Facebook's new Fact-Checking policies have carved out an exemption for climate deniers

The CO2 Coalition is a non-profit climate denial organization with deep pockets supported by the Mercers, the Kochs, and other conservative fossil fuel financial interests. Despite the demonstrable unreality of its mission, the CO2 Coalition has already found favor in the White House.

In August 2019, they posted an op-ed on Facebook from the Washington Examiner that was written by a known climate denier and disguised itself as legitimate and factual reporting about climate change. As Judd Legum's Popular Information Newsletter explained:

The article claimed computer models used by climate scientists to predict warming have proved overblown, and thus shouldn’t be trusted. To prove it, Michaels compared “actual temperatures since 1979 with what the 32 families of climate models used in the latest U.N. report on climate science predicted they would be.”

The comparison was flawed. Michaels compared the earth’s present temperature with past climate models that predicted more carbon pollution than actually occurred. If we had polluted as much as the models predicted, the world would have warmed as much as the models predicted.

We know this because actual climate scientists have published research assessing the accuracy of climate models. […] Michaels’ analysis, on the other hand, didn’t go through any peer-review process, nor is Michaels climate scientist himself. What Michaels did was amateur Google sleuthing. What the scientists did was science.

Regardless, the post was shared more than 2,000 times before it was removed by Facebook's Independent Fact-checkers.

Then, according to E&E News:

A "conservative" Facebook employee quietly intervened, overturning the fact check, and the misinformation was no longer labeled as false, according to the CO2 Coalition.

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This penguin escaping from a cracking glacier is an edge-of-your-seat thriller

This video is apparently from January of 2019, but I saw it on Twitter the other day, accompanying the news about the record-breaking ice melt in Antarctica over the holidays.

Did you hear about that? How the ice in Antarctica is melting at alarming rates, because of climate change, which is real? There aren't a lot of humans in Antarctica to witness the gradual encroach of our ecological apocalypse, but it's happening.

Anyway, the penguin video. It's a thriller. That chunk of ice cracks off — again, because of rising global temperatures — and poor little penguin dude is stuck there is it floats away, while her other penguin friends are safe on the other side. I don't think I've watched anything this intense since the last time I saw the end of Toy Story 3. I held my breath for damn near a minute, hoping that lil' tuxedo'd waddler would be okay. If we're not gonna freak out about climate change, we should at least be worried about our poor penguin friends!

But also, climate change is terrifying, and this penguin is a portent for the future that all of us are headed for. Read the rest

Florida GOP finally admits that maybe they shouldn't have banned the phrase "climate change" after all

Climate change is real. The state of Florida is particularly susceptible to its effects, being a largely coastal landmass. Hurricanes and floods strike with increasing frequency, damaging or outright destroying homes, businesses, and public infrastructure. As a result, maintenance and repair costs are rising, too. And that doesn't even touch on the human impact—the elderly residents killed by extreme temperatures, and the food- and mosquito-borne diseases that mutate and spread through the swampy heat. The latest studies predict a two-foot rise in sea level over the next forty years.

But you wouldn't know any of that from a visit to the Florida Statehouse at any point during the reign of Republican Governor Rick Scott, however. That's because Scott had implemented an unofficial policy banning the use of "climate change" and "global warming" in all official government communications ("unofficial" only in that Scott was a conniving politician who understood that you can't legally ban words in the United States, but you can use your authority to bully people out of using them anyway). It's the same tactic that the Trump Administration has used to steamroll federal scientists. From the Miami Herald:

“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’” said Christopher Byrd, an attorney with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

Kristina Trotta, another former DEP employee who worked in Miami, said her supervisor told her not to use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in a 2014 staff meeting.

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Post-punk song 'Anthropogenic Climate Change Is Real' is a wake-up call to Trump

Follow the bouncing Trump head in this music video for "Anthropogenic Climate Change Is Real" by Oakland, California post-punk band You Can’t Make This Shit Up Amerika.

Written by Tennessee Mowrey and Kevin Goldberg, the song is a wake-up call to Trump and any other "fucking asshole" who doesn't believe that climate change exists.

It was co-produced by my pal Ampersand, who writes:

"I immediately felt that these spirited and pissed off millennials were giving voice not only to my feelings about our president and his policies around climate change, but potentially to millions of others as well, and that it was important that the song was out in the world."

I agree.

Give it a watch. Be forewarned, it's (rightly) sprinkled with NSFW language.

Thanks, Ampersand!

Previously: Debbie Harry and Joan Jett anchor the apocalyptic news for Blondie's 'Doom or Destiny' music video Read the rest