this tactic on 2,000 participants across a representative sample of the U.S. online.  This “inoculation” was able to cause a shift of 6.5 percent towards acceptance of the climate science consensus, despite exposure to fake news.”

This isn’t the first Orwellian attempt to brainwash people into global warming alarmism. Research by Oregon State University found that best way to get adults to act like environmentalists is by brainwashing their children.

The study found that talking to kids about global warming caused their parents to use less energy and act more like environmentalists. The research was run on 30 Girl Scout troops in northern California and had a “lasting impact on family energy consumption” for at least eight months after the end of the program.

Based on the study’s success, the researchers are now disseminating the curriculum to youth organizations around the country including schools and youth-focused organizations such as 4-H with the help of other universities, like Stanford.

The study was financially supported by government grants from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy Program, the California Energy Commission, the Child Health Research Institute and the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center.

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