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European Climate Pact

How to deal with climate disinformation

It is important to tell positive and constructive stories of climate action. However, public discussions can only improve if we handle disinformation. These three booklets are useful, if you want to: 

  • Learn to identify conspiracies and how to talk with people who believe in them 

  • Debunk misinformation effectively  

  • Talk about the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change 

1. The Consensus Handbook: Awareness raising about climate disinformation about scientific consensus on human caused climate change 

The Consensus Handbook is written by scientists who have studied the psychology of consensus. It examines the misinformation campaigns attacking the consensus that humans are causing global warming and explains how we can close the consensus gap. Scientists and communicators need to understand the psychology of consensus and the misinformation campaign that attempts to exploit this psychology to reduce public support for climate action.  

2. The Debunking Handbook: How to effectively deal with misinformation 

The handbook distils important research findings and current expert advice on how misinformation can do damage, where misinformation comes from, how to prevent misinformation, simple steps to obtain greater media literacy and the importance of debunking often and properly and the role of collective action to debunk on social media. 

3. The Conspiracy Theory Handbook: How to recognize and deal with conspiracy theories 

Conspiracy theories attempt to explain events as the secretive plots of powerful people. While conspiracy theories are not typically supported by evidence, this doesn’t stop them from blossoming. Conspiracy theories damage society in several ways. To help minimise these harmful effects, The Conspiracy Theory Handbook explains why conspiracy theories are so popular, how to identify the traits of conspiratorial thinking, and what are effective response strategies. 

Author: Cook, J., van der Linden, S., Maibach, E., & Lewandowsky, S. (2018). The Consensus Handbook. 

DOI:10.13021/G8MM6P. Available at  

Lewandowsky, S., & Cook, J. (2020). The Conspiracy Theory Handbook. Available at 

Lewandowsky, S., Cook, J., Ecker, U. K. H., Albarracín, D., Amazeen, M. A., Kendeou, P., Lombardi, D., Newman, E. J., Pennycook, G., Porter, E. Rand, D. G., Rapp, D. N., Reifler, J., Roozenbeek, J., Schmid, P., Seifert, C. M., Sinatra, G. M., Swire-Thompson, B., van der Linden, S., Vraga, E. K., Wood, T. J., Zaragoza, M. S. (2020). The Debunking Handbook 2020. DOI:10.17910/b7.1182 Available at   

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