Facebook’s censorship is totally out of hand, and their “independent and nonpartisan fact checks” are anything but. Now they are censoring “Climate: The Movie.” The supposed “fact checks” provided by Science Feedback and Climate Feedback (they are two branches of the same organization) have been shown many times to be both partisan and ideologically driven. The “fact check” of Steve Koonin’s bestselling book Unsettled done by Climate Feedback was blisteringly criticized by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in a lead editorial by the WSJ editorial staff.

The editorial includes the following:

“Mr. Koonin, whose careful book draws extensively on existing scholarship, may respond on the merits in a different forum. Suffice it to say here that many of the ‘fact check’ claims relied on by Facebook don’t contradict the underlying material, but instead argue with its perceived implications.

The fact-check attacks Mr. Koonin’s book for saying the “net economic impact of human-induced climate change will be minimal through at least the end of this century.” Minimal is in the eyes of the beholder, but the U.S. National Climate Assessment predicted America’s climate costs in 2090 at about $500 billion per year—a fraction of the recent Covid stimulus in an economy that could be four times as large.

The fact-check on the statement that ‘global crop yields are rising, not falling’ retorts that ‘while global crop yields are rising, this does not constitute evidence that climate change is not adversely affecting agriculture.’ OK, but that’s an argument, not a fact-check. …

Climate Feedback’s comment on a line from the review about ‘the number and severity of droughts’ does not identify any falsehood, but instead claims, “it doesn’t really make sense to make blanket statements regarding overall global drought trends.’ Maybe it doesn’t make sense for Facebook to restrict the reach of legitimate scientific argument and competing interpretations of data.”

WSJ, May 7, 2021.

Steve Koonin’s rebuttals of the Climate Feedback post are here and here. I’ve also written about the erroneous Climate Feedback post here.

In other words, fact checks should check facts, not a difference of opinion between two scientists. “Fact checks” today are too often thinly disguised and very biased editorials, often confusing very left-wing interpretations of ambiguous data with facts. Then these supposedly “independent and nonpartisan fact checks” are used by Facebook, and sometimes by Linkedin, as excuses to censor legitimate and well-documented posts and movies. Documentation and references of the facts and interpretations presented in Climate: The Movie can be found here.

Further reading on the blatant bias and misinformation found the Science Feedback and Climate Feedback websites:

  1. Climate Feedback’s fraudulent and misleading fact check of a famous and well-respected peer-reviewed article by Ronan Connolly, Willie Soon, and 21 well qualified co-authors is refuted here.
  2. Climate feedback also gets a fact check of the CO2 Coalition completely wrong, as described here.
  3. Finally in their fact check of Gregory Wrightstone of the CO2 Coalition they make 13 wildly incorrect (lies?) about Wrightstone, as described here.

In summary, the Science Feedback and Climate Feedback website are both unreliable and misleading. Why Facebook and Linkedin put their trust in such a biased organization is unknown, unless they are also pushing an ideologically biased narrative.

Their overly long (4,700 words!!) critique of Climate: The Movie is fully debunked in my annotated bibliography of the main points made in the movie, but I can hit the main points here.

The first clearly false claim is that recent climate change is being driven by CO2 exclusively with no input since 1750AD from changes in the Sun or nature at large. This is an unsupported claim by the IPCC (AR6, p 5) that is frequently disputed in the peer reviewed literature [For example: (Soon, Implications of the Secondary Role of Carbon Dioxide and Methane Forcing in Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future, 2007), (Davidson, Stephenson, & Turasie, 2016), (Koutsoyiannis, Onof, Kundzewicz, & Christofides, 2023), and (Liu, et al., 2014)].

Second, there are very serious and well-documented problems with current measurements of global warming at Earth’s surface. These problems are discussed in the movie. Science Feedback attempts, in far too many words to be believable, that the measurements are accurate. The problems are all well documented in the peer-reviewed literature [For example: (Connolly, et al., 2023) and (Soon, et al., 2023)].

Third, the movie explains that temperatures today are within the normal range of temperatures seen in Earth’s recent and longer-term history and they are not unusual or unprecedented. This fact is very well documented in the peer reviewed literature [ (Kaufman & Broadman, 2023) and (Scotese, Song, Mills, & Meer, 2021)]. The Science Feedback critique first complains about this statement and then later agrees with it.

Then they go on to say that “warming trends” are unusual over the instrumental era (past 140 years or so) compared to ancient temperature trends, based upon uncertain climate proxies. The climate proxies used in the latest IPCC report (AR6) have a median temporal resolution (time between temperatures) of 164 years (Kaufman, McKay, & Routson, 2020). So how can they know whether the proxy trends are more or less than today? See here and here for the details. Also see this excellent post by Renee Hannon on the impact of comparing daily thermometer readings to climate proxies.

They make many other incorrect and misleading claims. They claim there is no evidence that polar bear populations are increasing, they are (Crockford, 2022). They claim that the Great Barrier Reef has not recently reached a record size, when it has according to Peter Ridd and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

They make many other claims that statements from the movie are misleading, including claims that the IPCC/CMIP climate models are accurate, but the IPCC itself admits they are flawed:

“Hence, we assess with medium confidence that CMIP5 and CMIP6 models continue to overestimate observed warming in the upper tropical troposphere over the 1979–2014 period by at least 0.1°C per decade, in part because of an overestimate of the tropical SST trend pattern over this period.“

(AR6 WGI, page 444).

In short, the Science Feedback post is clearly incorrect in its claims that the movie is misleading. Science Feedback looks at the same data and facts that the movie examines and draws different conclusions than the eminent scientists in the movie. They have a different opinion than the experts in the movie. That does not mean the scientists in the movie are factually incorrect. Look at the data yourself, support for all 70 serious scientific claims made in the movie can be found here for those that want to see more.

Download the bibliography here.