Back in 2006, The Guardian published an article entitled, “A climate of censorship,” in which Brendan O’Neill warned that government officials in the U.K. were comparing climate change deniers to terrorists and arguing that both should be denied media air time. He warned that many such “deniers” were, in fact, scientists at respected British universities, and that no government official had the right to compare them to dangerous terrorists. He noted that there was an increasing push towards the censorship of free speech, including the right of such scientists and others to insist that man-made global warming does not exist.
Increasingly, environmentalists are calling for the silencing of climate-change skeptics or deniers. The deniers’ words are so dangerous, we are told, that they must be censored for the good of humanity. Some have even claimed that in denying climate change, these individuals are committing a “crime against humanity” and should be put on trial.
I am not a scientist or an expert on climate change. But I am a free speech advocate. And this rising tide of intolerance and censoriousness in the debate about climate change should concern anyone who believes in free and open and rational debate.
A dozen years later, it is highly unlikely that The Guardian would even publish an opinion piece like O’Neill’s anymore. It has become commercially “dangerous” to suggest in any way, shape or form that man-made global warming might not be true – though these days you are more likely to encounter the term “climate change” than “global warming,” as temperatures have inconveniently refused to match up to the predicted highs of the so-called “experts.” In short, it would be financial suicide for any mainstream broadcaster or publication to give airtime to the evidence presented by anyone who denies global warming; their advertising dollars would simply disappear, and they would be mocked and decried as scientifically ignorant. (Related: Global warming debunked – NASA report verifies carbon dioxide cools atmosphere.)
BuzzFeed recently reported that the social media giant YouTube is now “fact-checking” any videos which dare to question climate change. The company has also taken the step of adding the following disclaimer to such videos:
Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming.
Amazingly, this line is a direct quotation from a Wikipedia entry, as if Wikipedia can be referenced as an accurate source of scientific information!
Since March, YouTube has also been adding Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica entries next to “conspiracy theory” video clips, such as those claiming that the moon landing and Oklahoma City bombing never took place. By doing the same for climate change videos, they are directly censoring scientific information – in many cases presented by knowledgeable experts – and lumping it together in the public mind with completely unbelievable and historically unsound clips. (Related: The “global warming hoax – 30 years of failed predictions that never came true.)
What YouTube is doing would be acceptable if all the world’s most respected scientists were in agreement about the climate change theory. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as was recently illustrated when the highly respected, retired German climatologist Dr. Werner Kirstein addressed the annual Anti-Censorship Conference.
In reference to global warming, Kirstein warned: “[T]he science has been seriously compromised by politics, power-hungry bureaucrats and politically motivated organizations, such as the WMO, IPCC and The World Bank. It all comes down to funding. It’s sad, but that’s how it works.” He added, “Climate science is totally politicized.”
So much for Wikipedia and its “Multiple lines of scientific evidence.”
Of course, YouTube’s actions mimic those of all the other social media platforms, all of which have been actively censoring the information they have access to. Pretty soon, censorship won’t be enough, and anyone who admits to skepticism regarding the mainstream global warming narrative will likely be denied access to these platforms.