Professor grades Senator Warren on her climate censorship. Does she pass?
“In July you wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and, to my shock and dismay, asked him to censor me and the CO2 Coalition of climate scientists and energy economists, of which I am the executive director. At issue is an op-ed on the arcane mathematics of computerized climate models that I co-authored in 2019 with our senior fellow Patrick Michaels, a former president of the American Association of State Climatologists.
“I’ve been struggling to find some common ground that would interest you in looking carefully at my opinions, both on the “climate disinformation” you allege and on the concept of censoring rather than debating opinions with which one disagrees. […]
“The energy with which you pursue your argument that the CO2 Coalition should be banned from Facebook for promoting “climate denialism” is impressive, but you’ve violated our first rule in analysis: understand the other point of view so you can portray it accurately before questioning it.
“You should have contacted the CO2 Coalition to see if you could learn anything from their view of the facts, let alone of the media characterizations and conclusions about its interaction with Facebook. The Coalition website has a specific statement countering the original news claim that Facebook made an exception for the op-ed in question because it contained “opinion.” […]
“And there is absolutely no evidence as of yet for your claim that, “The devastation caused by the climate crisis will also be disproportionately felt by communities of color…” Even if there were, we have learned here in class to do full analysis of not just the costs, but also the benefits of various policy choices. Wouldn’t banning cheap, reliable energy in favor of costly, intermittent “renewables” under a “carbon neutral” Green New Deal itself badly damage communities of all colors? (Remember, there is nothing renewable about the mining and manufacturing infrastructure needed for wind turbines and solar panels and their storage batteries!)
“Similarly, you worry over media reports that combined climate and economic mathematical models can be tuned to project CO2-driven extreme weather that reduces US GDP by ten percent in 2100 – but then you leave out the tremendous, fossil-fueled increase in GDP by then that would more than pay for such damages.
“You argue that Facebook should censor non-alarmist views because, “the climate crisis and environmental degradation are not matters of opinion. They are existential threats that hurt communities and economies throughout the world – including and especially Black communities and other communities of color.” But of course these claims are the essence of matters of opinion! They involve judgments that can go either positive or negative, depending on reasonable choices in analysis of the claims and counterclaims on science, economics, and health, as well as on the costs and the benefits of changing our energy mix. […]
“As I follow your argument for Facebook censoring my views, (1) the CO2 Coalition knowingly lies (that’s the definition of disinformation); (2) these lies will reduce public support for “action on climate change” (actually, energy action, since the climatic results of reducing CO2 emissions are precisely what the models have tried, and failed so far, to project); and (3) without such action, “communities and economies…will continue to be ravaged by the climate crisis.” (Actually, “continue” is premature, since as noted, there is no climate crisis yet, only a projected one.)
“There is much here, of course, that I think is unproven and that I think you didn’t prove or even try to prove in your letter. But even if it were all true, wouldn’t it be better to tolerate our disagreement, and then defeat my nefarious efforts in debate than to simply silence them? Surely, Facebook users are smart enough to assess evidence and make up their own minds, just like my students were. I still subscribe to the dictum often attributed to Voltaire: I may disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
The full letter can be downloaded at the link below.