10.30.2020

Senate Social Media Censorship Hearing: Americans Deserve Climate Facts, not Alarmist "Fact-checking"

Facts vs. “Fact-Checkers”: Facebook’s Censorship of Climate Science and Energy Economics

In a statement submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee for its Wednesday, October 28 hearing on social media censorship, CO2 Coalition executive director Caleb Stewart Rossiter described a year-long censorship struggle with Facebook’s climate “fact-checker,” a group “founded and funded by long-time climate alarmist Eric Michelman for the express purpose of promoting the climate crisis narrative.” 

The CO2 Coalition is an alliance of 60 climate scientists and energy economists that was founded in 2015 by President Trump’s former climate adviser on the National Security Council, Princeton physics professor William Happer. 

Dr. Rossiter noted in his statement that climate science “covers literally everything from A to Z, from atmospheric heat dynamics to zooplankton. Why is Facebook treating varying analyses and opinions in this crucial area of public policy, one of great complexity and uncertainty, as if they were incitement to violence or hate speech? Why do we need fact-checking in the climate field?” 

The Coalition’s statement also comments on the call of Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), one of the members of the committee, to ban the CO2 Coalition from Facebook. Senator Schatz claims that arguments that slow down “climate action” can harm public health, and so should be censored. 

Rossiter said: “Yes, some mathematical models, based on uncertain scientific and economic assumptions, project that fossil-fueled global warming will harm public health in coming decades and centuries. But restrictions on fossil fuels because of this fear are already harming public health, right now. According to research for the National Institutes of Health, fracking saves 11,000 lives a year in America by making heating affordable. And the World Health Organization estimates that 439,000 Africans die from indoor air pollution each year because they lack electricity and must cook with wood and animal dung.” 

Geologist and CO2 Coalition member Gregory Wrightstone, who will replace Dr. Rossiter as the executive director in January 2021, offered a solution in an op-ed published Monday, October 27:

Twitter, Facebook, and Google should not be the arbiters of truth on complex scientific and societal issues. Perhaps they should embrace 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.” Some of us would settle for, “live and let live.” 

Wrightstone is the author of the 2017 book, Inconvenient Facts: The science Al Gore doesn’t want you to know. 

Dr. Rossiter’s statement is available on the CO2 Coalition website at this link.  

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