Climate: Canadian politicians cited in English study on disinformation

The study, published by the London-based think tank Institute for Strategic Dialogue, finds a shift in strategy among opponents of action to combat climate change.

While they used to tend to deny this reality outright, these opponents, who are often associated with a right-wing or far-right ideology, are increasingly using misinformation to delay action on climate change and to discredit those trying to address the problem .

The report entitled Deny, deceive, delay: documenting and responding to climate disinformation at COP26 and beyondfocused on social media posts with climate misinformation made before, during and after the Glasgow Climate Change Conference 2021.

Discredit the organizers of COP26

The researchers point out that the fake news spread during COP26 had a much wider reach than its corrections.

Among these fake news, various types of news that the summit was fossil fuel powered went viral on social media.

The Glasgow Climate Change Conference 2021 took place from 31 October 2021 to 12 November 2021.

Photo: Getty Images/Paul Ellis

For example, publications claimed that diesel generators powered the COP26. An article published by the website NetZero watchexplained that the inefficiency of generating electricity from wind turbines forced the organizers of the summit to resort to diesel.

This article was notably shared by Derek Sloan, a former Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MP who was kicked out of the party’s caucus in January 2021 after receiving a donation from a white supremacist.

Under the article in question, the former candidate for the leadership of the CCP wrote: They use the energy derived from burning coal to power this useless festival of virtue that is COP26.

In response to the proliferation of fake articles and photos depicting generators on the COP26 website, the event organizers posted a message on Twitter indicating that these generators would run on hydrogenated vegetable oil. which causes 90% less CO2 emissions than diesel, and that these are only used when the site requires additional energy. Summit organizers added Everyone [l’]On-site electricity at COP26 is supplied from renewable sources.

Derek Sloan was kicked out of the Conservative Party in January 2021.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn

But this fact-correcting post only generated about a hundred interactions on Twitter, while the first tweet Shared 3000 times and collected 8700 related to diesel I like. Derek Sloan’s post had brought in 1,000 I like and the group Albert Stolza right-wing movement defending the oil sands industry had 1,300 reactions by sharing similar content.

This example demonstrates how fact-checking may not produce the desired resultsunderscore the authors of the study, who recommend removing this type of fake news from platforms like Twitter and Meta and taking action against repeat offenders.

The inability to curb online misinformation enables the junk scienceto climate delay and attacks on climate policy to resonate with that general publicunderline the researchers, who only examined the news published in English.

That mediocrity renewable energy

The study ofInstitute for Strategic Dialogue argues that opponents of action to tackle the climate crisis appear to have focused their messages on the supposed mediocrity and the poor performance of renewable energy during COP26, a speech popularized for several years by Donald Trump, a staunch opponent of wind energy.

On November 9, 2021, during COP26, Maxime Bernier, who has 190,000 followers on Twitter, wrote a post rejecting it Global warming hysteria and calls for investment in nuclear energy instead of mediocre renewable technologies.

Maxime Bernier is a key amplifier

The report notes that a significant amount of anti-renewable energy content comes from a handful of influential people, some of whom have verified social media accounts, such as B. Björn Lomborg, a Danish statistician.

In the period from October 25 to November 2, 2021, the tweet and quotes from tweet against renewable energy from just 16 Twitter accounts a total of 507,000 I like.

The study also shows that Maxime Bernier was a key amplifier Content published by Björn Lomborg during COP26.

Maxim Bernier.

Photo: The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh

Björn Lomborg is honored for his fight against electric vehicles. He gained a notoriety that allows him to have forums on Fox News and in the wall street journal, above all. A video he made about electric cars in 2016 resurfaced and was shared thousands of times during COP26. In six years, the video in which Björn Lomborg claims that electric vehicles are just as polluting as petrol vehicles has been shared millions of times on social networks.

This is what researchers at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue point out that Lomborg, among other misleading claims, assumes that the energy grid (where the power for electric vehicles comes from) is entirely coal-fired and therefore electric vehicles are not truly green technology. In an already large and growing number of places around the world, this is far from true, and the situation will continue to change in the coming years.

On this subject, a recent study by the University of Cambridge concluded that in 95% of the world’s countries it is more environmentally friendly to drive an electric car than a petrol-powered vehicle.

Restrict access to advertising revenue for repeat offenders

Analysis of 16 Twitter Accounts Promoting Climate Misinformation – superroadcaster – revealed the existence of 13 sub-groups clustered around the anti-science and conspiracy communities in the US, UK and Canada.

During COP26 there was a very high level of connectivity between these communitiesreports the study.

The report’s authors call for an internationally agreed definition of misinformation and climate disinformation, and for big tech companies to restrict access to advertising revenue for groups and individuals who repeat misinformation.

Misinformation delays action, says IPCC

According to the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, economic and political interests have organized and funded climate change disinformation that is delaying government action.

The IPCC points out that the Misinformation and politicization of climate change science has led to polarization in public and politicsespecially in North America.

A few hours before this report was published, Maxime Bernier had written to his 190,000 subscribers that global warming was here particularly beneficial and This chilling fact is being hidden from the public by alarmists and their media allies, determined to use the language of crisis and urgency.

Under the message he had published an article arguing that nature is generally doing better because of global warming and that in general The effects of global warming are having a positive impact on agriculture.

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