The Truth Behind 6 Common Climate Change Myths
From President Obama, to the Pope, to the Surgeon General, prominent leaders are raising their voices about the need for climate action. Yet, the facts about climate change are still widely misunderstood, or too often brushed aside as hype. To motivate people to action and engage them on solutions, it’s important to make them aware that that climate change is real, that it’s happening now, and that we can do something about it.
This article in Good Housekeeping does a great job of busting six common myths using simple, straightforward language, backed up with clear data. Though the topic is serious, the overall tone is optimistic, explaining how individuals can make a meaningful difference and highlighting what’s already being done to tackle climate change.
For more ways to address climate misperceptions and make climate change real and relevant, check out our report, Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication.
By The Good Housekeeping Institute
It’s tempting to dismiss all the talk as hype, but experts say not to fall for these misconceptions.
Myth #1: If global warming were an issue, blizzards would be on the wane.
FACT: We’re seeing stronger blizzards because of global warming. As the air, land and sea get warmer, more water evaporates. So when a storm comes along, there’s more water to pick up and dump, meaning more snow when it’s cold out.
Myth #2: It’s all a natural cycle; humans can’t affect something as big as Earth.
FACT: Yes, Earth’s temperature goes up and down with the ice ages. But scientists think temperatures should be dropping in preparation for the next ice age, and instead they’re soaring. According to NASA, thermometers around the world find that the average global temp has been rising since 1880; 2014 was the hottest year yet. And before the Industrial Era, natural levels of carbon dioxide were about 275 parts per million (ppm). Now, due to all the coal, oil and gas we’ve burned, levels have topped 400 ppm. The explanation? Us.
Myth #3: It may be real, but it’s not affecting my family right now.
FACT: Climate change is already hitting our pocketbooks: U.S. losses due to natural disasters like storms, floods, droughts and wildfires rose between 1980 and 2014. Your family may also be affected by worsening allergies from plants that bloom earlier and produce more pollen due to climate change.
Image credit: Mallory Roynon