As more extreme weather patterns take effect around the world, climate sceptics and conspiracists are seemingly directing their anger or confusion toward meteorologists and other climate institutions. “It’s a logical evolution of the broader trend around pushback on institutions, and the erosion of trust,” said Jennie King, ISD’s Head of Climate Research and Policy to CNN.
In the article, CNN uses a recent case in Spain where AEMET, the country’s national weather agency, began to receive messages such as “murderers,” “criminals,” and “we are watching you,” in response to a severe drought. Jennie explained how institutions like these are interchangeably targeted when linked to public policy issues, with many believing there is some kind of “insidious agenda.” Due to the technical or abstract nature of climate science, weather is often an “easy way in” to climate conspiracies.
“It’s a much more immediate way to bring a wider audience into that scepticism … planting seeds of doubt against the climate agenda writ large,” she said.
Jennie further goes on to comment on pro-active initiatives by media outlets or scientific institutions themselves and how they can be some of the best tools to help inoculate against conspiracies.