Everyone says that a picture is worth a thousand words, and yet, most people look at a picture at face value.
Reuters Fact Check blog wrote about how many people on social media were trying to disprove and discredit the rising sea levels due to climate change by simply comparing two pictures taken of the Statue of Liberty 100 years a part. Reuters fact-checkers referenced data and reports that show, through science, that rising sea levels are in fact a thing and it is already having dire consequences. Along with this, they had climate experts speak on the topic, stating that this one photo does not prove, or disprove, anything.
An article from PBS explains the scientific nature of what exactly causes the rising sea levels and just how it is predicted to play out over the next few decades. The most important take away I got from this article is the fact that the repercussions of rising sea levels will not be something that is felt immediately, it will slowly over time become more and more noticeable.
Denial of climate change and its implications is nothing new, and people feel like they can believe what they physically see. This of course cannot always be the case, especially with social media, there is always more, and it is on us to dive deeper into it. A big point brought up about the same photos in an article from USA Today was the fact that we must consider the difference from high to low tide. This is where we have seen the most significant damage from rising sea levels, high tide has been causing flooding in areas of New York, along with many other places across the world, not to mention the flooding that has been happening due to storms.
This is not the first time that pictures have resulted in the spread of misinformation, disinformation, and just flat out fake news, and it certainly will not be the last. I do hope that if this post does something for you, it helps you realize that everything must be fact checked, if you see something claiming to be information or something that proves a point, it is crucial to always look into it.