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Michael Mann: ‘Now it’s time for you to remove climate denial videos’

AMY GOODMAN: So, I want to go to why people believe what they do. And this is something you’ve been talking about. Earlier this month, you tweeted, quote, “Hey @Youtube. It’s good you’re taking down COVID denial videos. Now it’s time for you to remove climate denial videos. They pose an even greater threat to humanity in the long term.” Explain.

MICHAEL MANN: Yeah, that’s right. I mean, climate change — you know, here we saw nearly a hundred people die from these unprecedented tornadoes. But if you look at the total impact of climate change around the world — wildfires, droughts, floods, heat waves, coastal inundation — climate change is already costing far more lives than COVID-19. It is deadlier. And so the denial of climate change is deadlier even than the denial of the basic science behind COVID-19.

But here’s the difference. There isn’t a huge, global lobby, the world’s most powerful industry, wealthiest and most powerful industry, the fossil fuel industry, that has a stake in the COVID-19 debate. So, it’s fairly easy for these Big Tech companies, these social media companies, to stop showing COVID denial, for suppressing COVID denial videos and posts. There isn’t a huge corporate interest that’s going to get in their way. With climate change, it’s a whole different story. We are talking about an effort by the world’s largest, most powerful industry, the fossil fuel industry, to prevent any meaningful action on climate, and to accomplish that in part by using social media to promote denialism and dismissal.

And here, the social media companies are being complicit. And, you know, why are they being complicit? Well, many of them are getting a lot of advertising money from the fossil fuel industry, so it’s inconvenient to their business model to challenge that industry. And I am afraid that that’s what we’re seeing here. And we have to take them to task, because they are doing great harm. They’re making profits by doing great harm to all of us.



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