Avaaz Campaign to Censor Climate Sceptics

[Note: read Alex’s article below this one first. It’s shorter, funnier, and perhaps more optimistic. There’s no coordination between us here at Cliscep, so stuff like this happens. You wait days for an article then three come along at once]

From Zero Hedge quoting this article by Mac Slavo at SHTF Plan:

The censorship continues, as a George Soros-linked group has joined forces with the mainstream media to ensure climate skeptics are silenced on YouTube. The group Avaaz, left-leaning non-profit group, published a report on January 16th on its website that claims YouTube is “profiting by broadcasting misinformation” to millions of people by giving climate denial videos too much prominence.

Independent mainstream media outlets are engaging in a politically-motivated campaign to force YouTube to demonetize and hide any video that denies climate change. Regardless of the facts or scientific evidence revealed in the videos, if one doesn’t submit to the religion of climate change, they will be silenced if Avaaz has anything to do about it.

And indeed we will be. Leaving aside the mention of Soros (did I say Soros? Naughty anti-Semitic me. But that’s not the worst of my sins. See the end of the article) let’s look at the Avaaz report, which can be found here.

The Executive Summary states:

Climate misinformation threatens the health and safety of our societies and our planet. Protecting citizens around the world from fake news designed to confuse and poison the debate about climate change must be a key priority for governments, advertisers and social media platforms

citing an editorial in Nature Communications titled “Fake news threatens a climate literate world” which in turn cites the Boykoffs and Cook. Basing a campaign against fake news on a paper by serial liar John Cook seems a perilous proceeding, but lets continue. The report’s key finding is that:

YouTube is actively promoting climate misinformation to millions of users: For the search term “global warming,” 16% of the top 100 related videos included under the up-next feature had misinformation about climate change.

Avaaz estimates that “climate misinformation videos” are receiving hundreds of millions of views thanks to the YouTube algorithm, and advertisers, including Greenpeace and WWF are unwittingly financing this misinformation, and they want YouTube to stop it.

And that’s it. The rest of the 66 page report is filled with photos, pie charts, and the same information served up a dozen different ways. The only concrete information added is a sample of four of the videos which Avaaz finds to be misleading, an account of why Avaaz thinks theyre misleading, and a statement of Alvaaz’s firm commitment to freedom of speech.

The four offending videos are the following:

1) A video from a channel “promoting judeo-Christian values .. curated by the conservative talk-radio host Dennis Prager.”

Avaaz lists three claims which they find “verifiably false or misleading”:

ƒ1) There has been no significant warming trend in the 21st century.

2) Temperatures and carbon dioxide levels do not show a strong correlation.

3) Patrick Moore is a co-founder of Greenpeace.

Accompanying the statement is a NASA/HADCRUT/NOAA/JMA graph which funnily enough demonstrates that the statement 1) is true, if you count from 1998 or about 2004. OK, it’s cherrypicking, but it’s their cherry; all you have to do is squint at the graph and see that it’s a perfectly reasonable claim.

For claim 2), of course temperatures and CO2 levels are not strongly correlated. Everyone knows that. Again, Avail’s own graph shows temperatures rising in the early part of the 20th century, when CO2 emissions were minimal, at roughly the same rate as in the last three decades.

Claim 3 is a personal dispute between Moore and the other people who founded Greenpeace. He was there at the beginning. He says he’s a co-founder and the others say he’s not. Avaaz doesn’t say what they’ve found that proves that Moore’s claim is “verifiably false.” Perhaps they should tell us. Or call their lawyers. And what for Gaia’s sake has that to do with fake news about the climate which risks to rot the minds of the young?

2An extract from a Fox News interviewith Pat Michaels.

Avaaz finds the following two claims to be misinformation:

1) 31 of 32 climate models are flawed by design to vastly over-predict warming

2) Only half of global warming might be caused by human activity, beginning in 1976

You’re familiar with the arguments for Michaels’ point 1) I imagine. Whether models are flawed by design to vastly over-predict warming, or just flawed, period, I leave to others to discuss.

Avaaz counters point 2) with a quote from Climate Feedback: “.. human activities were already causing warming in the first half of the 20th century …” without noting the piddling quantities of man-made greenhouse gases emitted prior to 1950, according to the generally accepted measurements of atmospheric CO2.

3Climate Change: What do Scientists Say?” by Richard Lindzen

Avaaz says:

Some of the main claims that Avaaz found to be misinformation include:

1) “There is no evidence that CO2 emissions are the dominant factor [in climate change].”

2) The IPCC acknowledged in its own 2007 report that: “the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

3) Only since the 1960s have man’s greenhouse emissions been sufficient to play a role in raising global mean temperatures.

Avaaz counters with:

On the first point, the scientific consensus is that CO2 is the main driver of climate change. This is borne out in the literature using direct measurement, historical data, and models.

Sure, that’s the scientific consensus. And Lindzen isn’t in it. So what? It’s been the consensus since some IPCC report says it is. Before that, the IPCC said CO2 was probably one of the drivers, and before that they said they didn’t know. And Avaaz’s second sentence is simply false. You can’t demonstrate that CO2 is the main driver using either direct measurement, historical data, or models. If you could, the IPCC would have told us thirty years ago and saved us a lot of bother. All you can do is have a hunch it is, up your hunch from “some” to “most” to “all” and get 97% of your colleagues to agree. Linden isn’t part of the 97% who agree. So?

Avaaz continues:

On the second point, Lindzen has cherry picked a quote from the IPCC’s 2001 report and incorrectly attributed it to the 2007 report. Read in context, the original 2001 quote is far from Lindzen’s meaning.

Gaia wept. Lindzen quotes a statement from the IPCC which completely destroys the whole consensus project (while getting the date wrong) and Avaaz considers it out of order because it is “far from Lindzen’s meaning.”Who says? Lindzen’s meaning is what the IPCC says, nothing more nor less. The IPCC is free to change its collective mind if it cares to. Has it done that? Not to my knowledge. Anyone seen a report that the IPCC now considers it was wrong in thinking it couldn’t predict long-term climate states, and that now it can? Shouldn’t we discuss this?

Avaaz again:

On the third point, this report already addressed a similar claim made by Patrick Michaels. In addition, the fifth IPCC report of 2014 stated: “It is extremely likely [95 percent confidence] more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.”

So the objection to Linden’s Only since the 1960s have man’s greenhouse emissions been sufficient to play a role..”is the IPCC’s statement that: “…more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase…”Angels dancing on a pinhead anyone?

4The Great Global Warming Swindle” Avaaz doesn’t mention the film’s director/author Martin Durkin, but simply says that the video:

is a controversial film questioning the existence of a scientific consensus on global warming and the credibility of the IPCC. The video opens up with several different speakers claiming that CO2 is not responsible for global warming… Most of the core claims in this video were debunked immediately after it was aired by George Monbiot for The Guardian.

If the film’s main claim is to “question the existence of a scientific consensus on global warming” and they manage to interview several different speakers who make that case, then the film has established its point. There is no consensus, because the film found people who questioned it. The fact that George Monbiot doesn’t agree with them doesn’t make the film’s claim untrue.

The objections raise by Avaaz to these four videos are either false, doubtfully true or trivial. At the end of their 66 page report they insist on their commitment to democracy and free speech, yet they have produced this vast, slickly presented, copiously footnoted report in order to get YouTube to change the algorithms so that anyone who says anything not absolutely aligned to the thinking of the IPCC and the fabled 97% will – not be censored, oh no, Avaaz is against censorship – but lose their place on the sidebar recommendations and therefore their exposure and advertising revenue.

Everywhere you look in the body of article you find assertions of Avaaz’s commitment to freedom of speech. So what exactly have they got against two distinguished climate scientists and an ex-Greenpeace activist who no longer agrees with the policy of Greenpeace? Well, this for example:

YouTube is defining the information space for hundreds of millions of people every day, and malicious actors are being allowed to abuse the platform’s reach to achieve harmfulness.

Calling a couple of distinguished professors of meteorology and environmental sciences “malicious actors” is clearly defamatory. But it wouldn’t matter if Lindzen and Michaels were junior lecturers or elementary school geography teachers. Or me or you. This is a very rich and influential organisation trying to silence people it doesn’t agree with. That’s all.

I’m a visual sort of person, and I have to force myself to compose a reasoned argument in order to demonstrate what a load of fascist shite this is. My initial response is not to the argument, which occupies about a quarter of the document, but to the visual appearance of the document itself, with its photos, cool graphic design, bullet points, and logical reasoning hidden in footnotes written too small for the human eye. I download the PDF and try and extract the argument from the visual bumf. What aggravates me is not so much the reasoning, which is just some young intern copying and pasting stuff under the orders of some highly paid green suit, in the hope of one day becoming a highly paid green suit him or herself. It’s the visual feel of the thing that gives me the creeps.

On page 48 for example, there’s a bit of hortatory text:

Advertisers have a powerful role to play in collaborating with and pressuring YouTube to protect their brands and the well-being of society. And there is a growing trend of advertisers taking such actions. For example, companies have pulled their ads from YouTube after realising that they were being shown on videos where inappropriate comments were being made about children

The Global Alliance for Responsible Media, representing the world’s biggest advertising firms, has highlighted that it is: “working towards a media environment where hate speech, bullying and disinformation is challenged.. and where everyone, especially children, are better protected from harm.”

Avaaz calls on the members of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media and the brands identified in this report to use their advertising budgets as leverage to demand that YouTube stops displaying their ads on videos that promote climate misinformation..

Three quarters of the double page spread is taken up by a photo of a bunch of climate protesters, pre-pubescent girls holding up placards reading “I’ve seen smarter cabinets at IKEA” (so they’re English) “We’re skipping our lessons to teach you one” and “Stop denying the earth is dying.”

It’s not so much the reasoning which makes me vomit, but this photo. Not the hysterical brainwashed Thunberg clones themselves, but the idea of the media-savvy woke graphic designers who saw that this was just the visual material necessary to underline the unconscious association between climate scepticism and child molesting.

Gaia how I hate these people. This is the face of fascism for the 21stcentury: not Orwell’s vision of a jackboot smashing your face for ever, but just a glossy brochure being thrust in front of you with the message: “Are you part of the climate consensus or a paedophile? ”


  1. ‘You can’t demonstrate that CO2 is the main driver using either direct measurement, historical data, or models. ‘ … Failing Feynman Science 101.


  2. Re yr Mister Soros. claiming his manifesto, ‘Open Society, ‘ (2000) has parallels to Karl Poppers; ‘Open Society and it’s Enemies,’ (1945) is a guru trick, conjuring up virtue by association, like Plato in ‘The Republic’ using Socrates, advocate of critical discussion, as his sock puppet.

    Soros, man behind the curtain, funder of the Occupy Movement with its slogan to occupy people’s heads, funder of Anti-Fa to shut down free debate. Leaked Soros ‘ Open Society Org. funding documents name groups, including the Centre for Community Change and the Brennan Centre, that are regularly opposed to election integrity measures in court and influence media by pushing voter fraud-denial narratives.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very helpful Geoff. The ending is fine. Having three buses in quick succession is excellent in this case, I say as the driver of the first, whose destination is even more unknown than the two following. Alex’s has the great advantage of being about a single story within a UK cultural icon. Such focus has much to recommend it. But this one shows the extent of the culture war in 2020 concerning Big Tech and climate cobblers. That’s Cliscep’s special corner of the culture war after all. I think the uncoordinated combo is a great one. I will have more to say on the general case for a day or two but after that will probably need to fall silent for a while to focus on other things.

    On Avaaz you may remember Climate Criminals The Dirtiest Fossil Fuel Lobbyists behind the doors of #COP21. Ah yes, we’ll always have Paris. These good people, in particular, will have very special memories.

    Over four years ago, the very first winter of Cliscep itself. How time flies when you’re being criminalised.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “The Great Global Warming Swindle” featured Piers Corbyn, the cleverest physicist I know. It was seeing him in the film which first alerted me to the global warming (climate change) scam.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I share your visceral aversion to these people Geoff. The contemplation and examination of their behaviour is actually a nauseatingly unpleasant experience which induces a seething, indignant rage bordering on blind hatred – which of course tends to get in the way of any rational critique of what they are doing. The idiocy of their poorly constructed arguments in favour of censorship is irritating, but the glossy, slick presentation of those arguments – as evidence of the stinking unearned affluence, the deep-seated arrogance and privileged indulgence of these grubby fascists – is even more unsettling. There’s a real risk of just ‘losing it’ and launching into a high octane aggressive, angry verbal tirade against them, liberally sprinkled with expletives, which achieves essentially nothing – bar letting off steam.

    Of the three red buses today, two are deeply disturbing – your article here and Tony Thomas’ on how Greens have so effectively infiltrated local councils and taken control of the public funding stream to line their own pockets and implement their rotten agenda. It appears we have seriously underestimated the resolve and the determination and the calculated wickedness of the Green Blob. They are complete idiots only when it comes to science, facts, data, evidence, reality, but they are masters of deception and highly accomplished in the art of manipulation, propaganda and the infiltration of the media and public and private organisations. Alex’s article brings wry amusement, but it too is evidence of a serious decline in the quality of BBC output in favour of preachy wokeness on the subject of climate change.

    I vacillate between despair and optimism these days. Avaaz wants to censor climate deniers on Youtube, but here we have, on Youtube, ostensibly the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States, saying that he will never let the environmental doomsters and economy-wrecking socialists take control of the United States.

    I wonder too how long it will be before WordPress begins to ‘clean up’ its platform of ‘climate denial’ at the behest of the Green zealots. We should just make sure that all our work is archived, just in case.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. JAIME
    Your warning against “‘losing it’ and launching into a high octane aggressive, angry verbal tirade against them, liberally sprinkled with expletives, which achieves essentially nothing – bar letting off steam” hits home. I lost it long ago, but I’m not going stop now. It’s not going to achieve anything, I know, but even if all we can do is say “we know what you’re doing” let’s at least say it aggressively. We’ll only ever be a footnote in history, but let’s be a noisy, quirky, sometimes amusing one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The key thing about psywar is to con your enemy that it’s impossible for you not to triumph. There’s a lot of that at the moment. Then there’s the Donald, in full, on YouTube:

    I only found the full one on seeing that Jaime had shown a short excerpt. It wasn’t hard from there. And he’s, rightly, very polite to the founder at the start. But he’s not always polite!

    Two takeaways: the good news may be bigger than you realise. It’s impossible to evaluate both good and bad in real-time and sum them with the right weightings, like some principle component thingie. We don’t know, and we should get used to that, but we should fight. And second, sometimes politeness is an important part of getting our message across, sometimes rudery is. We’ve had a good record of combining to two on Cliscep so far!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve posted a comment under Mac Slovo’s article at the SHTF (“when it hits the fan, don’t say we didn’t warn you.”) site linked above. It seems to be an investment advice site peddling the kind of far left criticism of pseudo-capitalism which I find very soothing. Meanwhile, organisations like Avaaz which consider themselves leftwing, libertarian and pro-democracy are peddling the kind of lying propaganda associated with dictatorial governments of the Soviet or Nazi kind. (No, I’m not saying Avaaz are Nazis.)

    RICHARD’s point about “the principal component thingy” in his comment above is a very important insight. It’s the kind of comment you could never find in the centre-left mainstream media nowadays. Not only, I think, because of their biasses, but because it contains two factors which are absolutely foreign to the governing mentality of modern so-called intelligent discourse: 1) the humility of admitting you don’t know everything and 2) the appeal to some idea (the mention of principal component analysis) which not all your readers are going to understand, but which they might be curious enough to want to find out about. Modern journalism is too democratically dumbed down to appeal to its readers intelligence, and too cocksure to ever admit it might be wrong. We’ve still got Delingpole and Ridley, but it’s not much, is it?

    Now I’m going to read Alex’s and Tony’s articles. I need to calm down a bit. Thank Gaia for the variety on this site. I’m proud of having been involved in starting the only organisation I’ve ever come across which functions on pure anarchist principles.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is very good from Sherelle Jacobs at the Telegraph:


    Greta’s bland, corporate-friendly strategy is intriguing; it reinforces her ruse – that the science is mind-numbingly clear, the necessary actions are unquestionable, and that her task is simply to “continue to repeat” it until we are bored.

    Naturally, Donald Trump was having none of it. He let rip at this paper-shufflers’ PR stunt, dismissing the “predictions of the apocalypse” and “prophets of doom”. In his own ham-fisted way, the president was groping at – if not quite grasping – the disconcerting truth. Global warming is happening, but the climate science itself is messy, mystifying and ambivalent; the certainty with which eco-warriors present their case is thus disgracefully dishonest.

    The causal links made between global warming and the Australian bushfires is one example. Greta has tweeted her despair at the world’s failure “to make the connection between the climate crisis and extreme weather events and nature disasters like the #AustralianFires”. But the inconvenient truth is that scientists have not definitively linked the bushfires to climate change alone. It may be a factor among many. The Australian Academy of Science itself concedes: “Population growth, climate change, temperature extremes, droughts, storms, wind and floods are intersecting in ways that are difficult to untangle.”

    Bushfires are intersectional! I like that. One in the eye for progressives who think they have the monopoly on that kind of stuff.

    Also, good article from Rupert Darwall at The Hill:


    Things are looking up on the media front.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The climate thought police – Bob Ward and Stuart Capstick – are upset by Sherelle Jacobs. But she’s arguing back.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. @Richard Drake :23 Jan 20 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for the full link to Trump’s speech.

    1st thought – no reading from notes was impressive.
    2nd thought – the Beeb like to cherry pick the bits they feed to the UK public (is that fake news at it’s best I wonder)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jaime @ Jan 23 / 9.33:

    ‘The idiocy of their poorly constructed arguments in favour of censorship is irritating, but the glossy, slick presentation of those arguments – as evidence of the stinking unearned affluence, the deep-seated arrogance and privileged indulgence of these grubby fascists – is even more unsettling.’

    Yr right. Nature says ‘no’ to censorship. It’s test on the littoral ‘n

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A somewhat ironic footnote – a few years ago now, some in the Avaaz community were up in arms about censorship:

    “The freedom of spiritual expression and exchange of spiritual ideas on the web is under attack. The UK has begun implementation of an internet filtering system which automatically filter out websites with ‘esoteric material’. Working directly with ISP’s and affecting 95% of British internet users, the UK ‘Porn Filter’ doesn’t just block porn but a total of 9 different categories including ‘Esoteric Material’.”

    “The definition of ‘esoteric material’ is so broad that it can span from meditation to spiritual healing, Chakras, yoga and everything in between. And this has now been lumped in with the horrid company of pornography, violence and suicide related sites.

    This sinister development is being slipped past public notice as these automatic filters are being headlined as a powerful tool to combat Pornography on the web. UK Prime Minister David Cameron is touting these new policies will ‘protect children and their innocence’. But besides the efforts to block pornography the collateral damage removes massive amounts of websites from the net.”

    Well yes – that’s the nature of censorship, when it is deployed as a blunt instrument. But the collective brains of Avaaz seem to have forgotten. Once it was a thing to be feared, but now it’s a friend…

    If these people were more self-aware, they might be a little more careful about what they wished for.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Our news sources here are again full of climate change bushfire stories linked to Davos etc. Science has the answers apparently. Scientists can tell us, for instance, exactly what balance of protein per megajoule of energy will make a pig grow best, but when it comes to “stockmanship” – the art of caring for and looking after the pig, this is knowledge which is only acquired practically. In similar fashion, science can make statements about fuel load and temperature related to fires, but the art of keeping towns and people and property safe, and conducting safe fuel reduction, is pretty much a practical art. If local brigades were allowed to keep their communities safe it would be a much improved result, over the present top down management, with full input from “science” which takes so long that nothing happens.
    With the best will in the world (which is not what I actually believe they are exhibiting) our journalists can quote all the science they like with regard to the fires and it is just so much, mere, cosmetic knowledge, in terms of future outcomes.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Richard says:

    “…sometimes politeness is an important part of getting our message across, sometimes rudery is.”

    Well, I guess it depends upon who you are trying to communicate with. I’ve tried both tactics when attempting to engage over at ATTP – and both have failed miserably. I think the problem is that both politeness and rudeness will be treated as imposters by those who assume that the position being challenged is self-evidently inviolate. Such an attitude is ably demonstrated by ATTP’s pit bull in-residence, Willard, whenever he blathers on about his cherished ClimateBall Bingo. His latest outing at ATTP (‘Sherelle’s Bingo Squares’) is a case in point. It’s a posting that purports to be a critique of the ‘contrarian’ arguments offered in an editorial written by the Daily Telegraph’s Sherelle Jacobs. However, in reality it amounts to little more than a catalogue of the memes Sherelle employs, with each one mockingly hash-tagged (#ButGreta, #ButConsensus, etc.). The implication is that any argument offered can be readily recognised as a contrarian favourite and, therefore, automatically dismissed as long-discredited nonsense. No amount of politeness or rudeness will impress anyone who can engage in such sweeping dismissal. One can, of course, point out that ClimateBall Bingo is a self-attacking meme (hence, #ButClimateBallBingo) but I suspect that this would not compute with the ATTP faithful.


  16. Ha! Has Willard given up #ClimateBall then? It’s now #ClimateBall Bingo? I guess he must have progressed into doddery old age since last I bothered to visit ATTP and now the thought of engaging the opposition in ruffty-tuffty antics on the football pitch is too much to contemplate, so he’s shuffled off down to the Bingo Hall on OAP’s concession nights to ply his #ClimateBall nonsesne there instead! Marvellous. Sherelle would slaughter him at Bingo or football.


  17. Jaime,

    When I was a child, the favourite tactic when arguing with someone who you couldn’t outwit was to simply repeat what they had said in a mocking, falsetto voice. It would work a treat, but only when you had the playground on your side. ClimateBall Bingo is just a variation on that theme. It isn’t a sign of senility; it’s quite the opposite.


  18. John:

    No amount of politeness or rudeness will impress anyone who can engage in such sweeping dismissal.

    I totally agree with that. But it’s the as-yet-unconvinced people overhearing our weird and frustrating ‘debates’ with such people that I’m thinking of.


  19. Richard,

    I take your point. Willard has recently remarked:

    “One way for contrarians to create obstruction is to go for ‘but debate me (coward).’ Why? There’s very little to debate.”

    So I guess he isn’t the sort you had in mind.


  20. Geoff – I take it you saw the Pingback under John Ridgway Comment above – by Climate Denier Roundup


    you get a mention for this post –
    “In a mirrored case of misguided concerns, over at ClimateSkepticism, Geoff Chambers expressed his concerns about advocacy group Avaaz’s effort to get YouTube to stop promoting climate denial. As you might expect, he disagrees with how Avaaz’s report characterizes various examples of denial as being false, but then admits it’s not the content that he really hates, but “the visual feel of the thing that gives [him] the creeps.”

    tried to find out who they are but only got this advert – “Buy Gold Bullion Online”


    Yes, I did see it. They’re very rude about me, but I don’t think it’s worth replying. Their article is cross-posted at Daily Kos who did something on one of our articles a few years ago, I think. I followed them Daily for a few days, but since no-one ever commented under their rants I didn’t think it was worth breaking the silence.

    On the ads for gold bullion. It’s because of your internet profile. They know you’re in the market for that sort of thing. For some reason, when I go on US sites, I get ads for leather caps or English lessons.


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