John Cook: Climate Deniers Falsely Claim Activists are Anti-Freedom


John Cook: Climate Deniers Falsely Claim Activists are Anti-Freedom

35 mins agoEric Worrall5 Comments

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; Quoted in a USA Today call for social media censorship, John Cook, who once thought it amusing to self portrait himself as a NAZI officer, is outraged people could believe that climate activists want to restrict freedom.

Climate change denial on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok is ‘as bad as ever’

Jessica Guynn

The climate is changing, but misinformation about it on the major social media platforms is not. 

Climate change falsehoods, hoaxes and conspiracy theories are still prevalent on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube despite pledges to crack down, a new report says.

Social media posts and videos denying climate change, disputing its causes, or underplaying its effects not only can still be found on these platforms, they are often missing warning labels or links to credible information, according to Advance Democracy, a research organization that studies misinformation.

Climate scientists say they’re frustrated by the lack of progress in stemming the tide of climate change misinformation. For years, they’ve urged social media companies to identify, flag and take down the misinformation and the accounts that spread it.

But, says Michael Mann, director of Penn State University’s Earth System Science Center and author of “The New Climate War,” “it’s as bad as ever.

John Cook, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University who advises Facebook, says the proliferation of climate misinformation on social media reflects the torrent of misinformation coming from a combination of science denial and skepticism about climate policy and renewable fuels and technologies. 

One element of climate misinformation that seems to be particularly prominent on social media is culture war type posts that attempt to paint people concerned about climate change as belonging to some separate social group intent on impinging on people’s freedoms,” Cook said. “This is a particularly damaging form of misinformation as it exacerbates public polarization on climate change, making progress more difficult.”

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Calling the claim that activists want to restrict our freedom “misinformation” is beyond absurd, given John Cook attacked such claims in the context of the USA Today call for social media to be censored.

To be fair, John Cook himself appears to steer carefully around the issue of censorship. But he wants social media companies to tag climate “misinformation”, to do more to push people towards his viewpoint.

Cook’s claim climate activists do not want to restrict freedom is not supported by the evidence. There are plenty of very public climate activist attacks on freedom in mainstream media:

  1. Climate censorship – USA Today (current article), Reuters (h/t Dr. Soon), FacebookBBCFacebook (Again)Elizabeth Warren, …
  2. Call for a Permanent climate lockdown.
  3. Green attacks on democracy – Foreign PolicyFinancial TimesThe ConversationThe Conversation (again)The GuardianThe HillScience MagJames Hansen, …
  4. Economic de-growth – NYTSci Tech DailyThe New FederalistThe Tablet (Laudato Si)Ted TalksThe Guardian, …
  5. Shut down capitalism – The GuardianVice (UN), …
  6. Penalties for climate skepticism – University of GrazCarbon briefNZ Herald, …
  7. Restrict dietary choices – University of LondonPLoS OneAll3dPThe Guardian (UN)UNWashington Post, …

This is just a small sample of public calls for freedom to be restricted, democracy to be dismantled, or “climate deniers” to be punished for expressing an opinion, but I think I have demonstrated my point.

  1. A significant number of high profile climate activists want to restrict your freedom.
  2. A significant number of climate activists want to punish anyone who publicly disagrees with their views on climate change, either by annotating or censoring their social media posts, shutting down social media accounts, or in a few cases by imposing criminal penalties.
  3. A significant number of climate activists want to restrict economic growth and capitalism, effectively undermining the right of ordinary people to start their own business.

This censorship narrative should be too absurd to be considered, but in today’s world of out of control wokeness, climate catastrophism, cancel culture and lockdown mania, our freedoms are in peril. In my opinion the freedoms we take for granted could be taken from us, if narratives promoted by the likes of Herr John Cook and Michael Mann prevail.

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