The chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis was accused Wednesday of censorship after calling on Google to take action against YouTube videos that promote “climate denial and climate misinformation.”
Rep. Kathy Castor, Florida Democrat, asked Google in a Monday letter to remove “climate disinformation videos” from YouTube’s “recommendation algorithm,” demonetize videos that promote “harmful misinformation,” and correct the record for those exposed to such “misinformation.”
“YouTube has been driving millions of viewers to climate misinformation videos every day, a shocking revelation that runs contrary to Google’s important missions of fighting misinformation and promoting climate action,” said Ms. Castor, who requested a response by Feb. 7.
Google, which owns YouTube, has yet to comment publicly, but climate skeptics were outraged, charging the congresswoman with attempting to shut down debate on climate policy by silencing dissenting voices, no matter how knowledgeable about climate science.
“Rep. Castor’s demand that Google pull down climate skeptic YouTube videos because she doesn’t approve of their content says a lot about the totalitarian instincts of the climate movement,” said JunkScience’s Steve Milloy.
In her letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Ms. Castor cited a Jan. 16 report by the progressive climate activism group Avaaz, “Why is YouTube Broadcasting Climate Misinformation to Millions?”
The report cited PragerU videos featuring MIT atmospheric physics professor emeritus Richard Lindzen and former UVA research professor Patrick Michaels, as well as a 2018 interview with Mr. Michaels, who holds a Ph.D. in ecological climatology, on Fox’s “Life, Liberty & Levin.”
“Obviously, the MIT professor of atmospheric physics should not be allowed to run amok on Youtube. People might learn something,” cracked Australian climate blogger Joanne Nova.
Climate Depot’s Marc Morano described the Democrat’s demand as the latest attempt to silence those who challenge the climate-catastrophe narrative advanced by those such as former Vice President Al Gore and Green New Deal sponsor Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat.
He pointed to a YouTube disclaimer taken from Wikipedia on the 2016 PragerU video “Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say?” featuring Mr. Lindzen, who holds a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard.
“Sadly, I expect YouTube to cave and continue its policies of clamping down on climate skeptics and those who oppose so-called solutions like the Green New Deal or U.N. Paris climate pact,” Mr. Morano said. “YouTube has already initiated policies that amount to climate ‘virtue signaling’ with their disclaimers.”
In her letter, Ms. Castor noted that YouTube last year used its policy against “dangerous and harmful” content to removed economic incentives for channels promoting anti-vaccination views, as well as Google’s stated commitment to “sustainability” and renewable energy.
“As we all work together to solve this crisis, we must also eliminate barriers to action, including those as pervasive and harmful as climate denial and climate misinformation,” she said.
The select committee was formed shortly after Democrats retook the House in January 2019 and plans to publish climate policy recommendations for Congress by March 31.
“Instead of engaging in open debate with climate skeptics, Rep. Castor just wants to shut us up,” Mr. Milloy said. “I can only imagine what her side would do to us if they had real power.”