Climate Alarmists Claim They Are Being Abused On Twitter Since Elon Musk Took Over

Climate alarmists claim they are targets for abusive and hateful attacks as they try to fight “climate denial” on Twitter since Elon Musk took over the platform. Their Twitter feeds, however, suggest they dish it out pretty good themselves.

May 17, 20238 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Climate scientists are claiming that changes at Twitter following Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform have unleashed a wave of unfair abuse directed at them.

The platform, they claim, is now flooded with “climate denial.” 

Dr. Mark Maslin, professor of Earth System Science at University College London, told The Guardian he’s been the target of “abuse and rude comments” on Twitter as a result of him challenging the position of “climate deniers.” 

Maslin also said that, prior to Musk taking over, he used to have meetings with a top Twitter executive to coordinate efforts to ensure that “trusted information” would be pushed to the top of feed rankings. That way, perspectives Maslin disagrees with would be less likely to be seen. 

Musk laid off that department head during a purge after he bought the platform. 

No Definitions And Examples

The Guardian article doesn’t explain exactly what “climate denial” is or provide any links to or screenshots of examples of what the scientists are calling abuse. 

The article quotes Maslin and other scientists referring to “climate denial.” The article headline refers to “climate crisis deniers,” which seems to imply that “climate denial” is also disputing if climate change is producing catastrophic outcomes. 

Cowboy State Daily reached out to Maslin to ask what he believes falls outside the realm of “trusted information” and if that includes perspectives he simply disagrees with as opposed to the promotion of perspectives that challenge established, indisputable science.

Maslin was also asked if thinks it’s appropriate for a social media platform to coordinate with activists on an issue to purge perspectives they don’t agree with. 

Maslin didn’t reply. 

Hateful Canard

Dr. Judith Curry, president and co-owner of Climate Forecast Application Network, told Cowboy State Daily the issue of climate denial is “a hateful canard” that’s applied to a range of ideas that aren’t approved by a circle of climate scientists. 

Before she moved into the private sector, Curry was a professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as chair of the program. She also was a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. 

Curry is a moderate voice in the debate. In her latest book, “Climate Uncertainty and Risk,” she argues that climate change is an exceedingly complex issue, both in terms of the science and its impacts, as well as the policies aimed at addressing it. 

“We have mischaracterized climate risk by conflating the slow incremental risks from warming (such as sea level rise) and the risks from extreme weather that have little, if anything, to do with the warming,” Curry said. 

She said in our zeal to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions, we’re jeopardizing our energy supply, which will only cause more harm than good. 

Denial Label 

In 2011, Curry criticized the “hockey stick graph,” which shows temperatures over the last 1,000 years.

The graph, which was produced by climatologist and Penn State Professor Michael E. Mann and some of his colleagues, purportedly shows an exponential rise in temperatures over the last few decades, which makes it look like a hockey stick.

For her criticism of the graph, Curry said she was labeled a “denier.” 

“I have seen scientists and politicians labeled as ‘deniers’ who agree with the IPCC science assessment, but don’t think that this is a problem that trumps all others and needs to be urgently addressed,” Curry said. 

Curry said the label has been applied to highly reputable scientists, such as James Hansen and Kerry Emanual, because they advocate for nuclear energy instead of solar and wind. 

“Because of his extremely active levels of ‘denial entrepreneurship,’ my operating definition of ‘climate denier’ is anyone who disagrees with Michael Mann about anything related to climate,” Curry said. 

Censorship Collusion

Curry said it’s concerning that Maslin admitted in the Guardian article to coordinating with employees of Twitter to suppress perspectives he doesn’t like — and admitted it apparently with some pride. 

Following his takeover of Twitter, Musk released thousands of documents showing frequent collusion between staff members of Twitter and government officials, as well as deliberate efforts to suppress conservative viewpoints.

Prior to Musk’s takeover, Curry said the engagement she received on her Twitter feed was considerably lower. 

“For the [approximately] 18 months prior to Musk’s takeover of Twitter, I felt as if I was tweeting into a void — hardly any new followers and virtually no likes or retweets of my tweets,” Curry said. 

Within a week after Musk took over, she said, her followers and engagement greatly increased. Since November, her followers have doubled. 

“I was obviously shadow banned in some way,” Curry said, referring to the practice of lowering the ranking of content so it’s seen by fewer users of a platform. 

Hateful Attacks

Curry said Twitter has vastly improved under Musk, but it’s a work in progress.

There are people on both sides of the debate on climate issues that are “exceedingly ignorant” about science and the impact of climate change, she said. But they speak loudly on the topic. 

However, it’s those on the alarmist side of the debate whose rhetoric of extinction and crisis is the most out of touch with reality, she said.

Curry said that despite the bad information they spread, she thinks it’s more important to reign in what she calls “libelous and hateful attacks” by climate scientists who hold faculty positions at universities. 

Lately, Mann has been on a rampage on Twitter, attacking figures who express viewpoints he doesn’t like. Some might call the Tweets abusive. 

In one tweet, Mann called Curry “a go-to figure on the denial circuit.” 

Disparaging Tweets

In a tweet about Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder Roger Pielke Jr., Mann wrote, “Roger Pielk Jr. is still around? I thought he was now writing a sports column or something.” 

Pielke has been a regular commenter on climate change issues, arguing that the science on extreme weather is far more nuanced and uncertain than is often presented in the media. He’s also been critical of the International Panel on Climate Change, a consortium of the world’s leading climate scientists, for what he says is an increasingly biased view of climate change. 

Mann also disparaged research meteorologist Ryan Maue, who served as a chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during the Trump administration. 

Mann called him a “fossil fuel propagandist.” 

Who’s The Abuser? 

Maslin, too, isn’t above throwing the same type of harsh criticism at the people who disagree with him.

He accused Dr. Matthew Wielicki of “posting fake science.” When Wielicki asked for examples of what Maslin considered to be “fake science,” Maslin didn’t provide any. Instead, Maslin replied, “And you are not even consistent in your denial — so we all assume you are doing this for attention.” 

“Mann has apparently singled us out for attacks because each of us has greater than 50,000 followers on Twitter,” Curry said. 

She said rather than being reprimanded for such behavior, scientists like Mann are rewarded by prestigious university chairs and institutes, as well as given awards from professional societies. 

“Until this problem is cleaned up, I see no home for addressing this issue,” Curry said, adding that it’s ironic for them to complain about hostile comments on Twitter when they tend to dish it out so much. 

Everyone Gets Nasty Comments

Curry said that abusive comments happen on Twitter all the time, but it’s nothing exclusive to climate scientists on the alarmist side of the debate, such as Mann and Maslin. 

“I receive nasty comments all the time,” Curry said. 

She said when it gets to be too much, she’ll mute the individual, and Twitter provides tools to limit notifications to help screen out some of the unwanted remarks. 

Since Curry tends toward the middle on climate issues, she said the hateful comments come to her from both sides. 

“However, I will say that the really vile and hateful comments come predominantly from the ‘alarmed’ side of the spectrum,” Curry said.

Contact Kevin Killough at

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