The Art Of Debating Climate Change Deniers w/ John Cook, Founder of SkepticalScience.com

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Today's episode of You've Been Warmed features John Cook - the founder of the very well-known website skepticalscience.com - an amazing resource that debunks the various myths that climate change deniers proliferate online.

John founded Skeptical Science because he had amassed an encyclopedia's worth of climate change myths which he actively sought to debunk by using peer-reviewed scientific papers. He later studied a PhD in the cognitive psychology of misinformation in order to better understand the levers behind denial - not just in the climate space but also in areas such as vaccines or tobacco - and come up with frameworks that successfully educate people on the science of climate change.

John is currently publishing a book called "Cranky Uncle vs Climate Change" where he uses cartoons, humor and all his accumulated knowledge to create a valuable resource that anybody can turn to when debating climate change deniers. He also crowdfunded the development of a Cranky Uncle mobile app which uses gamification in conjunction with all the content to educate as many people as possible.

In this episode we spoke about his background, we approached various techniques that deniers use, explored the role that humor plays and looked at how each of us can develop critical thinking to the point where we can manage these debates successfully.

I really admire John's work and I hope you find this episode as educational as I have. Let's tune in!

CRANKY UNCLE & JOHN'S LINKS

'Cranky Uncle vs Climate Change' Book - https://www.amazon.com/Cranky-Uncle-vs-Climate-Change/dp/0806540273

Cranky Uncle Website - https://crankyuncle.com/

Cranky Uncle Twitter - https://twitter.com/crankyuncles

John's Twitter - https://twitter.com/johnfocook

Skeptical Science Website - https://skepticalscience.com/

TIMECODES

3:27 - His Background & Interest In Climate Change
6:19 - The Story Behind SkepticalScience.com
10:42 - Public Debates With Climate Change Deniers
15:11 - How He Adapted His Content Based On Feedback & Empirical Research
17:42 - What Cranky Uncle Is All About
21:29 - The Slippery Slope Fallacy & Examples In Practice
26:44 - What Role Does Humor Play As A Tool For Science Communicators?
31:44 - FLICC - The Common Elements Of Climate Change Denial
36:06 - How To Use Critical Thinking In A Debate
42:20 - Science Vs Society Vs Politics Vs Business

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

'The Debunking Handbook' by Stephan Lewandowsky - https://skepticalscience.com/Debunking-Handbook-now-freely-available-download.html

Refutation by parallel arguments - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10503-008-9109-8

Slippery slope fallacy - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope

'If Trump were a climate communicator' cartoon - https://twitter.com/johnfocook/status/1224797841534550017

'Making Sense Of Climate Science Denial' Online Course - https://www.edx.org/course/making-sense-of-climate-science-denial

'Merchants of Doubt' Book - https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942

29 episodes