Nowadays the term “Climate change” is everywhere in the social media as in so many mouths. Yet, we can observe a growing cleavage between people. This can be regarding their confusions and fears for an uncertain future or the questioning of their own responsibility and role in this fight. Some even wonder, if there is still something we can do to avoid the worst. We get differently affected by climate change in short as long term. Either by being directly facing climate change or by being more sensitive to the concept of global warming and everything it may imply (eco-anxiety).
Some people then decide to get involved in a way they believe is the best to contribute in tackling climate change. From reducing their own meat consumption to becoming vegan or from using less their cars for short distances to joining the “flygskam” meaning “shame of flying” in Swedish; an environmental movement, where people give up on planes and use less CO2 emission transporations instead such as bus or train. By those changes in their lifestyle people can even find a sense of belonging in this world and how to connect/reconnect with nature. You get the idea.
There are so many ways and levels to reduce our ecological footprints and therefore, minimizing climate change. We all are different, we all have our own way to process information and to decide what to do about it. Therefore, we need to have a bigger picture of the world; what’s actually going on. Understanding this aspect requires to evolve into two dimensions. In this article we will talk about the first one; Knowledge: to understand climate change and how an ecosystem works (ecology) and to sharpen our critical mindset.
Fake news: a virus with very high dispersal potential
Fake news are far from being a new trend. In the Antiquity or in the Middle Age, gossips could end up in some witch hunts or executions based on what people would claim rather than on actual facts. Nowadays, we are actually not so far from it. We can even assume, it is even worse in our century due to the internet and how it connects people together despite being geographically far from each other. These tools can therefore present a clear impactful potential. Fake news can be seen as a human virus living and spreading between its hosts, if not properly vaccinated or/and treated in the pandemic area, namely the channels that the fake news start speading. A survey carried out by Reuter Institute (2016) showed that most residents in 26 countries interviewed were more reliant on social media rather than press to get informed. From an old good gossip “mouth-to-mouth”, fake news in social media can be even more effective as they often reach our emotions and even our subconscious quite deep with some well selected pictures or videos. This can lead to the pimar reaction of “sharing/posting” of this information in our own social media and, this can go on and on with all the possible consequences mentioned earlier. To avoid spreading fake news, Homo Digitalis suggests some great “vaccination routine”.
Greenwashing or how corporations “become” green in a snap
Fake news are great tools in Greenwashing, which is a process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound. This way, big corporations making money out of the mistreatment of the environment or/and the people can keep working the same way in staying competitive with the new emerging green sustainable business. Checking the sources of information is one thing. However, to counter fight fake news, educating ourselves remains the best weapon. It can actually block this virus and even release some antibodies to others!
To sum up when we find news: No rush and take a deep breath! First, read and check the credibility of the sources. Second, if you get emotional from the content, take a short break before posting/sharing. This tip can also work to avoid a useless bloody war on messenger with your partner or date by the way…yup been there…..
Special thanks to Elisa for the corrections and suggestions.
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