Skyla Santacruz

Professor Ramos

English 1B

21 September 2018

climate change

One might remember the days when the end of August and beginning of September were covered in falling leaves, crisp air, and cozy sweaters were necessary to wear on cold mornings. In the recent years that has become a distant memory. The  month of fall has turned into an extra month of summer, a fiery inferno, that has taken the relaxing times of fall away. With countless weather and environmental proof of climate change, there are still those who choose to deny it. There are climate change deniers because people do not have the capacity to worry about climate change, the influence of the media, and climate change is being threatened to not be taught in schools. The problem is that the clock is ticking for people to believe in climate change before the world is drastically affected by its effects. In order for climate deniers to believe in the weather changing, they need to be exposed to the damage of global warming, become media literate, and it needs to be taught in school in order for them to believe that climate change is an issue.

Climate deniers do not have the capacity to worry about climate change because of economic issues such as the recession. A solution to this problem  is revealing to them what kind of damage is at stake if they turn a blind eye to global warming. In the article, “Climate Deniers” by Katie Sheppard, a journalist from, she claims that,“The lack of  enthusiasm for all things environmental is pretty easy to explain: It’s the recession…Who has time to worry about melting glaciers when the mortgage payment is late…?” With economic troubles in the recent years people are more worried about themselves and ignore issues that are going on around them. Climate deniers are failing to see the bigger picture, which is why natural disasters need to be portrayed as being caused by global warming with scientific evidence. Shweta Jayawardhan, from University of Washington, proposes that, “…People [are] displaced due to natural disasters such as hurricanes, cyclones, and landslides, which render places uninhabitable. It is associated with climate change because of the effect of rising ocean temperatures on ocean movements and storms” (“Vulnerability and Climate…”).  Since climate deniers fail to see global warming as a problem it is essential to threaten them with facts about what the weather is doing. People are losing their homes and cannot go back to them. In an article by Tom Burke, an environmentalist, he claims that the world needs to remain at manageable climate change or “…global carbon emissions [may] peak within the period 2015-20…,” (“What needs to be done”). These warnings are what is need to make climate deniers realize that climate change will affect them and they might not realize it until it is too late. Regardless of the misconceptions climate deniers have on climate change Burke claims that, “ Rich or poor: all will live with the consequences of climate change,” (“What needs to be done”). People need to face the facts and start caring about the environment and carbon emissions before the climate change has the whole Earth in its grasp. Having evidence to scare climate deniers into believing weather change is one way to change their minds. Climate deniers also do not believe in climate change because of the way media portrays it.

The media has influenced climate deniers to believe that they do not have to worry about climate change. Furthermore, to get climate deniers to worry about climate change, people who care about the weather need to show climate deniers the truth on social networks. In an article by Fernando Naiditch, from The National Association for Media Literacy Education, he states that, “First, it is important to recognize [the]… generation… They spend a lot of time online, and social networks like Facebook are a big part of their lives (Cain 2012)… digital media has changed not only the way we communicate, but also the different types of information we share online” (“A Media Literate Approach”). This enforces that more information about global warming needs to put on social media platforms to get a climate deniers attention. For example, having a page on Instagram or Facebook dedicated to factual evidence on climate change or updating the world on its affects. Caren B. Cooper, an assistant director at a biodiversity research lab,  reinforces that, “Media for purposes of entertainment or persuasion, rather than education, may set cultural trends… in which information about climate change, as framed by scientists, does not resonate” (“Media Literacy as…”). Presently, people and climate deniers use media for entertainment, making climate change information accessible by the touch of a finger is another step to changing a climate deniers mind.

The media is the stepping stone to make climate deniers have climate literacy but first scientists need to be seen as reliable and trusting human beings. This can be portrayed by telling climate deniers they are on the same page as them, scientists care about human life. In an article by Susan T. Fisk and Cydney Dupree, writers from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they explain how to most adults scientists are seen as cold and illustrate that, “Scientists have earned audiences’ respect, but not necessarily their trust. Discussing, teaching, and sharing information can earn trust to show scientists’ trustworthy intentions” (“Gaining trust as…”). Scientists need to show they have good intentions to help inform the public, then people will begin to see the truth about climate change. Scientists need  to come on social media platforms such as YouTube to inform the public about global warming. In a society surrounded by technology, scientists need to do whatever it takes to make sure their research is heard. Fiske and Dupree express that scientists need “ …to focus on trust-inducing approaches such as education, humanity, and the environment” (“Gaining trust as…”). This reveals that scientists, during their discussions, need to talk about things climate deniers care about such as their children’s education and how climate change may affect humanity, etc. Once scientists are seen as more trusting and reliable individuals, climate deniers may be open to believing them more. Climate deniers need to ask the scientists questions if they need clarification or talk about what their peers or neighbors may think about the weather changing. Global warming is also on the verge of being threatened to be not taught in schools which is a threat to a person’s form of literacy.

Climate change needs to be taught in schools, without this knowledge climate deniers are viewing it as nothing major to worry about. In the article, “Defending Science Education…” it was revealed that Arizona’s Senate Bill  in 2013 explained that “the teaching of some scientific subjects, including biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning can cause controversy,”(Branch). It is interesting to note that even now with more technologies on the rise the topic of science is still viewed as controversial when it is useful to know what is happening to the Earth scientifically. In the article by Glenn Branch, a deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, he conveys that, “Science teachers…have a responsibility to help their students understand climate change, the evidence for climate change, and the fact that the scientific community agrees that the evidence is convincing,” (“Defending Science Education…”). Despite one’s belief on climate change it should to be allowed to be discussed in class. It is essential to learn about all views in a school setting to open a students mind to science. Branch stresses that, “A public that lacks climate literacy is a public that lacks biological literacy, and it is only with the existence of a biologically literate public that biology can thrive,”(“Defending Science Education…”). Branch wants his audience to understand that once teaching of climate change is taken away, it is like taking away biology from being a requirement in high school. That once the people are not being given the knowledge of climate change, they are removed from the right of learning the truth about something, when school is where one seeks knowledge and questions are being answered. In the article, “Media Literacy as a Key Strategy…” it is illustrated that, “The data collected and conclusions reached by scientists do not carry their due weight if the public is not knowledgeable… and empowered… through science literacy… held together by the common thread of critical thinking” (Cooper). Without climate change in schools students are being stripped of their science literacy and it makes it easier for climate deniers to convince these uninformed students that climate change is not real. Without the knowledge on science, students will not be able to think critically about climate change.

All in all, in order for climate deniers to believe in the weather changing they need to be exposed to the damage of global warming, become media literate, and it needs to be taught in schools. In the future, scientists need to allow climate deniers to see them as trusting before they can believe them. Scientists are not the only ones creating climate deniers, the climate deniers have to start questioning the media by thinking critically about the reliability of a media source. Climate deniers also have to realize that natural disasters do not happen on a whim but because of a change in the climate. Hopefully, with more exposure of the drastic effects of climate change, climate deniers will realize why it was important to be more aware of the environmental changes around them.


Annotated Bibliography

Burke, Tom. “What Needs to Be Done.” BMJ: British Medical Journal, vol. 344, no. 7849, 2012, pp. 36–37. JSTOR, JSTOR,

This article reveals what needs to be done to change a climate deniers mind such as stating that the clock is ticking before climate change effects society, policy failure is not an option, and at the end of the day everyone is dealing with global warming. I used this in my paper to provide evidence on how to change a climate deniers mind, it was helpful to use as a stepping stone to get a sample of the problem and lead me to looking for more in depth information on how to change a climate deniers mind. This source is reliable in how it is from a British Medical Journal and how it states what needs to be done about climate deniers from a political standing.

Cooper, Caren B. “Media Literacy as a Key Strategy toward Improving Public Acceptance of Climate Change Science.” BioScience, vol. 61, no. 3, 2011, pp. 231–237. JSTOR, JSTOR,

This article reveals that without the trust of the public no one will believe climate change. It also talks about how climate deniers are the one behind trying to convince people that climate change is not a big deal. It helped with my research because it shows why media literacy is important and why it is important to for climate deniers to become media literate. This source is reliable because it is a scholarly article published by Oxford University Press, this raises credibility because it has been peer reviewed by knowledgeable individuals.


Fiske, Susan T., and Cydney Dupree. “Gaining Trust as Well as Respect in Communicating to Motivated Audiences about Science Topics.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 111, 2014, pp. 13593–13597. JSTOR, JSTOR,

This article reveals that people are not believing scientist because they feel that they are untrusting and cold. This was helpful for my paper because it helped me prove that one way to change a climate deniers mind is to show them that scientist are kind and trusting individuals. That they are on the same page as everyone else, they care about human life. This source is reliable because of the amount of research done to prove the authors point, they surveyed adults on how they felt about scientists and analyzed how scientists communicate with their audience.

Glenn Branch. “Defending Science Education: Climate as a Second Front for Biologists.” BioScience, vol. 63, no. 9, 2013, pp. 717–718. JSTOR, JSTOR,

This article reveals the need for science in a school environment because the world needs critical thinkers. It also talked about how in Arizona science being taught in schools is still controversial. This source was helpful to me because it helped me prove how to change a climate deniers mind, that they need to become critical thinkers. This source is credible because it

Jayawardhan, Shweta. “Vulnerability and Climate Change Induced Human Displacement.” Consilience, no. 17, 2017, pp. 103–142. JSTOR, JSTOR,

This article reveals that people need to realize that some natural disaster such as floods or hurricanes occur because of global warming. It shows that through facts people can be convinced of global warming. This was helpful in my paper because I needed evidence on how to change a climate deniers mind by revealing the truth about why some natural disasters occur. This article is credible because it is a scholarly source and was published by Columbia University.

Naiditch, Fernado. “A Media Literate Approach to Developing Diversity Education.” Department of Secondary and Special Education, 2013, p. 339.

This article reveals that getting people or students to think critically lies in the media. Nowadays, social media platforms are being used to communicate with one another. This article was helpful for me in providing evidence on how to make a climate denier think critically, having more articles on social media platforms can help spread the word on climate change. This source is reliable because it is a journal that has been published and reviewed by knowledgeable individuals.

Sheppard, Kate. “Climate Deniers.” Foreign Policy, no. 196, 2012, pp. 59–60. JSTOR, JSTOR,

This article reveals why there are climate deniers such as people do not have the capacity to worry about climate change because they are too busy worried about their personal life. This article was helpful in how it showed why there are climate deniers but it did not show me how to change a climate deniers mind. This source is reliable because it proposes facts about how many people care about climate change, and that because political leaders do not talk about climate change as much people see it as unimportant.