Reddit, the giant aggregator of social, political, and entertainment news, which boasts that it is “the front page of the Internet,” is taking flak for announcing that it now bans all climate “deniers” from its science forum.
In a December 16 posting on the left-liberal Grist website (a George Soros-funded website), Reddit science “moderator” (now self-professed censor) Nathan Allen announced that the Reddit science forum would no longer allow postings from those who challenge the increasingly discredited notion that manmade carbon-dioxide is causing a global warming existential threat to the planet.
Allen’s essay, entitled “Reddit’s science forum banned climate deniers. Why don’t all newspapers do the same?”, obviously hopes to spark a wave of official, explicit bans at other media outlets. Of course, most of the so-called mainstream media already employ de facto censorship of the realist/skeptic position in their “climate change” coverage, and have for many years. While they heap lavish, adoring coverage on fanatical climate “scientists” such as James Hansen and Michael Mann, and non-scientist activist celebrities such as Al Gore, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bono, and Madonna, the mainstream media (MSM) can be counted on to ignore or vilify the thousands of genuine scientists who contradict the carefully crafted false claim of a “scientific consensus” in favor of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). However, much of the MSM have gone beyond censoring the contrarian scientists out of their “news” stories and op-ed pages, going so far as to ban all letters-to-the-editor section that challenge the AGW dogma. The Los Angeles Times is one of the few major MSM organs that has publicly admitted it has a policy of refusing to print letters from climate “deniers.” The folks at Reddit, apparently, would be happy if all media outlets followed suit.
In his Grist op-ed, Dr. Allen wrote:
In addition to my career as a PhD chemist, I am one of a select few who enjoy the privilege of moderating content on reddit.com’s science forum. The science forum is a small part of reddit, but it nonetheless enjoys over 4 million subscribers. By comparison, that’s roughly twice the circulation of The New York Times.
Dr. Allen is obviously pleased with himself and the global digital footprint he influences. He continues:
The forum, known as /r/science, provides a digital space for discussions about recent, peer-reviewed scientific publications. This puts us (along with /r/AskScience) on the front line of the science-public interface. On our little page, scientists and nonscientists can connect through discussions on everything from subatomic particles to interstellar astrophysics.
According to Allen, Reddit’s science forum is “a microcosm, representative of the vast range of views that can be supported by empirical evidence.” “Importantly,” he claims, “it provides the same window for those who are not scientists, who do not regularly talk with PhDs, and who may be unfamiliar with how science is discussed by scientists. In essence, it is a window into the Ivory Tower.” Unfortunately, the “window into the Ivory Tower” of Reddit is as closed as the window into the Ivory Tower of most of academe. Like his professorial comrades on the college and university campuses, Allen seems to be stuck in Stalinism 101, unable to tolerate true debate and the give-and-take that occurs in genuine scientific enquiry. Typical of his comrades on the left, he has adopted the terminology of the Holocaust, consciously vilifying all who dissent from the radical global warming alarmist dogma as “deniers.”
This uncivil discourse is a form of genuine hate speech, aimed at generating hate for those with an opposing scientific viewpoint. Of course, liberal-left activists such as Nathan Allen claim to abhor incivility and hate speech — all the while practicing it with a vengeance. According to Allen, “no topic consistently evokes such rude, uninformed, and outspoken opinions as climate change.”
While admitting that intemperate language and insults come from both sides of the AGW debate, he unconvincingly argues that it is the global warming “deniers” who are most culpable of offensive, “aggressive behavior.” “Rather than making thoughtful arguments based on peer-reviewed science to refute man-made climate change, contrarians immediately resorted to aggressive behaviors,” Allen charges.
“As a scientist myself, it became clear to me that the contrarians were not capable of providing the science to support their ‘skepticism’ on climate change,” asserts Allen. “The evidence simply does not exist to justify continued denial that climate change is caused by humans and will be bad.”
According to Reddit’s Nathan Allen, the “deniers” are hopeless “true believers” and the only way to deal with them is to cut off their access to all media outlets. “As a site, reddit is passionately dedicated to free speech, so we expected considerable blowback,” says Allen. “But the widespread outrage we feared never materialized, and the atmosphere greatly improved.” If Allen is being truthful, the fact that no widespread outrage materialized is an inadvertent auto-refutation of Reddit’s supposed passionate dedication to free speech. It belies the Reddit mythology about the website’s supposed openness and diversity.
Across the top of its “about” page, in large type, Reddit proudly runs this paean to its accessibility from a Reddit enthusiast, one Dapper77:
“This is a place friendly to thought, relationships, arguments, and to those that wish to challenge those genres."
Reddit’s Wikipedia entry says “The website is known for its open nature and diverse user community that generate its content.” It also claims that the website “has a strong culture of free speech and very few rules about the types of content that may be posted.”
Allen and his fellow Reddit moderators can tolerate just about anything — except dissent from their pet environmental dogma. "As moderators responsible for what millions of people see, we felt that to allow a handful of commenters to so purposefully mislead our audience was simply immoral," Allen said.
Talk about “true believers”! Allowing dissenters to comment, according to Reddit, is “immoral.” Allen calls upon other media thought police to emulate Reddit’s proficiency in policing their venues to eliminate “contrarian” thought. Says Allen:
So if a half-dozen volunteers can keep a page with more than 4 million users from being a microphone for the antiscientific, is it too much to ask for newspapers to police their own editorial pages as proficiently?
The “97% of Scientists” Consensus Myth
Not surprisingly, while ridiculing “deniers” as antiscientific, Allen and the Reddit science moderators engage in one of the biggest and most thoroughly discredited anti-science deceptions of all time: the claim that there is a near-unanimous scientific “consensus” in favor of their radical AGW theories. Here’s Allen:
When 97 percent of climate scientists agree that man is changing the climate, we would hope the comments would at least acknowledge if not reflect such widespread consensus.
Sound familiar? Yes, that’s the same bogus statistic cited by President Obama this past May, along with the usual MSM choir trumpeting the same false claims of almost total “scientific consensus” on the impending apocalyptic climate “crisis.” Like President Obama, Reddit cites as its source for this outrageous claim the thoroughly discredited study by Australian AGW alarmist/activist John Cook. The New American reported on the eviscerating analyses of Cook’s study by independent scientists and researchers here, here, and here.
The Cook report, which claimed to be based on “over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers,” published in the period 1991-2011, turned out to be a colossal fraud. Stripped of its false accounting methodology, only 65 of the 12,000 papers actually explicitly endorsed AGW alarmist claims. That yields an endorsement rate of around half a percent, not 97 percent! But the 97 percent mantra has been repeated so often that it is cited as gospel by millions of true believers.
One of the most incredible claims of Allen and his Reddit cadres — and yet a claim that is all too typical among the AGW alarmists — is that the “deniers” are a bunch of nasty, ignorant laymen, and that the only scientists who dissent from AGW orthodoxy are a relative handful of “professional climate change deniers” in the pay of Big Oil and Big Coal. However, the AGW accusers never bother to back up their charges — because they can’t. As The New American has reported a number of times (see here and here), the few millions of dollars that AGW skeptics have received from corporate donors is a scant pittance compared to the tens of billions of dollars that have been lavished on the climate alarmists by corporations, foundations, environmental organizations, carbon trading investors, and governments.
Concerning the ever-recurring pernicious lie of scientific consensus, the alarmists appear to be getting increasingly shrill, perhaps in panic mode because so many of their former allies have been jumping ship. Two of the most prominent “green” scientists to reverse course on AGW alarmism are James Lovelock, the British inventor, NASA scientist, author, and originator of the Gaia Hypothesis; and Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, a founding father of Germany’s environmental movement and a director of one of Europe’s largest alternative energy companies.
Here are some of the other world-renowned scientists whom Allen and the Reddit ignore, dismiss, or insult:
• Dr. William Happer, one of America’s preeminent physicists and a professor of physics at Princeton University;
• Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology;
• Mike Hulme, professor of climate science at East Anglia University and an IPCC lead author;
• Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT climate physicist and Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences;
• Dr. John Christy, climatologist of the University of Alabama in Huntsville and NASA;
• Dr. Lee C. Gerhard, past director and state geologist with the Kansas Geological Society and senior scientist emeritus of the University of Kansas;
• Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, former Virginia State climatologist, a UN IPCC reviewer, and University of Virginia professor of environmental sciences;
• Dr. Vincent Gray, New Zealand chemist and climate researcher;
• Dr. Tom V. Segalstad, geologist/geochemist, head of the Geological Museum in Norway;
• Dr. John T. Everett, a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) senior manager and project manager for the UN Atlas of the Oceans;
• Dr. Willie Soon, Harvard-Smithsonian Center astrophysicist;
• Burt Rutan, renowned engineer, inventor, and aviation/space pioneer;
• Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, emeritus professor of physics, and founding director, International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks;
• Dr. Bjarne Andresen, physicist, and professor, The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark;
• Dr. Ian D. Clark, professor, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology, University of Ottawa, Canada.
That’s just the tip of the proverbial scientific dissenter iceberg. In 2010, Marc Morano at Climate Depot published a 321-page PDF special report featuring statements and bios of more than 1,000 eminent scientists from around the world, including Nobel Prize winners and IPCC authors, who challenge the claim of scientific consensus on global warming.
And, as we have mentioned many times in previous articles, there are more than 31,000 scientists in the United States who have signed a petition urging the U.S. government to reject AGW hysteria and the types of actions that have been proposed at UN forums in Kyoto, Copenhagen, Cancun, and Rio.
In our free society the Reddit climate alarmists should be free to limit access to their website to whomever they please; however they should be named and shamed for falsely portraying themselves as advocates of free and open discourse, and for smearing all those who do not share their hysterical hype and their statist, anti-liberty policy proposals.