Internet Blogs and Online Sources use Polar Bears and their Habitat as Keystone Dominoes for Denying Climate Change

Increasing surface temperatures, arctic sea ice loss, and other evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are acknowledged by every major scientific organization on Earth. However, there is a wide gap between the scientific consensus and public opinion. Internet blogs and online sources have strongly contributed to this consensus gap by fomenting misunderstandings of AGW causes and consequences. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have become a “poster species” for AGW, making them a target of those denying AGW evidence. Here I show that blogs denying or downplaying AGW disregard the overwhelming scientific evidence of arctic sea ice loss and polar bear vulnerability.By denying impacts of AGW on polar bears, bloggers aim to cast doubt on other established ecological consequences of AGW, aggravating the consensus gap.

Speaker: Dr. Jeffrey Harvey

Speaker Institution: Netherlands Institute of Ecology

Event Date: 08-29-2017

Event Start Time: 4:00 PM

Event End Time: 5:00 PM

Event Location: Biology Auditorium 136

Mixer Time: 3:30 PM

Mixer Location: Biology SW Lobby

Host: Dr. Meena Balgopal