Study: The rise of climate activism is web-enabled

From the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO (a reader poll follows)

UTSA researcher studies evolution of climate change activism

Researcher explores climate change advocacy in the digital space

Climate change is a topic that is debated, doubted and covered by news outlets across the world. Luis Hestres, in the Department of Communication at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), is researching the evolution of climate change activism and how advocacy groups use digital platforms to mobilize.

Hestres and Jill Hopke, assistant professor at DePaul University, co-authored “Internet-Enabled Activism and Climate Change,” which was recently published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia on Climate Change Communication. In the article, the collaborators describe how the landscape for climate change advocacy has transformed due to technology.

“In some cases, digital communication technologies have simply made the collective action process faster and more cost-effective for organizations,” said Hestres. “Groups are using digital platforms to self-organize and expand their reach.”

Hestres said digital communication technologies make it easier for members to connect remotely and reduces the role for traditional methods of collective action, like face-to-face meetings.

The UTSA researcher says the shift in collective action and climate change advocacy began in the mid-to-late 2000s with 350.org, the Climate Reality Project and the “Keep It in the Ground” campaign, which depended on the Internet and other digital platforms to gain traction.

Created in 2007, activists and journalists started 350.org, its most successful campaign aimed to block the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline project. After protests, writing letters to senators and other online efforts, President Obama rejected the permit to build the pipeline in 2015.

Part of 350.org’s success is its effective use of online tools to spur action at its rallies and events, says Hestres. For example, following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the organization rallied supporters to challenge President Donald Trump’s support for fossil fuels and to fight against fossil fuel infrastructure. In April 2017, 350.org lead its second People’s Climate March, the first being in 2014, and used social media to mobilize supporters.

The non-profit organization, Climate Reality Project, was established in 2011 after the joining of two environmental groups founded in 2006 by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Climate Reality Project uses online advertising to drive messages related to its anti-fossil fuel and climate change activism efforts. Its website is used to recruit volunteers for its Climate Reality Volunteer Corps. Since its establishment, Climate Reality Project has trained nearly 8,000 people from more than 120 countries who deliver presentations around the world about the effects of climate change and ways to combat it.

The third example, the “Keep It in the Ground” fossil fuel divestment campaign, was launched in March 2015 by British newspaper The Guardian to “keep fossil fuels where they belong: in the ground” to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. In 2015, the publication partnered with 350.org to work on a digital campaign to recruit supporters passionate about its mission to urge governments around the globe to take action on climate change. In its first six months, the campaign received support from more than 226,000 online petitioners.

“Activists are trying to figure out how to be more effective while using social media in an era when photos and videos are more important than ever,” said Hestres. “This trend is already changing the types of advocacy efforts reaching decision makers. That in turn may impact the policies they are willing to consider and adopt on issues related to climate change.”

Hestres plans to expand on his research by studying the types of audio and visual communications used by activists as well as the effectiveness of their digital strategies during Donald Trump’s presidency in the United States.

He predicts climate change advocacy campaigns will continue to navigate changes to the digital media landscape and will most likely continue utilizing heavily visual media to promote their advocacy efforts supporting polices to respond to climate change.

Hestres studies the intersections of digital communication technologies, political communication and mobilization, Internet freedom and governance and social change. His research has informed the advocacy and social media and digital media production courses he teaches for the UTSA Department of Communication, which prepares students for careers in digital communication, public relations and related fields.

###

The study: Internet-Enabled Activism and Climate Change (open access)

http://climatescience.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228620-e-404

Summary:

The past two decades have transformed how interest groups, social movement organizations, and individuals engage in collective action. Meanwhile, the climate change advocacy landscape, previously dominated by well-established environmental organizations, now accommodates new ones focused exclusively on this issue. What binds these closely related trends is the rapid diffusion of communication technologies like the internet and portable devices such as smartphones and tablets. Before the diffusion of digital and mobile technologies, collective action, whether channeled through interest groups or social movement organizations, consisted of amassing and expending resources—money, staff, time, etc.—on behalf of a cause via top-down organizations. These resource expenditures often took the form of elite persuasion: media outreach, policy and scientific expertise, legal action, and lobbying.

But broad diffusion of digital technologies has enabled alternatives to this model to flourish. In some cases, digital communication technologies have simply made the collective action process faster and more cost-effective for organizations; in other cases, these same technologies now allow individuals to eschew traditional advocacy groups and instead rely on digital platforms to self-organize. New political organizations have also emerged whose scope and influence would not be possible without digital technologies. Journalism has also felt the impact of technological diffusion. Within networked environments, digital news platforms are reconfiguring traditional news production, giving rise to new paradigms of journalism. At the same time, climate change and related issues are increasingly becoming the backdrop to news stories on topics as varied as politics and international relations, science and the environment, economics and inequality, and popular culture.

Digital communication technologies have significantly reduced the barriers for collective action—a trend that in many cases has meant a reduced role for traditional brick-and-mortar advocacy organizations and their preferred strategies. This trend is already changing the types of advocacy efforts that reach decision-makers, which may help determine the policies that they are willing to consider and adopt on a range of issues—including climate change. In short, widespread adoption of digital media has fueled broad changes in both collective action and climate change advocacy. Examples of advocacy organizations and campaigns that embody this trend include 350.org, the Climate Reality Project, and the Guardian’s “Keep It in the Ground” campaign. 350.org was co-founded in 2007 by environmentalist and author Bill McKibben and several of his former students from Middlebury College in Vermont. The Climate Reality project was founded under another name by former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore. The Guardian’s “Keep It in the Ground” fossil fuel divestment campaign, which is a partnership with 350.org and its Go Fossil Free Campaign, was launched in March 2015 at the behest of outgoing editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger.


In a nutshell, climate activists have stronger networking than climate skeptics.

Which leads me to this question:

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71 thoughts on “Study: The rise of climate activism is web-enabled

    • All the teenage kids make a joke of it, it’s something a particular brand of old people worry about. To be fair from observation most have an attention span of about 5 minutes away from the phone or tablet screen and the proposed problem is a little more distant than that.

    • We are all being manipulated, traditionally through the usual media and now through electronic and social media. The methods change but the propaganda persists. One could argue that Trump used this most effectively through the Republican primaries and then the presidential election. Certainly more effectively than his opponents. Fortunately he came to power with policies that are likely to undo much of the harm done the past eight years by the previous administrations fixation on fictional environmental bogey men.

      Now their method of indoctrination it is foundational for all of the environmental scare mongering campaigns. What we all need to realize is that the effectiveness of the message in turning heads and the factual basis of the message need not have anything to do with each other to be effective. We need to train skeptical, analytical voters who can see through the smoke and mirrors of effective advertising, so that they will vote for what is truley in their best interests.

  1. Given the preferences of most of the legacy media, as well as most of academia, any debate on climate change will mostly be online. There, the problem is the politics of the operators of most search engines and social media operations, which align with the green blob.
    However, in the US, despite the bulk of the media of all sorts leaning heavily towards Hillary Rodham Clinton, a supporter of the green blob, she lost.

    • Tom Halla
      November 21, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Given the preferences of most of the legacy media, as well as most of academia, any debate on climate change will mostly be online. There, the problem is the politics of the operators of most search engines and social media operations, which align with the green blob.
      However, in the US, despite the bulk of the media of all sorts leaning heavily towards Hillary Rodham Clinton, a supporter of the green blob, she lost.

      Fortunately, there is only a limited number of people who can be persuaded to vote against their best interests. A bit like if turkeys were asked to vote for Christmas/Thanksgiving. To win, it is necessary to identify and persuade people to not vote for policies against their interest. It is crucial toidentify and make clear which policies really harm people and which are designed to sound good in order to fool voters.

      SteveT

  2. 350.org, its most successful campaign aimed to block the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

    aimed and failed. Where is their “greatest success” , now?

  3. Congress Should Break Up Hatebook into Independent Identity Facebooks

    Break-Up The Censorship Monopoly: Just recently I wrote a post about being censored on Facebook for doing nothing more than being critical of the AGW theory. This following quote is my best guess at what got the article banned: The more scientifically illiterate you are, the more convincing the Climate Alarmists’ arguments become. Climate Alarmists … Continue reading
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/congress-should-break-up-hatebook-into-multiple-independent-identity-facebooks/

    • co2islife,

      Scientific illiteracy is certainly a contributing factor, but so is political alignment which allows alarmists to use the same argument about the scientifically illiterate on the skeptical side. The real issue is a disbelief that otherwise intelligent scientists be so completely wrong about something so important. That you challenged this disbelief is the more likely reason you were banned.

      Unlike the subjective and mutable truth of politics where compromise is often possible and necessary, science is ultimately deterministic and compromise is impossible when the division between sides is so wide that one side must be completely and irrefutably wrong. Unfortunately, an ideological bias can blind otherwise intelligent people to truths that undermine their ideology and the truth about climate science is a prime example and illustrates why science and politics must never overlap.

      The political left is far more vested in the broken climate science than the political right is with the truth and this seems to explain why alarmists keep doubling down on the rhetoric as their scientific case gets weaker and weaker. The scientific truth will be very difficult to get accepted because when challenged, those aligned with the broken science are more likely to stop listening, rather than pay attention, whether
      they’re scientifically literate or not.

    • Bruce Cobb

      Most people who have a bit of sense don’t waste their time on FB or Twitter, they waste it here, with us lot. LOL.

      Seriously though, most social media users don’t give a monkeys about anything further out than their own ego’s. Presenting them with the simplest facts stumps them. And the fact is, anyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time reading WUWT or Paul Homewood’s notalotofpeopleknowthat, know a huge amount more than the man on the street.

      Sceptics naturally go looking for information and arm themselves with knowledge. The sheep just bimble along in their own fantasy catching snippets of news with no substance.

      It’s quality, not quantity, that counts mate.

  4. It’s all Griff, he gets around the internut.

    Oh and Griff if you are around I think I finally got a number wrong I can’t remember but I went for $65B as the cost for the UK to brexit. I see Mother Theresa has put down her foot and the final offer is £40bn ($52.9B), hey I had to get one wrong eventually. Even in Australian dollars I was out ($69.82) … sigh.

    I guess I had to get one wrong eventually.

    Now all I need is for Germany to get thru 3 weeks without forming a minority party and I will be back in the winners circle.

    • LdB

      Not far out mate, closer than the remoaners who predicted north of £100Bn, in their usual hysterical state, when they eventually figured out there would be a cost.

      The treacherous backstabber Hestletine was on the BBC today talking to Jeremy Vine, your usual lefty presenter but, to his credit, when Hestletine was pontificating about the cost, Jeremy actually challenged him by asking why no one had mentioned the exit cost before the election. Hestletine spluttered a bit, and I nearly sprayed my coffee all over my keyboard that someone on the BBC actually asked an intelligent question.

      £40Bn? Cheap at twice the price.

  5. It’s a two-edged sword. Without the interwebs I’d likely never have found views contrary to the ‘consensus’ CAGW opinions espoused by the MSM.

    Since then, I’ve found information about the other hoaxes perpetrated by similar (or the same) groups, such as DDT and Ozone.

    Lomg live the interwebs. Just not those stupid social media apps that try (and succeed) to trap the constant attention of the unwary in order to sell targeted advertising.

  6. “Are you using social media (Twit, FB, etc) to get the word out?”

    H* no! Why subsidize and enable censorship and other abuses of the unethical Sili Valley gangsters? Just use e-mail and the web, IRC and other instant messaging, weave your very own uncensored web pages, usenet news-groups (it is now possible to roll your own peer-to-peer news-servers).

      • Good question. I would say that it most certainly does, but in a different way than FB/Twitter where your entire life is public and up for some level of scrutiny, at least whatever your privacy settings are. Here we are somewhat anonymous and will probably stay that way and mostly be forgotten as to who our real identities are the longer time elapses. Except of course for various intelligence agencies who just hoover up what Intelligentsia is up to. So in that regard, what we write here is sort of public.

        So be sure to leave a note in your Last Will and Testament for your future generations to be sure they read all your posts so they can find where you buried all the gold. What we write here will be available to future generations for hundreds of years from now. Personally, I write here more as a diary of what I was thinking in in the early 21st century regarding climate/science/politics so that my future descendants will be able to tell what some of us on the Skeptic side of things were thinking. In 2050 or sooner, the sensitivity of CO2 will be far more known than it is currently, and I am banking on that it is a fairly small secondary player in the scheme of things, climatically speaking.

      • The issue with the twits, instas, snaps and faces is that they control the messages, not you. I loved the days when email was the main communication medium, and if you wanted to say something publicly, you started a blog. It left the users in control, except for some obvious exceptions such as pron and anything illegal (but the dark web would let you).

        Now people really do believe that the ‘Internet’ is Facebook, and ‘SMS’ is iMessage. The corporations are winning and making a mint selling advertising.

        Just imagine what happens when Facebook goes under. Does anyone think they won’t sell all that data to the highest bidder (probably the Chinese government)? All you messages, all your ‘likes’, relationships, political views, travel etc? If they do, they are deluded.

        At least in the ‘old’ way, nobody could actually track an individual across multiple sites and see what they did. With FB they can and do, and most likely listen to what you say too (despite all assurances that they don’t).

        Now people even BUY audio monitoring devices for their own home! George Orwell would have laughed his head off!

  7. “…Hestres said digital communication technologies make it easier for members to connect remotely and reduces the role for traditional methods of collective action, like face-to-face meetings…”

    Really ground-breaking and out-on-a-limb.

    This article should have been published in the Journal of Duh.

  8. I’ll engage in debate – and routinely do – anyone or any group at work or in any public space on this issue regardless of who initiates the topic. Social media I always consider to be the eternally unchallenged fiefdom of leftist virtue-signallers though and there is no point at all in attempting debate there.

    Everyone is into stupid national flag overlays on unctuously sincere selfies and the “we stand with country/city x” bs following each and every horrific Islamic atrocity. No one is allowed to hold any view whatsoever which is not 100% aligned with leftist dogma on pain of vicious personal attacks and ostracision.

    Social media are tailor-made for that kind of idiotic, irrational, over-emotional, runaway groupthink so characteristic of the left and I avoid it except for a couple of groups passing information around which is of use to me. Discussion forums / message boards are much the same although I will debate on those since it’s anonymous and I won’t upset friends who I rather wouldn’t upset. Debating strangers seems to be fine online but with friends and acquaintances it has to be face to face for some reason – or so it seems to me.

  9. I’m too old to bother becoming a member of twater or farcebook, so am stuck with steam powered email & a website
    http://www.use-due-diligence-on-climate.org/
    as seen by 37,000+ individuals in the last year

    I also have regular intercourse with lots of small groups of people;
    I would guess less than 10% are ‘true believers’, another 10% think ‘well we see it on TV so there must be something in it’, 40% are interested but confused & the rest don’t know don’t care as long as they have football & X factor.

    • 1saveenergy

      37,001……!

      But shouldn’t you be conducting regular discourse with lots of small groups, unless of course regular group intercourse is a benefit of being a sceptic I have missed.

      :)

      • Auto

        Is there more to lose from Facebook, than to gain?

        I have an account. I have my opinion.

        If you don’t go, you don’t know.

        It is Room 101.

        You can emerge from it however you wish.

        “You asked me once, what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.”

        O’Brien, Part III, Chapter V

  10. All this organizing hasn’t done the Alarmist cause much good. Trump is still implementing his agenda, and the weather is still not cooperating with their CAGW narrative.

    • TA

      You mean you didn’t tell the climate about twitter?!!!!!

      And after all I’ve done for you. I gave you one task………

      :)

  11. “In a nutshell, climate activists have stronger networking than climate skeptics.”

    This is their Achilles heel and that network can be turned against them. All it would take is a highly visible debate on the actual science between principle contributors to IPCC reports and one or more well informed skeptics and is why nobody driving the IPCC ‘science’ wants to debate it in an interactive forum where skeptics can challenge them directly and compel them to support their position with real science.

    Perhaps they can be lulled into a false sense of superiority and shamed into a debate that they thought they could win against a group of ‘amateurs’ assembled from this network?

    • “Perhaps they can be lulled into a false sense of superiority and shamed into a debate that they thought they could win against a group of ‘amateurs’ assembled from this network?”

      Whatever the reason, it is working. It would be very easy to develop a consipracy theory, though. I have just googled “climate change” and could find no reference to a sceptical site in the first 15 pages (the results are shaped to New Zealand so there may be references others wouldn’t find). A search on “climate change sceptic” (which included “skeptic”) showed the NZ Climate Science Coalition web site on page 4. WUWT appeared on page 6. The Rational Optimist appears on page 9. I gave up going beyond page 10.

      If someone wanted to find both sides of the story they would be hard pressed to find the sceptical side by simply searching on the most obvious words “climate change”.

      I didn’t look at any other search engines.

  12. Confession time ==> I do not use social media — at all, ever. I have social media accounts, established as an early adopter (my profession was the Web….) but I have no interaction on them. (I am even quirky about test messaging — only useful for very few things — like “pls call me” or “be home soon”. )

    I prefer to seek information from dependable sources where there is enough data to make critical thinking possible. Being mostly retired, I have the time to browse a wide swath of the information hiway daily/weekly to keep well-informed. I subscribe to weekly summaries from some of my preferred sources of the latest research — those which dependably give links to original journal articles.

    • I’m exactly the same, Kip. I have one anonymous FB account to keep in touch with family who can’t manage email. When they don’t get a reply for days (maybe weeks if I’m doing something interesting), they complain. I tell them if they can’t handle email I’ll revert to snail mail!

      My problem is thst FB is on an isolated Android Virtual Machine so it can’t monitor me or my contacts, and I can’t be bothered to fire it up.

    • Kip Hansen

      But would the likes of you and I have valued FB and Twitter etc. when we were carving out our careers?

      The latest technological breakthrough on a web project (in your case) that either supported what you were doing, or saved you weeks of work when you realised within seconds, someone had achieved what you were attempting.

      How about contact when one’s ill, unable, or unwilling to engage in telephone conversations, or even just to alert someone to the fact you have fallen in your house and can’t get up?

      Moment by moment news events that inform you immediately if there is a disaster your relatives might be suffering.

      We would have waited days, perhaps weeks for information on any of these events, but today we know what we demanded to know, when we wanted to know it.

      I’m such a light user of FB that one of my best friends died and I didn’t know about it. I missed his funeral by weeks. Perhaps if I had been more diligent I could have paid my last respects to one of the kindest men I ever knew. But I was stubbornly determined I wouldn’t use it and that was a mistake as I excluded myself from the loop.

      Social media is a double edged sword. We take from it what we can. And the position we occupy, as well informed sceptics relative to climate change, we can give back a lot more than we receive.

      • Hot ==> “Social Media is a double edged sword” …. with blades where the handles should be too. Far too many people have had their lives ruined already through a slip of the tongue on SM.

        I am bullish on the Web for those with high level critical thinking skills — it is a danger and a threat to those who have been raised on TV and been taught all their lives to accept the opinions of “thought leaders” as the truth.

      • Kip

        I was one brought up on TV. I barely read newspapers and relied on rumour and speculation to form my opinions. I thought Obama was a nice, peaceable, intelligent black president who would have American social injustice and prejudice high on his agenda.

        All that changed when I decided to look into climate change for myself. I also realised what the book I read as a child meant, Animal Farm. Amazing really, 40 years or so, and finally the penny dropped, thanks to you and all the others here. In that respect, you are yourself a ‘thought leader’.

        The subject of climate change has opened my eyes to the world of politics and business and, as you know, I engage in it as best I can.

        I have lost friends on FB as well. On reflection, I would do, and say the same again, although nothing of what I said was directed at them, which reveals more about them than about me. So no loss really, other than having known two of them since 9 years old, a shame, but too bad. I am, and always have been, precisely the same face to face as in the written word. So perhaps the parting of the ways was long overdue and they were more comfortable using the cover of an anonymous medium than face to face. Who knows. And frankly, who cares?

        But we all take from it, or contribute to it, what we can. If I lose more friends because they can’t respect my beliefs in climate change as much as I respect theirs, too bad, they can block me, no problem.

        My point is, however, that whilst it’s a medium you and I don’t respect, or perhaps fully understand, it is a legitimate means of instant communication and all the BS about fake news on it is just that, fake news. What I do object to is the demand for an immediate response, and that’s what gets most people into trouble. But that’s their misjudgement, As I have learned from bitter experience, It’s far better to walk away from an argument and be thought defeated than make an ill considered response. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and it’s within our gift to ensure that eventuality is available to us, no one else’s.

        I personally loath FB because I can’t stand my cousin’s daily barrage of adoring, fawning pictures and descriptions of her Grandchildren. Truly vomit inducing, believe me. But there’s no reason I can’t open an anonymous account to conduct my preferred activities, like climate change debate, in peace.

      • HotScot
        November 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

        Kip Hansen
        …………
        How about contact when one’s ill, unable, or unwilling to engage in telephone conversations, or even just to alert someone to the fact you have fallen in your house and can’t get up?

        Moment by moment news events that inform you immediately if there is a disaster your relatives might be suffering.

        We would have waited days, perhaps weeks for information on any of these events, but today we know what we demanded to know, when we wanted to know it.

        I’m such a light user of FB that one of my best friends died and I didn’t know about it. I missed his funeral by weeks. Perhaps if I had been more diligent I could have paid my last respects to one of the kindest men I ever knew. But I was stubbornly determined I wouldn’t use it and that was a mistake as I excluded myself from the loop.

        Hotscot, sorry to intervene in your discussion but these all appear to be weak arguments for using social media advertising trolleys. I’m trying to imagine if I would feel different if I was younger (i’m retired) but still can’t reconcile myself to being “on display” in this manner.

        Para 1: How would FB or Twitter alert anyone if you were unable to even make a phone call? If one lives alone it is relatively easy to have an agreement with a similar friend to have some sort of daily contact, the absence of which could trigger an enquiry.

        Para 2: A disaster affecting ALL your relatives – no-one left to contact you?

        Para 3: There are other means (email, phone etc.) to get information you KNOW you want.

        Para4: I’m sorry that you missed a best friend’s funeral. I would expect to hear via another “best friend”. All my friends know that if there is something important or vital then they telephone me. They all know that emails may be seen the same day or maybe a week later. I use email as a convenience and never send anything important (needing a response) without telling the recipient in advance (such as “I’ll email you a copy”. They do the same so I check emails when expecting something. I will not let unnecessary apps rule my life and so will not use these invasive social media methods for communication. These are loops I do not need to be involved with.

        The telephone and email are quite sufficient for me. Perhaps, if one day I run for world leader and need to contact a billion people with one keystroke I will reconsider, but this seems highly improbable.

        SteveT

    • Kip,
      Similarly, an early look at Facebook and Twitter followed by a decision to not use.
      Our 6 year old grandson sometimes uses this stuff, so maybe the devices have found their level spontaneously. Geoff

      • Geoff ==> In my own mind, I refer to those who use Twitter as “Twits”…. compulsively sending out little bits of one’s thoughts to the entire world just seems so hubristic and childish — kids shouting out their opinions and fragments of ill-considered verbiage to all and sundry.

        I was around at the very beginning of “email” — the Nets — and we learned very very early on that one had to be extremely careful of what and how one wrote in emails —- you can’t get them back once you hit the send key. Emails sent in haste, in the heat of emotion, would destroy careers and wound friendships. Today’s social media is orders of magnitude worse and more dangerous in that aspect.

        Private internet real-time chat sessions with close associates and friends are appropriate — we used them in the office when our team would be spread out over several continents — but always private, always on our own servers (guarded by the best hackers money could buy).

  13. A) Social Media can introduce new ideas.
    B) Social Media can enfold you and hide new ideas.
    But…
    C) Social Media cannot sway the majority of people because A and B are mutually incompatible.

    Many news networks obsess about numbers and equate reach with influence. But point C shows why Twitter has called all the major election results wrongly in the last three years.

    Brexit and Trump, The German elections. Corbyn’s popularity…

    Can anyone think of a counter-example?

    • Maybe not a counter-example, but I’m one voter who doesn’t tweet or facebook.
      Maybe I’m an example of the “Social Mediaialy’s Silent Majority”?

  14. I put NO to social media only because I’ve been censored by them and then had to abort most social media. I used to be admin on mIRC chats and a few non-pc message boards back in the good old wild west days when free speech was accepted, as was the internet backlash(flame) from anything you might spew fourth.
    Now it is sanitized be algorithms that flag you for words and links deemed not agreeable with policy accepted MSM. Facebook being the worst narcissistic creations ever dreamed up, it effected me and I had to stop using it when going through a break up(divorce). Just shut it out or you can get sick inside.
    That said, young folks know this already and don’t think they are going to be sucked in forever, they soon learn what social media is for …… TRACKING AND SELLING YOU SHIT!

    • Easier for those holding the “cattle prods” to incite in unison.
      (I’m sure SDS would have loved S&M!.)

      • And, no, I don’t mean “safety data sheets”!
        “Students for a Democratic Society”.
        (Yea, right!)

      • Gunga Din

        SDS, call it for what it is – Weatherman – The band of idealistic, sadistic, privileged, communist reprobates, which included Charles Manson who stuck a fork in the stomach of an eight and a half month pregnant woman he had just murdered. An act rejoiced by many who are walking the streets today.

      • Gunga Din

        A movement students today should be taught about, but of course they aren’t, because their faculty’s are nest’s of left wing vipers.

      • HotScot,
        Yes, they should be taught about them and how they operated then.
        And how the same manipulations are in operation now.
        But I’ll add this caveat.
        I knew a couple of people that were involved with The Weathermen. (Planned to blow up the Statue of Liberty or something like that.)
        They later believed in Christ.
        A person’s past is not always their eternity.
        (THANK GOD!)

  15. “Are you using social media (Twit, FB, etc) to get the word out?”

    I used to, though not on Twitter or Facebook (which I’ve never been involved with at all), on smaller sites . . The “climate alarmists” generally got routed, and it always seemed to me the only “climate activists” were paid shills, just like on mass media . .

    (The “word” I was getting out was essentially ‘bullshit’, once I got a load of the “climategate” emails, and the subsequent whitewashings. I used this site for ammo ; )

  16. The rise of climate skepticism is even more ‘web enabled’

    This site and the likes of Nova, NoTricks and even dear old Heller are the driving force of skepticism and the only real reason it persists.

    • True.
      The overwhelming narrative is of doom, doom, doom.
      Only the internet allows a counter-cultural narrative to be aired.
      But that wouldn’t be enough without the simple fact that…

      The climate models are wrong and the “tipping points” are fanciful.

    • BS Griffy, I’ve never been to any of those sites(except here of freakin course) and if I had …….I would still question the information/data !
      Is it so hard to believe that a no nothing like me might know that we really know nothing?
      Persists? …….Yea we persist…..And so does science that we do know.

  17. Whether it’s Social media or mainstream, the Alarmist message is being screamed and streamed into all our lives, loud and clear. Just a short few years ago, most ”ordinary” folk never heard the terms Global warming or Climate change. I can remember giving it some mention in passing conversation. with friends and family, they all thought I was going nuts. I could see the narrative gaining traction and becoming more prominent. Now it’s on every news bulletin in some form or other. Every weather forecast comes with a colour coded warning. Special programs about the Weather/weather forecasting, the science behind it …. and how Climate change is affecting our lives, right NOW, with tragic consequences, etc etc. The weather is not just reserved for the Weather forecast. Now it get’s featured in the main news bulletin too. Just for reinforcement. A double whammy.

    Here in Ireland, a few weeks ago, we got the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia. It was a really bad storm, worse in some parts than others. The Alarm bells were ringing from a couple of days before hand, and the whole country was brought to a stand still. There was much talk afterwards, as to how necessary that alarm was. This morning, we have had ”heavy rain”. I think, it’s the subtle tone of the reporting, rather than anything specific they say, but you get the message. This is Climate change, folks.Be afraid. Be very afraid. Coz then we can flog you the rest of the rubbish that goes with it. Wind turbines etc.

    And now, everyone is a Climate change expert. Very few understand, or are even aware of, the Sceptics’ view point. FWIW, I tune in to FB, for it’s entertainment value. Sometimes it brings your attention to an article of interest, but it’s amazing the number of dated issues that surface. People discovering the 97% consensus for the first time, becomes boring. Whether we like it or not, Social media as a voice for Sceptics should be exploited.

    Eamon.

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