It’s Not Just the Facts
When it comes to climate change, this truly is a golden age—of fake news, post-truths, pluralistic ignorance, conspiracy theories, a willfully ignorant administration, and the Cranky Uncle. You know him. We all have one. That exasperating Thanksgiving blusterer digs in his heels even as the foundation of his denial thaws faster than the Arctic ice caps.
Written and illustrated by Dr. John Cook, cognitive psychologist and founder of the award-winning website Skeptical Science, Cranky Uncle combines humor and science to make clear, calm, and winnable arguments in the public controversy of climate change. Can we change our Cranky Uncle’s mind? Probably, regrettably, not. But Dr. Cook makes it easier for us to understand him. And armed with this knowledge, prevent climate misinformation from spreading further.
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About the Author
John Cook completed an honors degree in physics at the University of Queensland, Australia. While completing his degree, he often drew cartoons in the margins of his physics notes. After graduating, he spent a decade as a cartoonist and graphic designer. However, he never strayed far from science and spent his spare time reading climate research and debunking misinformation.
In 2007, Cook founded SkepticalScience.com. He began exploring how to combat science denial and completed a PhD on the cognitive psychology of misinformation. He found that inoculation, or explaining techniques of denial, was the key to neutralizing misinformation, and that parallel argumentation was a powerful way to put it into practice. This inspired him to bring together his two careers, using parallel arguments in the form of cartoons to explain the techniques of science denial.
Cook is currently a research assistant professor with the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, where he focuses on combatting fake news by using critical thinking to inoculate against misinformation.