Read: Video works – even when it’s meant to misinform.

Science communication via video can be highly successful in terms of impact. But not only the good guys make use of that fact.

Especially inglorious examples of intentional disinformation are the two influential videos “The Greening of Planet Earth” and “The Greening of Planet Earth Continues”. A few days ago YaleClimateConnections.org told their story which dates back to 1992 and 1998, respectively. According to science writer Karin Kirk they “were widely distributed to classrooms and found their way into bibliographies and lecture halls. The 1998 edition was distributed widely on Capitol Hill.”

Well-known Harvard University science historian Naomi Oreskes told Kirk that the videos “were instrumental in helping create the myth that higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are overwhelmingly positive for plants, crops, food supply, and humans generally.”

The story also explores how government scientists unwillingly became the videos’ protagonists.

Full reference:

Karin Kirk: The video origin of the myth that global warming is good for agriculture. YaleClimateConnections.org. September 27, 2020.

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