Extreme Temperature Diary- December 28th, 2018/ Topic: YouTube And Disinformation

Friday December 28th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. 

YouTube And Disinformation

Social media since the turn of the century has become a wonderful thing, entertaining many and disseminating a lot of information. It’s very important, though, that educators instill on young minds how to check sources so that they can call out and identify bull puckcy when that is encountered and stepped on. Videos presented by social media are a powerful tool being able to get across points in some cases much better than that of printed pages, such as what you are reading at the moment. So, for what it is worth on this site, today I will point out some climate change disinformation popping up on one of my favorite sites, YouTube.

Personally I love looking at music videos and other various media on YouTube, but when I encounter an article summarizing some “fake climate news,” a do frown: https://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/friends-of-science-video-promoted-by-youtube-presents-long-list-of-climate-myths-steve-goreham/

Granted, this article is from July 2017, but many of these videos are still archived for the purpose of being encountered by malleable minds. Briefly quoted from this article:


This video of a talk by author and speaker Steve Goreham, posted by the YouTube channel “Friends of Science” has been viewed over 250,000 times and has been widely promoted by Youtube recently. In it, Goreham claims that climate change is not dangerous, and is not caused by humans.

Scientists who reviewed the talk found that it was comprised of a litany of common myths about climate science. Goreham misrepresents global temperature data, the physics of the greenhouse effect, and the factors controlling sea level rise, among many other things, as explained below by scientists.


These comments are the overall assessment of scientists on the article, they are substantiated by their knowledge in the field and by the content of the analysis in the annotations on the article.

Stefan Rahmstorf, Professor, Potsdam University:

The video presents a litany of the usual climate denier talking points, none of which hold any water. It is full of outright false claims and does not even shy away from presenting a fake TIME magazine cover that supposedly warned of an ice age. “Friends of Science” is an advocacy group “largely funded by the fossil fuel industry”, according to Wikipedia. Already its name is intended to mislead.

Twila Moon, Research Scientist, University of Colorado, Boulder:

The information in this video is consistently false, using some correct ideas (e.g. Greenland is thinning at edges and thickening in the center) to build up incorrect explanations (e.g. so overall Greenland is not changing much). The video builds scientifically incorrect understandings for a wide variety of topics.

Patrick Brown, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Carnegie Institution for Science:

The video is of very low scientific quality. It stitches together dozens of unoriginal myths about climate science that have been debunked over and over again.

Mark Richardson, Postdoctoral scholar, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology:

This video is shameful and full of well-known tricks that deceive people about global warming. Almost every statement is false or misleading. Radiometer measurements of Earth’s atmosphere confirm CO2‘s heating effect just as expected, and other instruments rule out the Sun or volcanoes. There are specific “fingerprints” in patterns of warming that match CO2 caused warming and we have measured increasing water vapour in the air in response, just as predicted decades ago. This video is an embarrassment.

Please read the rest of the article for details. You can recognize these videos from this man:


After doing some checking to my knowledge every single one of these old  Steve Goreham videos remains on YouTube. Apparently what goes on YouTube stays on YouTube or Facebook or any other social media unless it’s deemed so egregious that the company agrees to take it down. In YouTube’s case I suppose that only child pornography and murders on video sink so low in the eyes of those running social media that they get taken off platforms (or are not permitted to get on the Internet in the first place).

From now on “fake news” will have to be fought much more vigorously with logical and reasonably sourced material because in western society we have freedom to say or show anything, except for falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater. When I was in high school and college I was trained to source my term papers. Students more than ever need to be taught to only source peer reviewed material when science of any sort is the subject. Perhaps any “real science” video needs to be sourced, pointing frequently to expert’s written references. Most are, so be prepared to do a lot of homework before recommending any social media to anyone.

So, dear reader, be wary with a very open mind of any video that esteemed climate scientists like Doctors Mann, Hayhoe, and Rahmstorf have qualms with. They will point these out when popping up on YouTube, and I will endeavor to anti-advertise any I encounter.  


Here is some more climate and weather news from Friday:    

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have  put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)


(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

The Climate Guy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *