Have you ever searched for something online, or maybe saw an ad you liked on tv or in a magazine, or were recommended something by a friend and thought, this is cool, I want to listen/buy/watch?
We all have.
And I know we've been hearing over the past few years how important it is to check the source, but sometimes we forget or we think we can simply trust it. But we cannot and I was recently reminded of this the other day when I was listening to a podcast. I wanted to find some more climate/environmental informative podcasts to listen to as I go about the daily business, so I simply searched environment in the toolbar in the podcast app on my phone. It came up with a bunch of different options and so I added a few to my library to listen to. The problem is, I did not double check where these podcasts were coming out of/who was producing them.
I added the BBCs' The Climate Question, Yale's Center for Environmental Law and Policy, TED's Science and Medicine, and Heartland Institute's Environment and Climate News. *Don't get me wrong, there's information in all of these podcasts, but I was not expecting the next part.* I'm not forcing anyone to change their beliefs, but when it comes to science, there is research being done that provides proof of their hypotheses. At first glance, all of the podcasts that come up in the search have "green" looking thumbnails and advertise themselves as a source of information featuring scientists and experts.
I turned on Heartland Institute's Environment and Climate News Podcast and was preparing lunch when I heard the presenters start bashing green technology, environmental policy, the IPCC and their most recent report, and climate activists. What the f%^k. No seriously, what the f%^k. They're thumbnail is green and features a leaf, and their summary states, "The Heartland Institute podcast featuring scientists, authors, and policy experts who take the non-alarmist, climate-realist position on environment and energy policy." FALSE ADVERTISING.
The use of color, imagery, and trigger words is misleading and dangerous. I have done further research and the Heartland Institute is a non for profit group based out of Illinois and is an ultra conservative group. I'm not bagging anyone for their beliefs, but do some thinking and research. Are you going to believe a bunch of U.S. conservative business men or an international panel of scientists when it comes to something like climate change? I think it can be helpful to hear opposing arguments to develop a greater understanding of an issue for oneself, such as the view they take on energy policies and the realities of overhauling energy systems, but to outright proclaim that the IPCC is false in their findings????
Part of my education in university was specifically going over how to identify credible sources of information because there is so much false/misleading advertising in the world today. We have been witnesses to the detriment that this can cause through ensuing legal battles, war, and the extreme hate that has been ravaging through countries. It is dire and in our utmost interest to be able to decipher what is fact and what is not. There is a discernment that is needed in order to make wise decisions for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, for the future.
This was my reminder to check, double check, and research my source. It's a simple thing to do and it will only take a few minutes of your time. Simply google the producer or the company behind the podcast, article, video, advertisement, etc and you should be able to figure out pretty quickly if it's actually credible. Together we can make smart choices and be responsible for those choices because they're not only affecting us, they're affecting what comes next.
One of my personal faves is Science Friday from WNYC Studios!
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