Climate Feedback is a subsidiary of Science Feedback that seems to have a single purpose: enforcing the so-called global warming “consensus.” It maligns even traces of dissent as “misleading,” triggering platforms like Facebook to depress the sharing of content and otherwise punish distributors.
Libertarian journalist John Stossel found this out in October 2020 after creating a video about California’s wildfires. Although his video blamed climate change and forest mismanagement, Climate Feedback’s complaint alleged it denied climate change’s role and was “misleading.”
“I don’t know where Climate Feedback got its quote. Made it up? Quoted someone else?” Stossel wrote in a column about the phony fact-check. Even after he appealed, the “misleading” label was retained — the fact-checker simply gave a new reason.
In reality, Climate Feedback leaders, its top donor and some prominent advisors want to quash dissent and skepticism about the dangers of global warming. Its largest named donor, Eric Michelman, launched earlier climate activist projects including More Than Scientists. Talking about that project he declared the science “settled,” adding: “Studies consistently show that 97 percent of scientists agree. We want the public to both hear from them that, yeah, this is settled, but also see scientists for who they are.”
Because it is a certified fact-checker for Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network, Climate Feedback is empowered to indirectly punish content it disagrees with on IFCN partners: Google, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Partnering social media companies rely on the network to vet content.
- Climate Feedback was responsible for fact-checks that led to censorship of Stossel, climatologist and self-identified “lukewarmer” Dr. Patrick Michaels, statistician Caleb Rossiter of the CO2 Coalition, PragerU videos including interviews with scientists and opinion pieces by Michael Shellenberger.
- When Michaels and Rossiter co-wrote an op-ed critical of climate models, Climate Feedback called it “false.” Michaels and Rossiter said they appealed to Facebook, which ultimately removed the label and altered its policies to stop “fact-checking” opinion pieces. This prompted outrage in the liberal news media. But the next year, when Michaels shared a television interview about climate change, he was hit again with the “false” label.
- Climate Feedback relies on a host of scientists as advisors or guest analysts who critique online climate content. The list includes prominent alarmists Michael Mann (of the dubious, debunked Hockey Stick warming graph), Gavin Schmidt of NASA and the RealClimate blog, IPCC lead author Kevin Trenberth and MIT’s Kerry Emanuel. The Los Angeles Times lauded Emanuel for accepting “the broad scientific consensus on global warming” despite his political conservatism. It noted that he’d been critical of “climate denial.”
- Emanuel was one of the scientists who reviewed and labeled a column Shellenberger wrote “misleading.” Climate Feedback gave the column, “On behalf of environmentalists, I apologize for the climate scare,” a -1.2 scientific credibility score. However, Prof. Roger Pielke, Jr. fact-checked Climate Feedback’s fact-check and provided evidence showing one of Emanuel’s major criticisms was “incontrovertibly false” and “easily 5 Pinnochios.”
- The only donor listed as having given $5,000 or more was angel investor and former Big Tech worker Eric Michelman. He worked for Apple and Microsoft, before spending his own money on climate activism. He founded the Climate Change Education Project and More Than Scientists. In an interview with YES! Magazine, Michelman said More Than Scientists was “about showing the science is settled.” Science Feedback’s founder, Vincent, was one of the many scientists who contributed a video to the project.
- In 2016, Science Feedback founder Vincent complained that “despite the scientific consensus that global warming is real and primarily due to human activity, studies show that only about half the population in some countries with among the highest CO2 emissions per capita understand that human beings are the driving force of our changing climate.” [Emphasis added.] Because skeptical “misinformation” was too available, they planned to launch Climate Feedback and were crowdfunding to scale up the project.