A study to be published later this week finds accurate science reporting can make American beliefs about the climate crisis more accurate, and increase support for governmental action, but only briefly. The change in beliefs can quickly erode when people are exposed to misinformation or coverage skeptical of climate change. “Even factually accurate science reporting recedes from people’s frame of reference very quickly,” study author Thomas Wood told Ohio State News.
The study found accurate reporting on climate change had positive effects on all groups, including Republicans and those who originally rejected the fact that human activity is rapidly changing the climate. These results suggest the media plays a key role in Americans’ beliefs and attitudes about climate change, and the need for “people [to] hear the same accurate messages about climate change again and again. If they only hear it once, it recedes very quickly,” according to Wood. (Ohio State News, Earth.com, The Guardian)