Dem Lawmaker Gets Pushback After Asking YouTube to Stop Spreading Climate Skepticism

By Published on January 30, 2020

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) is getting pushback from climate skeptics after she asked Google Monday to nix content on YouTube that takes a skeptical approach to United Nations’ climate models.

Castor asked CEO Sundar Pichai in a Jan. 27 letter not to incentivize “climate misinformation content on its platform.” She made the request after a Jan. 16 report from a nonprofit group suggested it found examples where YouTube’s algorithms promoted so-called climate denialism.

“Stop promoting climate denial and climate disinformation videos by removing them immediately from the platform’s recommendation algorithm,” the Florida Democrat suggested in a list of suggestions she offered to Pichai. Castor went on to ask the CEO to stop “monitizing” such content.

The report, published by AVAAZ, hits several pieces of content, including a 2018 Fox News interview with climate scientist Patrick Michaels, who explained why 31 0f 32 climate models are “fudged” by design. Michaels worked as a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute until 2019.

AVAAZ argued this claim, and one he made suggesting only half of global warming might be caused by human activity, contained misinformation.

“Half of the warming since 1976 is plausible and in line with the IPCC which says ‘more than half the warming since mid-century,’” Michaels told The Daily Caller News Foundation in defense of his claims. He was referencing data from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

He added: “That’s post-1950 but there was no warming from ’50 through ’75. All the warming is post-1975 and the UN statement accommodates 51% which sure looks like a half.” Other climate skeptics are also weighing in on Castor’s request, as well as the report that prompted the congresswoman’s letter.

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Michaels experience a similar incident in September 2019, when Facebook deemed claims he and another scientist made in a Washington Examiner editorial false. The tech company eventually removed the label after Michaels argued their points in a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook exempted opinion content and political advocacy organizations from the social media giant’s independent fact-checking efforts in October of that year after the DCNF’s report highlighting Michaels’ complaints.

“Instead of engaging in open debate with climate skeptics, Rep. Castor just wants to shut us up. I can only imagine what her side would do to us if they had real power,” JunkScience founder Steve Milloy told The Washington Times Wednesday, two days after Castor sent her letter.

Climate Depot founder Marc Morano accused the the Democrat of trying to silence skeptics.

“Sadly, I expect YouTube to cave and continue its policies of clamping down on climate skeptics and those who oppose so-called solutions like the Green New Deal or U.N. Paris climate pact,” he told The Washington Times. “YouTube has already initiated policies that amount to climate ‘virtue signaling’ with their disclaimers.”

Neither Google nor Castor have responded to the DCNF’s request for comment.


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