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'Hollywoodisation' of climate science doesn't work

News

15th May, 2007

Scaring people over the consequences of global warming won't get you anywhere.

This is the conclusion of new research conducted by Professor Mike Hulme, from the UK's Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, who will present his findings at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Professor Hume accused climate scientists of 'over-claiming', 'exaggeration', and the 'casual use of language':
'My argument is about the dangers of science over-claiming its knowledge about the future and in particular presenting tentative predictions about climate change using words of 'disaster', 'apocalypse' and 'catastrophe',' he told BBC News.

His research, which compared people's reactions to either sensational reports or scientific data, suggest that the "shock-horror" media presentations of climate change make the public believe the impacts will occur further in the future.

Professor Hume argues that such messages merely promote apathy and confusion.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist May 2007

 

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