Facebook has gotten more aggressive in promoting claims about a climate change consensus, adding fact-check-style "information" notes to various posts.
Climate experts have condemned the move, attacking the study on which the claim of "consensus" is based and faulting Facebook for becoming an Orwellian thought police.
"The science is clear and unambiguous," Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs and communications at Facebook, wrote in a blog post on Monday.
Various Facebook posts have the note, "See how the average temperature in your area is changing."
When users click on the note, Facebook directs them to the climate center, which states that "the cause of climate change is widely agreed upon in the scientific community."
"At least 97% of published climate experts agree that global warming is real and caused by humans," the Facebook center claims. "The myth that scientists disagree on climate change sometimes comes from misleading petitions that don't accurately represent the climate science community." Facebook warns that such petitions "typically include non-scientists and scientists working in unrelated fields."
Other graphics on the Facebook climate center argue that "no natural factors can explain how fast the planet is warming today" and claim to dispel the "myth" that "droughts and wildfires aren't caused by climate change because they happen naturally during annual dry seasons."
Many experts dispute these claims, however.
"The long and hard road to scientific truth cannot be followed by the trivial expedient of a mere head-count among those who make their livings from government funding," geologist Gregory Wrightstone, author of the book "Inconvenient Facts: the science that Al Gore doesn't want you to know," told FOX Business on Wednesday. "Therefore, the mere fact that climate activists find themselves so often appealing to an imagined and imaginary ‘consensus’ is a red flag."
"They are far less sure of the supposed scientific truths to which they cling than they would like us to believe," he argued. "‘Consensus,’ here, is a crutch for lame science."
"The climate consensus is a totally fabricated concept, invented to advance the climate alarmist agenda," Steve Milloy, a former Trump-Pence EPA transition member and founder of JunkScience.com, told FOX Business. "It’s not based on 97% of scientists agreeing on any specific point of science. Its origin was a claim made circa 2010 or so that 97% of thousands of published papers generally agreed that human activity affected the climate in some way."
The claim traces back to a study led by John Cook entitled "Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature" and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in 2013.
The study analyzed all published peer-reviewed academic research papers from 1991 to 2011 that used the terms "global warming" or "global climate change." The study organized these papers into seven categories, combining three categories to come up with 3,896 papers, comparing those with other categories, which made up 118 papers. Yet the study completely discounted the vast majority of the papers it analyzed (66.4%, 7,930 of the 11,944 papers). Only by excluding these papers did the authors come up with a 97% figure.
Yet many of the scientists who wrote the original papers Cooks’ team analyzed complained that this study mischaracterized their research. The survey "included 10 of my 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral," complained Dr. Richard Tol, professor of the economics of climate change at Vrije Universiteit.
Milloy told Fox News he calls the 97% figure "a ‘nonsensus’ because they are not credible claims."
"Facebook has no business judging statements about climate since the people it has judging those statements are in fact activists or part of the alleged ‘consensus’ themselves," Milloy argued. "They are not some sort of honest brokers of science but rather advocates hired to police their opponents and what Orwell would call wrong-think."
Facebook did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment by press time.