• Are You a Climate Change Sceptic? Take This Free Course!

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Are You a Climate Change Sceptic? Take This Free Course!

Apr 26 2015

Back in 2009, then climate change secretary and current Labour Party leader Ed Miliband branded climate change sceptics "profoundly irresponsible". Meanwhile, Gordon Brown (who was Prime Minister at the time) also weighed in, calling deniers “environmental Luddites”. In the more than five years that have since passed, it’s a sad truth that climate change sceptics still exist.

In these five years, there has been overwhelming meteorological evidence that global warming is affecting our planet and its population. One only has to look at the number of earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, floods and droughts for evidence of its impact. Or, on a more mundane level, mild winters and record-breaking summers continue to point to the existence of climate change – and study after study has suggested that it is largely manmade.

Now, in an attempt to quash scepticism once and for all, the University of Queensland is launching a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled “Making Sense of Climate Change Denial”. The course will be free to take for all those who desire from the 28th April and hopes to debunk common denial myths for good.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

The course is aimed at not only disproving common climate change myths, but also looking at the roots of such myths. By discerning where these fallacies came from, the course hopes to equip its participants with the ability to identify and debunk an untruth before it has time to take hold.

Such an approach is novel in that in its attempt to not only disprove scepticism, but to thoroughly eradicate it by exposing its origins. If students are able to emerge from the course with a more comprehensive grasp of science denial and the psychology behind it, they will be less susceptible to manipulative campaigns and deliberate untruths.

A Star Studded Cast of Lecturers

The course is being coordinated by the founder of the website Skeptical Science, John Cook, who happens to be a fellow at the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute. It will comprise of seven weeks of lectures and interviews with such luminaries in the field as Sir David Attenborough, Michael Mann and Richard Alley, among some 70 others.

The announcement of the course has been warmly received, with thousands of people from more than 130 countries already signalling their enthusiasm by enrolling. If successful, the world’s population – and most importantly, those in power – may be persuaded to actually take climate change seriously and plan accordingly. However, while there is still money to be made from its denial, you can bet your bottom dollar (excuse the pun) that deniers will still stick to their guns.

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